Twelve vessels will complete geotechnical work in 130sq km area off Poland over a 12-16 week period [Image: Unsplash/Carl Raw]
PKN Orlen and Northland joint venture Baltic Power has begun geotechnical seabed surveys in the Baltic Sea for a planned 1200MW offshore wind project off Poland.
Twelve vessels are beginning the main phase of geotechnical surveys of the Baltic Sea bottom in the area of the planned wind farm and along the connection route.
Completion of the tests is scheduled for later this year.
The results will provide a basis for the development of a detailed plan of locations of the foundations for the turbines and offshore substations and their connection to the onshore transmission infrastructure.
PKN Orlen management board president Daniel Obajtek said: “We want to start construction of the offshore wind farm as early as in 2023.
“It is a pioneering venture that will not only transform the Polish power system, but will also allow us to gain new capabilities in the area of large-scale zero-emission projects.
“Geotechnical surveying is an extremely complex process, involving dozens of high-level professionals and high-tech equipment.
“Once it is completed, we will be able to develop a detailed technical design that will be optimal for the project’s schedule and economics.”
Baltic Power is finalising the key stage of investment preparations.
The geotechnical tests will take from about 12 to about 16 weeks, depending on weather conditions.
Over the wind farm area, spanning more than 130 square km, the 12 vessels will drill boreholes and sounding to depths of up to several dozen metres.
Work of a similar scope, adjusted to the nature of the project, will be carried out along the more than 30 km long route of the cable connection to be used to export power to the onshore substation.
On the basis of the data collected during the drilling and sounding, and its subsequent analysis, designers will prepare documents such as the final plan showing location of the wind turbines, their support structures, and the farm site and power export cables route.
The farm seabed tests are being performed for Baltic Power by the British company Gardline Limited, while a Polish company MEWO is responsible for the measurements along the offshore connection route.
The geotechnical tests on the farm site and along the cable connection route have been preceded by the start of UXO detection surveys, performed to search for any unexploded ordnance at sea.
Baltic Power, which holds a licence to construct wind farms with a total capacity of up to 1.2GW. in partnership with Canada’s Northland Power, which has acquired a 49% stake in the project.