Wind Energy – TWP Scotwind Projects
Thistle Wind Partners (TWP) has launched seabed surveys for its two ScotWind projects – the 1GW Ayre Offshore Wind Farm (a floating wind project to the east of Orkney) and the 1GW Bowdun Offshore Wind Farm (a fixed-foundation project off the coast of Aberdeenshire).
G-tec, a subsidiary of DEME, is leading the first phase of the work, which is the geophysical surveying of the seabed at both sites (leasing zones NE2 and E3), from March to October of this year.
G-tec is supported by GAC UK’s Aberdeen and Orkney offices for vessel logistics, while Cathie (headquartered in Newcastle) is providing advisory services.
Over the next seven months, the survey vessel will cover an area of almost 400 km2, as it uses cutting-edge technology to collect data on the structure of the seabed at both project sites. G-tec technical experts will conduct advanced processing of the data, which will then feed into ground modelling studies from October onwards, while metocean surveys begin around the same time.
With TWP’s engineering team expected to complete their pre-FEED (front-end engineering designs) phase for the two projects by mid-2024, a second round of geophysical and geotechnical studies is planned for next year to inform the FEED for the wind farms.
“We are comfortable with the pace of development of the two projects and the schedule we have in place,” comments Ian Taylor, Project Director at Thistle Wind Partners (TWP). “We plan to enter the construction phase in 2029, and like all ScotWind developers, we do get questions about why we have chosen a particular timeframe.
“Bearing in mind that we have a floating wind project in the mix, we are keen to leverage the learnings and enhanced designs and technologies that will be available by the end of the decade. There are still many technical challenges ahead for floating offshore wind. In tandem, each year gives us greater certainty that the local supply chain and port infrastructure will be ready.”