Seabed Surveys Begin for Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Zone

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Developers of the Dogger Bank offshore wind zone have awarded £45 million of seabed survey contracts as part of its environmental impact assessment work.

Measurement of seabed conditions

Forewind was awarded the rights to develop Dogger Bank off the North East coast in January 2010 and has since undertaken a huge range of geotechnical, geophysical and fish ecology surveys to understand and characterise the seabed and marine conditions of the zone. The seabed area, larger than the North East at 8,660km square, and lying 100 miles out to sea, could at peak wind flow periods, provide the UK with almost 10% of its projected energy supplies.

Largest offshore wind energy project

The Dogger Bank zone is potentially the world’s largest offshore wind energy project. The survey area within this is approximately 1200 sq km and will involve sampling at more than 50 locations. The work will include sediment grab sampling and laboratory analysis to identify the organisms found and to analyse the chemical and particle size of the sampled sediments. Seabed video and still photography will be taken, followed by interpretation of the footage to support the sediment grab sampling results.

This announcement comes a month after Lord Adonis hit out at a lack of movement from Government over delays on the crucial sector, which could cost North East jobs. In his review, the peer stated the Government must “set the technology mix for renewable generation as soon as possible and prioritise Dogger Bank and the Humber mouth to the south as the first locations for new investment in the next generation of offshore wind power infrastructure.”

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