Bibby survey East Anglia One

Bibby HydromapBibby HydroMap was commissioned by ScottishPower Renewables to undertake a geophysical and UXO survey across the proposed site to ensure items which could pose a risk to construction operations were identified.  

Located off the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk, UK, the East Anglia offshore wind area has been earmarked for future development.

The first area, developed by ScottishPower Renewables, was awarded a license as part of the Round 3 category, and is referred to as
East Anglia ONE, covers an area of approximately 200km2, and is located towards the south of the development area.

The objectives of the survey were to provide detailed information on:

·        Seabed bathymetry, morphology and features across the site
·        Man-made or geological hazards that could impair the installation phase
·        Seabed conditions or hazards to the installation
·        Any objects that model as potential UXO

The survey was carried out by Bibby HydroMap’s own survey vessels
Bibby Athena, Bibby Tethra and Lia. FeliX, a dedicated survey vessel owned and operated by iXblue, also carried out survey operations across the site.

To complete the survey within the short timeframe, the four survey vessels were mobilised to site, each of which were mobilised with dual-head multibeam echosounder systems, high resolution side scan sonar towfish and a multiple magnetometer array. All sensors were acquired simultaneously to ensure maximum coverage.

The main challenge came in the form of how to obtain full, accurate UXO data coverage across the site, given the difficult site conditions. Equipping Bibby Tethra, Bibby Athena and FeliX with multiple EIVA ScanFish Katria ROTV systems enabled multiple magnetometers to be flown at a fixed height above the seabed.

The terrain following mode of the ScanFish, coupled with the deployment and towing configuration, enabled data to be collected with limited need for infill, despite the difficult environmental conditions.

Following the acquisition, all data was processed and interpreted in-house using Geosoft’s Oasis Montaj UX Detect. All data was appraised and processed in conjunction with Scottish Power Renewables UXO consultant, RPS Energy, to ensure that all data met the high quality required for UXO detection.

At present, the £2.5bn
East Anglia ONE will consist of 102 Siemens Gamesa 7MW wind turbines, giving an overall generating capacity of up to 714MW, which is enough green energy to supply over half a million homes.

Two seabed export cables, each around 73km in length, will transfer the electricity to a landfall site at Bawdsey, Suffolk.

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