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Monopiles soon to be installed on first US commercial-scale offshore wind farm

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 26/05/2023 Vineyard Wind

The vessel Orion is set to commence the installation of monopile foundations and transition pieces for the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind farm on or around May 29, 2023. The installation will be followed by the offshore substation foundation, further advancing the project's progress towards completion by the end of 2025.

Orion, a Belgian-flagged vessel with a length of 710 feet, will be responsible for the installation activities, which include the deployment of the remaining MPs and TPs. The vessel can be contacted on VHF channels 13 and 16 for coordination purposes.

To ensure environmentally responsible operations, the OSV Atlantic Oceanic, a US-flagged vessel measuring 253 feet in length, will work alongside Orion. Their collaboration involves deploying and recovering a Big Bubble Curtain (BBC) system to mitigate sound during pile driving operations. The bubble curtain, created by a large perforated hose and specialized air compressors, forms a barrier of bubbles that absorbs and dampens sound. The deployment and recovery of the BBC system will be carried out by the OSV Atlantic Oceanic, enabling smooth transition between foundation installation locations.

Furthermore, Northstar Navigator, a US-flagged vessel spanning 265 feet in length, will deploy a secondary BBC system as part of a pilot program in partnership with ThayerMahan. This initiative aims to explore additional methods for minimizing environmental impact during offshore wind construction.

Prior to the commencement of pile driving activities, the F/V Beth Anne, a 74.8 foot vessel, will deploy five fixed-location bottom-mounted acoustic recording systems to verify the sound field (SFV) at various distances relative to the pile.

These systems will remain in place throughout the pile driving process and will be retrieved after completion. Additionally, Beth Anne will deploy a Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) system comprised of fixed buoys to monitor underwater acoustics and detect marine mammal vocalizations during pile driving operations.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.


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