LOC Expands Offshore Wind Geotechnical Team

LOC Renewables, through its specialist naval architectural and design firm Longitude Engineering, has expanded its geoscience consultancy team to deliver a range of services related to the mitigation of ground risk for offshore wind development. 

Besides conducting initial desk and feasibility studies, the geotechnical team will carry out site visits and assess geological and metocean conditions to identify the best siting for offshore wind farms and cabling corridors.

According to LOC, the provision of marine surveys will span geotechnical design and analysis that supports structural engineers to deliver a successful project, since good geotechnical and geological engineering is the base for wind farms to be installed and is essential for managing construction and operation risks.

“While there are many aspects to consider when it comes to windfarm development,  the assessment of ground risk is crucial to a project’s success in the construction phase, and over its lifetime,” said Cara Watson, newly-appointed Lead Engineering Geologist at Longitude Engineering.

“Extensive experience in offshore energy allows us to offer a range of services including geohazard analysis, project planning, survey management and full ground model development.”

The expansion of offshore wind means that developers face new geotechnical and geological design challenges on each project, LOC said, adding that with wind farms being built in so many different locations, and with a range of different technologies, engineering solutions need to be developed for varied and often difficult ground conditions.

“Foregoing the adequate consideration of ground risk introduces uncertainties and increases risks that project developers will usually end up paying for later. For example, without a detailed knowledge of the ground conditions, designers are forced to be more conservative and adopt larger and more expensive foundations for their turbines,” Cath Bradley, Lead Geotechnical Engineer at Longitude Engineering, said.

Obtaining the ground conditions at an offshore wind site enables optimized foundation designs, which in return lowers the risk of equipment damage and the risk of delays or cost overruns caused by layout, design or cable route changes, Bradley said.

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