Geophysical Survey to Start at Clogherhead Offshore Wind Farm

Alpha Marine is set to commence a geophysical survey campaign at the Clogherhead offshore wind farm site in Ireland, off the coast of County Louth.

The survey, to be carried out by the vessel Baltic Explorer, will start around 25 May and will last until 27 July, subject to weather conditions.

Alpha Marine will utilise multibeam echosounders, sub-bottom profilers, side-scan sonars, magnetometers, and ultra-high-resolution equipment for the survey with the geophysical equipment to be both hull-mounted and towed, according to a Notice to Mariners.

The Clogherhead offshore wind farm, planned to be built approximately 10 kilometres off the County Louth coast, is being developed by Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in partnership with Belgian Parkwind. The 500 MW project is the second of its kind co-developed by this partnership, the first being the Oriel offshore wind farm.

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ESB has been granted two Foreshore Licences, one for Clogherhead in 2018 and one for Cooley Point in 2019, which were proposed to be merged into a single preferred potential development area called Clogherhead Offshore Wind Farm.

The Foreshore Licence enables the project to undertake preliminary survey work and site investigation studies to determine suitability for an offshore farm and its grid connection route.

The site investigation studies to be carried out will inform the selection of the cable corridor, cable landfall areas, and the indicative location of the turbine array respectively. The results of the proposed survey work, in conjunction with other desktop studies, and community consultation will also assist in determining the feasibility of developing an offshore wind farm at this location.

In addition to the geophysical and geotechnical surveys, both wind resource and metocean surveys will be required in order to provide wind, oceanographic, and other meteorological data which will be used to inform the wind farm engineering design, turbine selection, operational and installation parameters and estimate the future annual energy production at the site. 

Environmental surveys will also be undertaken, including benthic surveys, marine mammal surveys, ornithology surveys and various other surveys required as the project design and environmental impact assessment necessitates. 

Photo: Photo for illustration purpose only; Source: Parkwind