Vessel Traffic Surveys Underway at Scottish Floating Wind Project Site
NASH Maritime, a UK-based shipping and navigation consultancy, is currently undertaking vessel traffic surveys offshore Scotland to inform the navigation risk assessment the company is preparing for the 1 GW Buchan floating offshore wind project.
The project site, for which the Floating Energy Allyance consortium secured the rights at the beginning of last year through the ScotWind leasing round, is located in the North Sea off the Aberdeenshire coast, in the outer Moray Firth, 75 kilometres northeast of Fraserburgh.
To ensure the specialist risk analysts have an accurate understanding of how a proposed development area and its environs are currently used, NASH Maritime undertakes vessel traffic surveys to validate other datasets including longer-term vessel transponder data (AIS), the company says.
“These surveys are a key phase in developing a baseline understanding of how the development area is used”, said Brocque Preece, NASH Maritime Offshore Energy Business Lead. “Later in the year, during winter, we will be doing further vessel activity surveys to ensure our data is seasonally representative”.
The vessel traffic surveys are using observers to log recreational and fishing vessel activity and are also collecting radar track data and AIS.
NASH Maritime will later analyse the post-processed data using its own system to develop a quantitative understanding of the area, used as a baseline to inform navigation risk assessment and facilitate stakeholder consultation.
The navigation risk assessment is associated with the environmental impact assessment (EIA), being led by Natural Power.
The Floating Energy Allyance consortium, comprising BW Ideol, BayWa r.e. and Elicio, recently awarded a series of contracts worth more than GBP 1.5 million to three Scottish companies for work on the 1 GW floating wind project.
The three contracts were awarded to Copper Consultancy, who will support onshore and offshore stakeholder engagement and consultation, to Natural Power, who will lead the onshore stakeholder engagement and EIA in parallel with their ongoing offshore work, and to Blackhall & Powis, who will be responsible for property support, including securing land rights for the substation and onshore cabling.
In December 2022, Partrac deployed a floating LiDAR and metocean buoys at the Buchan floating wind site as part of the campaign to measure wind, metocean, and environmental conditions at this specific site in the North Sea that will further inform the wind farm design and provide insight into the project’s potential energy yield.
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