Geophysical survey for Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm underway

24 October 2023

RWE has commenced a geophysical survey off the Danish west coast. Up to three survey vessels will be deployed to carry out a detailed pre-construction survey including a search for unexploded ordnance (UXO) approximately 34 km off the coast of Thorsminde. The data acquired is important, it will define the cable routes and exact turbine locations for RWE’s Thor offshore wind farm, construction of which is expected to start in 2025. To complete the work RWE has appointed geo-data specialist Fugro, which had already, in 2022, conducted a comprehensive geotechnical site investigation for Thor. Fugro has now commenced a detailed pre-construction survey.

Marc Kebbel, Fugro’s service line director of Hydrography and Cable Route Surveys, said: “We are using a wide range of survey techniques, comprising offshore and near-shore standard geophysical and UXO surveys techniques, a seismic land refraction survey, and Fugro’s rapid airborne multibeam mapping system (RAMMS) for comprehensive mapping of the shallow area and beach in the transition zone.” The UXO campaign for RWE’s Thor offshore wind farm will run until December 2023. “The metocean challenges posed by Thor's exposed offshore location, such as high waves and strong wind in autumn and winter are adding to the complexity” added Mr Kebbel.

With a planned capacity of 1000 MW, Thor will be Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm to date. The project will help to support RWE’s goal of increasing its global offshore wind capacity from 3.3 to 8 GW by 2030.

Image: A Fugro survey vessel (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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