UK Offshore works have started off Aberdeen Bay in preparation for full construction of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre that has gotten a lot of attention because of the opposition from the American billionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The geotechnical site investigation takes place at each of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre’s (EOWDC) eleven turbine locations to assess the seabed to inform the final design and micro-siting of the turbine foundations.

Full offshore construction is scheduled to start in late 2017 or early 2018, after an investment decision later this year.

Innovative centre
The EOWDC facility which will have an installed capacity of up to 100MW is a joint venture between Vattenfall and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG).

Andy Paine, Head of UK offshore wind development for Vattenfall, said:
“The pioneering EOWDC will help establish the north east as a global centre of innovation for the offshore wind industry. It is through tests and demonstration of next generation products and services that offshore wind will become a low cost sector.”

“The preparatory works being carried out helps keep the project on schedule ahead of an investment decision later this year and first power in 2018. The partners are currently working on the basis of fully financing the more than £230mn scheme and want to see the project come to fruition.”

Drilling vessel
Geotechnical and geophysical survey specialist, Fugro is carrying out the site investigation. The company will mobilise one of its dynamically-positioned geotechnical drilling vessels, the Bucentaur, to the EOWDC site about 2 km to 5 km off Aberdeen’s coast. The work is due to be supplemented with geophysical surveys later this year.

Spoiled view
Trump opposed the plans for EOWDC and claimed that the offshore wind farm would spoil the view from his luxury development at Menie State which is situated within 3.5 km of the nearest proposed wind turbine.

On December 2015, the UK Supreme Court dismissed Donald Trump’s appeal claiming that the consent for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre was unlawful.

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