News   |   Will Hodshon   |   21.01.2022

ScotWind - Now the real work starts...

It's been an exciting few weeks waiting for the Scotwind announcement and now the dust has settled, I’m delighted to share the news that three of our key clients were successful in their lease applications.

We offer our congratulations to them and to the other successful bidders. We’re extremely pleased and proud that the Vysus Group - Survey & GeoEngineering team played such a key part in thoroughly assessing the site and potential export route conditions for our clients.

We had to be fairly resourceful, as with most feasibility assessments, using multiple sources of data and information to predict the ground conditions of the sites. In addition, we assessed over 50 associated potential export routes, with the end goal of recommending realistic foundation concepts and cable installation techniques which assisted the refinement of the LCOE cost models.

Unlike most of the other parts of the world we’re working in, there was a lot of existing available data to help us. So one of our objectives in ScotWind was to try and avoid the cost of expensive preauction offshore survey and site investigation; in lieu of a detailed review of public domain data, together with our in-house geoscience knowledge and experience gained across the entire UKCS over the past 20 years. This included a review of overlapping or nearby legacy Oil and Gas projects and invaluable 2D seismic data acquired all the way back to the 1960’s. We also embarked on a very eventful geology field trip around practically the whole coastline of Scotland, searching for the best export cable route landing locations - all undertaken in a motorhome in mid-winter, now that’s dedication!

Winning the site lease is just the beginning of course. It’s a bit like buying a house - once you’ve finally exchanged and completed you’ve then got the monumental task of actually moving in and potentially renovating or developing it. For the successful Scotwind bidders, there are multiple steps to overcome in the immediate future, with one of the first, battling with everyone else to try and secure survey and site investigation resources within the upcoming spring / summer favourable survey season; suffice it to say, it’s going to be very busy out on the water around the coast of Scotland this year!

Until our survey and site investigation numbers come up, our support during this initial phase is focused on utilising more innovative techniques to maximise the value of the existing data, which will also allow optimisation of the survey programmes, whilst getting a head start on design engineering. The eventual arrival of new survey and site investigation data will then allow more detailed understanding and characterisation of the ground conditions and decrease the risk to foundation design.

We are really looking forward to being involved with the progression of a number of the lease areas with our clients and it gives us a great opportunity to put into action some of the things we’ve been developing over the years such as some innovative 3D ground modelling and visualisation techniques and synthetic CPT profile modelling as well as the latest version of our IRIS project, risk and data management web application, IRIS 3. It’s also going to be exciting being involved with everyone else’s new technologies too, including no less, the various floating wind turbine substructures with anchored foundations, which will be some of the first to be installed at this scale anywhere in the world.

From all of us at Vysus Group we wish everyone the best of luck developing their sites; it’s going to be a busy year ahead!

In search of the perfect export cable landing location, Rattary Head Lighthouse, Aberdeenshire, December 2020

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