Iberdrola, through its UK subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables, has taken the first step towards construction of the Wikinger offshore wind farm in Germany, the largest project of its kind located at such depth (over 40 metres). It has awarded two contracts, worth €18 million, to British company Gardline Group and GEO of Denmark, to conduct a full geological survey of the Baltic Sea area where the Wikinger wind farm is to be located in order to determine what type of foundations required for the project. Its 80 turbines will give the wind farm a 400 MW capacity. In an area of some 34 square kilometres, the companies will employ specially designed vessels to take stratigraphic samples of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, requiring 63-metre boreholes to be drilled. They will also conduct seismic surveys using sound waves to determine the structure of the terrain.
According to Keith Anderson, CEO of both ScottishPower Renewables and the Global Offshore Division of IBERDROLA, “the start of sub-surface drilling is a crucial stage of the project, enabling construction of one of the largest deep-water offshore wind farms in the world. The outcome of geotechnical testing will provide us with valuable data on the morphology of the seabed, which will directly affect the construction and design of the columns supporting the giant wind turbines”.