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Gardline group gathers offshore wind work

20 Apr 2010
Marine wildlife surveys are essential before further consent licenses can be granted.

Marine wildlife surveys are essential before further consent licenses can be granted.

Gardline Hydro (a division of Gardline Geosurvey) has been awarded a geophysical survey contract by RWE npower renewables for the Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm site in the Bristol Channel.

The company, part of the Gardline Renewables Group specialises in hydrographic surveys and seabed mapping and will carry out a detailed sub-seabed survey to determine the shallow geological features as well as providing topographic imagery of the seabed for both the wind farm area and the export cable route to shoreline.

Gardline has provided a multi-vessel solution to cope with the range of water depths across the site. Two survey vessels, the Tridens 1 and Vigilant, started work in mid March on the wind farm site where depths vary between 40m and 60m. They will also survey the export cable route where the water is deeper than 15m. A shallow draft coastal vessel provided by Titan Environmental Survey Ltd will complete the survey of the export cable route up to the shore.

Techniques to be employed will include simultaneous multi-beam (swathe) bathymetry, dual frequency side-scan sonar, magnetometer and sub-bottom profiler capable of identifying sediment thickness and basement depths across the survey area. The work is expected to take around two months to complete.

Gardline Marine Sciences Ltd of Great Yarmouth in the UK is one of the first companies to benefit from the Round 3 offshore wind farm site allocation announced recently.

The contract to provide ornithological survey services to the Forewind consortium, development partners for the Dogger Bank zone, has been awarded to group company and Seawork exhibitor Gardline Environmental Ltd. The two year contract not only includes the provision of ESAS (European Seabirds At Sea) trained seabird surveyors but also the dedicated 24 month charter of the 65m MV Sea Profiler, one of the Gardline Group’s fleet of 18 survey vessels.

Forewind comprises four leading international energy companies, committed to securing all the necessary consents required for the construction and development of Dogger Bank.

Gardline Environmental Ltd will be applying valuable skills and experience learnt from many years supporting the developing offshore renewable energy sector . The Dogger Bank zone is not only the largest of the new sites, it will also be the furthest offshore and presents a number of significant technical challenges.

Marine wildlife surveys are one of the first steps that have to be undertaken before further consent licenses are awarded by the Crown Estates and these are dependent on approval from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

The Marine Wildlife Department at Gardline Environmental already has considerable experience in the offshore wind sector providing services to other offshore wind farms including the 300MW Thanet development in the Thames Estuary. The department not only offers ornithological surveys but also marine mammal pre-development surveys, as well as marine mammal mitigation and noise profiling during the wind farm construction phase.

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Marine wildlife surveys are essential before further consent licenses can be granted.

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