As part of the construction design and engineering process and initial mobilization of the project, Cape Wind says it has started work on a major geotechnical and geophysical survey operation on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound.
According to Cape Wind, the multimillion-dollar offshore program will begin tomorrow and will continue through September or October, involving up to 50 scientists, engineers, archeologists and geologists using specialized vessels.
Norfolk, Va.-based Fugro, a geotechnical survey firm that has performed similar work for a majority of offshore wind farms built in European waters, is the lead contractor undertaking this effort, Cape Wind says.
Fugro will be assisted by Massachusetts contractors, including New Bedford-based Fathom Research which will work together with the University of Rhode Island performing sediment analysis. Also involved are Waltham-based ESS Group, which is providing environmental engineering services and overseeing the marine mammal monitoring program to minimize any disturbance to marine mammals from project activities.
Cape Wind says the initiative will build upon extensive geophysical and geotechnical work completed in its nine-year permitting effort.
This four-phase geology program and will involve continuous offshore presence on the project site. The four phases are follows:
- A geophysical survey that employs state-of-the-art acoustic imaging to map the seafloor and the submerged layers below the seafloor;
- The collection and analysis of vibracore samples that will build upon previous surveys to look for paleosols and help ensure there are no cultural artifacts present;
- Cone penetration tests (CPTs) to be advanced into the subsurface to measure soil characteristics; and
- Geotechnical exploration that will employ deep CPTs and deep borings.
Cape Wind has informed the U.S. Coast Guard of the project's presence on Horseshoe Shoal, and a notice to mariners was issued on June 13, the developer says.