Iberdrola, through its U.K. subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables, has taken the first step toward construction of the 400 MW Wikinger offshore wind farm in Germany.
The company has awarded two contracts, worth a cumulative 18 million euros, to U.K.-based Gardline Group and Denmark-based GEO to conduct a full geological survey of the Baltic Sea area where the Wikinger wind farm will be located.
Part of the geological survey will include determining what type of foundations will be required for the project, which will consist of 80 5 MW wind turbines.
In an area of about 34 square kilometers, the companies will employ specially designed vessels to take stratigraphic samples of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, requiring 63-meter boreholes to be drilled. They will also conduct seismic surveys using sound waves to determine the structure of the terrain.
"The start of sub-surface drilling is a crucial stage of the project, enabling construction of one of the largest deepwater offshore wind farms in the world," says Keith Anderson, CEO of both ScottishPower Renewables and the Global Offshore division of Iberdrola. "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."