SSE Renewables has awarded Cathie and the British Geological Survey (BGS) a contract to develop a ground model for the FEED design of Berwick Bank and Marr Bank offshore wind farms.

Located off the east coast of Scotland at the mouth of the Firth of Forth, the proposed site of the Berwick Bank and Marr Bank wind farms is complex and has been subjected to multiple glaciations. Cathie and BGS have partnered together to develop a dynamic, regional ground model that will be used to mitigate seabed risk and to drive the engineering and development options for the projects. The geospatial nature of the modeling will provide insight into the engineering geological hazards and conditions of the past that could have a bearing on the development.

“This collaboration between Cathie and BGS offers a combination of understanding of the geological formation and shaping of the Firth of Forth zone with specific understanding of the influence the geological context has on geotechnical engineering for offshore wind farm infrastructure, thanks to our 75 GW experience of offshore wind projects worldwide and experience in the Seagreen zone,” says Gareth Ellery, business development director for Cathie.

Cathie’s Newcastle-based team will lead the project and work together with BGS geoscientists who are based at the Lyell Center in Edinburgh, to provide a complete solution for the regional ground model, integrating geology, geophysics and geotechnics. BGS has a track record of reconstruction of past environments as well as extensive knowledge of the geological history of the area. Cathie will bring their insight in the development, engineering and construction of offshore wind farms, in addition to a decade of geoscience and geotechnical engineering experience on Seagreen Alpha and Bravo, immediately north of the modeling area.

The dynamic regional ground model developed by the joint team will be used to inform subsequent geotechnical survey campaign strategies and provide the basis upon which geotechnical designs for the two sites can be developed going forward.

Once complete, the proposed installed capacity of the Berwick Bank wind farm and Marr Bank wind farm could be between 1,400 MW and 2,300 MW and 900 MW and 1,850 MW, respectively.

Photo: Cathie’s Our diversification story web page

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