The developers of the PacWave wave energy test site have completed offshore horizontal directional drilling (HDD) works that will enable the connection of the offshore site to onshore facilities.

PacWave sites (Courtesy of PacWave)
PacWave sites (Courtesy of PacWave)

All four bores have been successfully drilled, according to PacWave, with the HDD2 punched out at the seafloor 5,241 feet away from the drill rig, and the final offshore bore HDD3 also punched out with a total length 5,170 feet.

The installation of conduits will follow to complete HDD2 and HDD3 bores. However, conduit installation cannot start until divers have inspected the offshore end of the bores.

“We are watching the forecast closely and hoping for a weather window so we can mobilize the divers and move to the final phase of the offshore bores”, PacWave said in an update.

In the meantime, The HDD Company is beginning to prepare for terrestrial bore between Driftwood and the utility connection and monitoring facility (UCMF) property on NW Wenger Lane.

Initial operations at the UCMF site will include the installation of a steel casing, which will run down into the ground.

Drilling operations will likely start around the end of October, PacWave said.

As previously mentioned, the site developers will be using the intercept method for the terrestrial bore, with rigs drilling from either end of the bore alignment. However, drilling from the Driftwood end cannot start until the conduit has been installed on HDD2 and HDD3. So, the terrestrial bore is also indirectly at the mercy of the offshore weather.

R&G Excavating have been making good progress at the UCMF property and have the site largely finished, most of the roadbed prepared and most of the utilities installed, according to PacWave.

The installation of the subsea cables is expected to be conducted in 2022 or 2023, and the facility would begin operating after that, PacWave said earlier.

The works are related to the construction of PacWave South test facility, that will be located about 11 kilometres off the coast of Newport in Oregon.

PacWave South will be the first commercial-scale, utility grid-connected wave energy test site in the United States.

The approximately $80 million facility will offer wave energy developers the opportunity to try different technologies for harnessing the power of ocean waves and transmitting that energy to the local electrical grid.

PacWave South is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the state of Oregon and other public and private entities.

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