Fugro Atlantic has been appointed to undertake a geological and geophysical survey for the Virginia Wind Energy Area for the Commonwealth of Virginia in the US.
The survey area covers over 45,000ha in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf and is seen to be a key step forward in developing offshore energy supplies in the region.
In awarding the contract, Commonwealth of Virginia governor Bob McDonnell said: “[This is] a positive move forward toward the development of offshore wind energy, an important and promising component of my plan to develop all of the commonwealth’s domestic energy from local resources to make Virginia the ‘Energy Capital of the East Coast’.”
According to Fugro Atlantic vice president Tom McNeilan, the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf has never been developed for energy purposes and there is little record of how installed structures have performed and only basic knowledge of the character of the seafloor and sub-surface is available.
“Characterising the physical and environmental conditions offshore is a critical pre-requisite to appropriate siting of wind energy structures,” said McNeilan. “This study will be carried out using advanced, environmentally quiet, sub-bottom imaging and recording systems that allow advanced data processing to optimise clarity and detail of the geologic definition of the subsurface.”
Fugro’s successful execution of detailed geotechnical and geophysical investigations for the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, which is set to be the first commercial-scale, offshore American wind farm, led to Fugro being selected to complete this important survey of the Virginia Wind Energy Area.