Governor Bob McDonnell, of the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA has announced that Fugro Atlantic has been appointed to conduct a geological and geophysical survey for the Virginia Wind Energy Area (WEA) within the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Governor McDonnell described the regional ocean survey as representing “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’.” The WEA encompasses 112,799 acres at a distance of 23.5 nautical miles offshore Virginia Beach and the Port of Hampton Roads. The project supports Virginia’s goal to accelerate commercial leasing and development of the Virginia WEA and offshore energy industry supply chain.
The Atlantic OCS has never been developed for energy purposes with little record of how installed structures have performed and only basic knowledge of the character of the seafloor and sub-surface is available. “Beginning to fill the vacuum of uncertainty with tangible data that characterizes the physical and environmental conditions offshore is a critical pre-requisite to appropriate siting of wind energy structures,” noted Tom McNeilan, Fugro Atlantic Vice President, adding that the Fugro survey of the Virginia WEA will be conducted “with modern, state-of-the-practice geophysical instrumentation. Most notably the use of advanced, environmentally quiet, sub-bottom imaging and recording systems that allow advanced data processing to optimize 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, lead to Fugro being selected to complete this important survey of the Virginia WEA. Fugro Atlantic is a member of Fugro’s Renewable Services Group, comprising global expert services providing extensive experience and knowledge in the development, planning and installation of offshore wind farms. During the past year, this group has been involved with projects from Germany to the UK, Sweden to the USA with activities encompassing many vital elements of wind farm development, foundation engineering and structure and cable installation services.
Further information is available at www.fugrorenewables.com and from Sally McNeilan SMcNeilan@fugro.com, Fugro Atlantic, Business Development Manager.