In the North Sea’s designated wind regions, many ships working for the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) are now conducting a variety of research projects.
Wind farm developers create plans and designs for offshore wind farms using the information from these soil, wind, and water studies.
Investigating the soil
4 Fugro ships will begin operating in the North Sea for RVO in May 2023. They carry out study on the soil’s characteristics and makeup. Following the superficial soil samples taken by these ships, deeper samples will be taken by a different ship. These samples were pulled out from a 60-meter depth. The subsurface is mapped by the ships. This aids in building the cables and wind turbine foundations that will be erected in this area.
Research on water and wind
In addition to the soil research, examinations of the wind and water are also being conducted. These studies are carried out by GEOxyz and RPS. Modern methods are used for this, including floating lasers (LiDARs) for measuring wind speeds. This elevates RVO and the Netherlands to the top of the world. GEOxyz and RPS will soon conduct 5 measurement campaigns with a total of 2 North Sea measuring buoys on behalf of RVO. These gauge local wind speeds as well as the impact that individual wind farms have on one another. Campaigns for each wind energy region last for two years.
The measurements of the wind and water aid in producing the most precise yield calculation for a wind farm. A design for a wind farm is also aided by soil research, wave and current measurements, and other factors.
Since 2015, RVO has conducted measurements for potential wind farms. The upcoming years will see more of this. The Netherlands hopes to develop 21 GW of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 or 2031. The central investigations are handled by the national government. RVO claims that as a result, the quality of the study’s data has dramatically improved, and offshore wind energy costs have fallen significantly in recent years.
Image source: Central Government