A round of geotechnical investigation begins today at the site of the planned European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay. A series of boreholes will be drilled 2.5-4km off the coast.
The work is being carried out by Fugro Geoconsulting, using its vessel M/V Markab. Fugro has been commissioned by Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd (AOWFL), the joint venture created by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) and Vattenfall to establish an 11-plot offshore wind test facility.
Fugro's work is expected to run for about ten days and will include sampling and in situ testing at four of EOWDC's 11 proposed test plots. The goal is to assess the potential for installing innovative foundation designs. The water depths are 22-30m.
The £230m (€270m) EOWDC project received Scottish Government approval in March and has been awarded up to €40m in EU funding. Last summer, six turbine manufacturers formalised their interest in testing designs at EOWDC by signing memoranda of understanding.
EOWDC has been the subject of vocal and sustained opposition, fronted by US property investor Donald Trump. Trump's opponents today welcomed the news that offshore work was getting underway. WWF Scotland director, Lang Banks, said: "Despite [Trump's] bluster, it’s clear that Scotland has no intention of being held back in its renewables ambitions by the threat of his legal challenge."