Survey work set to begin for 900-MW Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm

 the work will take place at a total of 18 sites in and around the beach area, just five of which are within the inter-tidal zone of the coastline. The surveys are called Cone Penetration Tests (CPT) and will help the project get a better understanding of the ground conditions

The survey work, designed to get a better understanding of the ground conditions, will take place at a total of 18 sites in and around the beach area, just five of which are within the inter-tidal zone of the coastline.

Triton Knoll is set to start survey works for the Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm, which is moving into the design phase after consent was granted for its electrical system in September. Triton Knoll Offshore will be located about 32 km off the Lincolnshire coast and 50 km off the coast of North Norfolk. It is being developed a joint venture between Innogy Renewables UK and Statkraft, with innogy managing the project on behalf of the partnership.

The survey project should take about three days and will use technology that has been specially designed to leave the most minimal of impacts once the work is complete. All consents have been secured and permissions granted, allowing full access for the works to take place, while Triton Knoll has also consulted Anderby Parish Council in preparation for the survey activity.

“We’re very conscious of wanting to keep the impact of our survey works to a minimum,” said Andy Barwise, Triton Knoll Technical Engineer. “That’s why we’ve not conducted any beach surveys until now, to avoid the key tourist season and school holidays when the beach is most likely to be in use. We’ve also opted to use one of lowest impact surveying techniques available.”

Testing involves pushing an instrumented probe of only 36 mm diameter into the ground from a vehicle called a Cone Penetration Test (CPT) Rig. Only one vehicle is required on site, although a second standby rig may also support the work. Each is about the size of a transit van and fitted with low ground bearing pressure rubber tracks, designed for minimal ground impact.

All testing kit and machinery is contained within the vehicle, including hydraulic ram for driving the 36-mm diameter CPT probe into the ground through an opening in the vehicle floor. Only the vehicle is visible and, because the probes are small in diameter, the natural action of the sand and tides quickly recovers each of the test sites leaving virtually no trace of the work having taken place.

“The most anyone is likely to see will be the tracked survey vehicle as it goes about its work in and around the beach area, but little else,” explained Barwise. “These are essential survey works which will help us to plan our directional drill beneath the beach and dunes, ensuring that, during the construction phase, the cable can be installed with no disturbance to the sea defenses.”

With an anticipated up to 900 MW installed export capacity, Triton Knoll Offshore wind farm is expected to have the potential to power up to 800,000 UK homes once fully operational.

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