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Cathie and British Geological Survey awarded Ground Model contract for two offshore wind farms

Posted on 13 October 2020

Cathie and British Geological Survey awarded Ground Model contract for two offshore wind farms

Developer, SSE Renewables, has awarded global offshore geoscience and geotechnical engineering consultancy, Cathie and the world-leading British Geological Survey, a contract to develop a ground model for the FEED design of Berwick Bank and Marr Bank offshore wind farms.

Located off the East coast of Scotland at the mouth of the Firth of Forth, the proposed site of the Berwick Bank and Marr Bank Windfarms is complex and has been subjected to multiple glaciations. Cathie and the British Geological Survey (BGS) have partnered together to develop a dynamic, regional ground model which will be used to mitigate seabed risk and to drive the engineering and development options for the projects. The geospatial nature of the modelling will provide an invaluable insight into the engineering geological hazards and conditions of the past that could have a bearing on the development.

Cathie’s Newcastle based team will lead the project and work together with BGS geoscientists who are based at the Lyell Centre in Edinburgh, to provide a complete solution for the regional ground model, integrating geology, geophysics and geotechnics. BGS has a track record of reconstruction of past environments as well as an extensive knowledge of the geological history of the area. Cathie will bring their unique insight in the development, engineering and construction of offshore wind farms, in addition to a decade of geoscience and geotechnical engineering experience on Seagreen Alpha and Bravo, immediately north of the modelling area.

Business Development Director for Cathie, Gareth Ellery said, “This collaboration between Cathie and BGS offers a unique combination of best-in-class understanding of the geological formation and shaping of the Firth of Forth Zone with specific understanding of the influence the geological context has on geotechnical engineering for offshore wind farm infrastructure, thanks to our 75GW experience of offshore wind projects worldwide and experience in the Seagreen zone”.

Dr Tracy Shimmield of the British Geological Survey and Director of the Lyell Centre, a partnership between BGS and Heriot-Watt University, said, “BGS is delighted to have been awarded this important contract jointly with Cathie. Our combined expertise in this area will ensure that that the wind farm project is a success structurally while also supporting the continued development of renewable energy in Scotland.”

The dynamic regional ground model developed by the joint team will be used to inform subsequent geotechnical survey campaign strategies and provide the basis upon which geotechnical designs for the two sites can be developed going forward.

Once complete, the proposed installed capacity of the Berwick Bank wind farm and Marr Bank wind farm could be between 1400MW and 2300MW and 900MW and 1,850MW, respectively.