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Environment

Ryder Geotechnical providing local expertise to Dogger Bank

The world’s largest offshore wind farm is once again benefiting from supply chain expertise in the north-east of England as it continues site preparation work for the installation of turbines in the North Sea.

Working in collaboration with Global Maritime, Newcastle-based Ryder Geotechnical, a Tekmar Group company, delivered a site-specific assessment in preparation for the installation of 190 turbines for the first two phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

The wind farm is being built in three phases; Dogger Bank A, B and C, and when complete will be able to generate around 5% of the UK’s electricity. The project will use the world’s first Ultra-Low emissions jack-up vessel to install turbines 130km out to sea, off the North East coast of England.

Turbines are installed by a jack-up vessel, a ship that extends legs down to the seabed and lifts itself up to provide a stable platform to perform installation from. Ryder’s role in this project was to assess the geological conditions above and below the seabed surface at both sites and provide geotechnical information ahead of the jack-up operations. The geotechnical information is used to advise on the seabed load bearing and other parameters needed for installation.

Steven Metcalfe, lead engineer on the project from Ryder said “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to work on the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The site was particularly complex geologically due to soft clay layers sandwiched between firmer sand layers, but working closely with Global Maritime we were able to fully assess these holistically, and develop solutions for the safest operations.”

Dogger Bank A and B is a joint venture between SSE Renewables (40%), Equinor (40%) and Eni (20%). In November 2021 SSE Renewables and Equinor, 50:50 joint venture partners in Dogger Bank C, announced Eni will take a 20% stake in the final phase, with SSE Renewables and Equinor maintaining 40% stakes each, in a deal that is expected to complete in Q1 2022 (subject to Dogger Bank C Financial Close and regulatory approvals).

SSE Renewables is leading on the construction of the wind farm and Equinor will operate the wind farm for its expected lifetime of 35 years.

Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor said: “This site-specific assessment carried out by Ryder Geotechnical is essential for us to confirm the turbine fixing requirements ahead of construction and to understand any geotechnical risk to jack-up operations, ensuring safe installation offshore. It’s another great example of UK expertise helping us to deliver the wind farm safely and efficiently as we prepare for offshore installation to commence in 2022.”