Preparation works for the export cable installation for the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind project are expected to commence in mid-March. The area where the activities will take place is the nearshore extent of the wind farm’s export cable corridor.
Two jack-up vessels, Capall Mara and C57 Red Squirrel, will carry out a small amount of seabed preparation operations and undertake trenching works along a short section of the nearshore cable route, according to the project’s Notice to Mariners.
The Capall Mara backhoe dredger will work along the two cables routes within the nearshore area, where it will reposition boulders at one of the cable route sections (KP0.65 and KP1.25), and then excavate a trench within which the cable will be laid. Excavated material will be temporarily repositioned to the side of the trench and will be backfilled by Capall Mara once the nearshore cable installation is completed. C57 Red Squirrel will work on the same section of the cable route (KP0.65) to excavate two pits at the existing HDD exits and conduct minor construction works associated with the HDD exit point.
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Two tugs, Forth Trojan and The Battler will be supporting C57 Red Squirrel jack-up during the operations, while the crew transfer vessel (CTV) Celtic Guardian will transfer personnel between Capall Mara and C57 Red Squirrel and Eyemouth harbour each day. The CTV will also support with periodic minor surveys of the route.
The C57 Red Squirrel jack-up will also be supported by a dive vessel CRC Tempest for the minor HDD construction works, as required.
The 450 MW offshore wind farm, expected to be commissioned in 2023, will comprise 54 Siemens Gamesa 8 MW wind turbines installed on jacket foundations and two GE Renewable Energy Grid Solutions’ offshore substations.
The project, to be built some 15 kilometres off the Fife coast, is owned by EDF Renewables and ESB.