US Wind set to conduct months of near-shore survey work

Wind power company looking for best route to make landfall for wind farm due east of Ocean City
September 9, 2022

Story Location:
3Rs Beach
Rehoboth, DE 19971
United States

This past spring, Danish-based wind power company Ørsted conducted near-shore survey work off Delaware’s coast. Now, US Wind, another wind power company, will be conducting near-shore survey work this fall.

According to a briefing issued Sept. 3, US Wind, a Maryland-based company, will be conducting a fall geotechnical survey along the Atlantic coast and in Indian River Bay beginning about Saturday, Sept. 10. According to the notice, the survey work will last through Nov. 30.

US Wind has twice been awarded offshore wind renewable energy certificates from the Maryland Public Service Commission to build a wind farm in the Atlantic Ocean due east of Ocean City, Md. According US Wind’s construction and operations plan released in June, the preferred landfall location is 3R’s Beach, but there is also an option for landfall at Tower Road Beach.

Ben Cooper, US Wind director of marine affairs, said the work this fall will fine-tune the routing for export cables that will connect the energy US Wind produces to the grid. The work will also assist in export cable design and selection of optimal tools for cable burial, said Cooper in an email Sept. 7.

According to the notice, there will be three different survey vessels used – R/V Candu, R/V Smokey and R/V Northstar Voyager.

Cooper said the three vessels will cover different aspects of the necessary geotechnical survey work to determine the subsurface conditions along the proposed export cable routes. He said the RV Candu and RV Smokey are smaller, shallow-draft vessels suitable for working in Indian River Bay, while the RV Voyager is a larger liftboat, able to operate in the open waters of the nearshore Atlantic area between Tower Road Beach and 3R’s.

Cooper said US Wind and Ørsted, which has been awarded offshore wind renewable energy certificates from the Maryland Public Service Commission for an area due east of the Delaware coast, are collaborating as much as possible to minimize impact on the local area. However, he said, since the two projects are proceeding on different timetables, the surveys are being conducted independent of one another. 

As for when US Wind plans on announcing its landfall location, Cooper said the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will make the decision as part of its technical and environmental evaluation of the plans. That public evaluation process begun in June is expected to conclude in 2024, he said.


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