The Polish company PGE and the Danish company Ørsted are preparing for the third stage of geotechnical research. They will allow detailed verification of seabed soil conditions for the construction of the Baltica Offshore Wind Farm with a capacity of up to 2.5 GW. Previous phases of the study have included, amongst others, drilling to determine the sequence and depth of geologic strata as well as laboratory testing offshore and onshore.
– After the phase of preliminary geotechnical studies as planned, we move on to the phase of selecting a contractor for detailed geotechnical studies, which will provide an analysis of the geological structure of the seabed and its strength for the foundation of offshore wind turbines. Obtained data will allow us to precisely locate and design foundations for the implemented investment. This is necessary to make an investment decision and start the construction of the largest investment currently underway in the Baltic Sea, namely the Baltica Offshore Wind Farm”, says Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna.
– We expect the geotechnical investigation for detailed design to be conducted this summer and early fall. During the study, based on the preliminary layout of the Baltica Project turbine siting, the contractor will investigate soil conditions for the location of each turbine. Based on the study, we will have clarity on whether to stick with the initial layout or move any of the turbines, if it turns out that there are not ideal conditions at the preselected location. Thanks to the acquired results, we will also be ready to provide detailed data, which will be used when ordering steel and other materials for production – says Søren Westergaard Jensen, Director for the Baltica offshore project on behalf of Ørsted and acting Managing Director of the offshore area in Ørsted Poland.
The contract being tendered includes, among others, static sounding (CPTU), which allows for the determination of significant soil conditions, i.e. strength and compaction of the soil. Conducting this study will allow investors to very precisely determine the parameters necessary for the future production of foundations for offshore wind farms and their installation in specific locations.
During static surveys, seismic surveys (SCPTU) will also be performed at locations specified by the investors. These locations will depend on preliminary results obtained from previous geotechnical investigations.
The order also includes specialized research to test the strength of the soil for offshore wind farm foundations.
According to the schedule, the launch of the first stage of the Baltica offshore wind farm project, i.e. Baltica 3 with a capacity of approx. 1045 MW, is scheduled for 2026. The next stage, Baltica 2 with a capacity of approx. 1500 MW is expected to be commissioned by 2027. These investments will contribute to accelerating the Polish energy transition. Both stages of the Baltica OWF have location decisions (PSZW), environmental decisions, transmission grid connection agreements with the operator, and have been granted the right to a Contract for Difference (CfD).
In 2022, the project partners expect to receive an environmental decision for the onshore portion of the transmission and will begin work on obtaining construction permits. This is the last permit required before a final investment decision is made.