Over the last decade, global offshore geoscience and geotechnical engineering consultancy, Cathie, have been instrumental in helping to develop and construct offshore wind farms located off the northern coast of France. Now, as part of the French Multiannual Energy Programme, the Ministry of the Sea has selected a new 1GW offshore wind area in ‘La Manche’.
Throughout La Manche, which is already home to offshore wind farms; Courseulles sur Mer, Fécamp and Le Tréport, totalling 1.4GW, Cathie have provided a complete suite of integrated geoscience and geotechnical consultancy services, including geohazard studies, survey consultancy, ground modelling, foundation design and subsea cable engineering.
Dr. Emilio Nicolini, Cathie France Gérant – Directeur de l’ingénierie (pictured), has been leading Cathie’s efforts in French offshore wind; “The Multiannual Energy Programme is great news for the French offshore wind sector and it is encouraging to see this first 1GW area identified. From our experience in La Manche, there is a great deal to consider in terms of seabed suitability and engineering. There are very active seabed processes leading to significant sediment mobility which must be considered for subsea cable burial and foundation selection. The seabed characteristics are dominated by the presence of chalk below the recent marine deposits; chalk is a difficult material to characterize geologically and geotechnically but can provide great opportunities for foundation design if the correct approach is taken”.
Dr. Nicolini continued, “Experience of the seabed conditions, and engineering in offshore wind, will be key to delivering successful construction and low levelized cost of energy (LCOE) on future projects. And with 8.75GW of offshore wind energy out to tender from 2020 to 2028, the future looks very bright for French offshore wind.”