Developers of the Ossian floating wind farm have agreed a partnership with the British Geological Survey (BGS) to share survey data from the offshore site.
Ossian’s backers said the data would help further the work of the geological survey and geoscience organisation and aid our understanding of Earth’s structure.
Ossian is being developed by a consortium comprised of SSE Renewables, Marubeni and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP). The group secured the up-to-3.6GW site in the E1 area around 50 miles off the Angus Coast as part of the flagship ScotWind leasing round in 2022.
Fugro and Ocean Infinity began geophysical work across the 330-square-mile site in spring this year, conducting downhole geotechnical sampling and in situ cone penetration testing, as well as vibro-cores and deep push seabed cone penetration tests, respectively.
A full geophysical and benthic survey of the area was also carried out last year.
The seabed at the site, which lies around 72m below sea level, would once have been completely covered by ice. The geophysical data collected so far will allow BGS scientists to understand more about its composition and how this has changed over time due to environmental changes and challenges.
BGS will now be able to advance its knowledge and understanding of the rock and soil units under the seabed and update baseline data for the region, with benefits for the wider offshore industry.
SSE has worked with BGS on data-sharing initiatives for more than a decade, though Ossian is the first floating ScotWind project to formalise such a partnership. Further collaboration opportunities and educational initiatives are also set to be explored.
Ossian senior project manager David Willson said: “At Ossian collaboration is a key project value. As one of the first floating wind farms of commercial scale, we will be developing and testing new techniques and technologies and we recognise the positive impact that working collaboratively can have on the wider sector and the UK’s push to reach net-zero.
“Our partnership with BGS allows us to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and understanding about the environment we are operating in and support the organisation’s invaluable work in informing better use of our marine resources.”
BGS relies on the support of private sector companies to help maintain the most up to date modelling, with marine geoscientist Gareth Carter saying partnerships such as these are “fundamental” to maintaining the currency and integrity of its data.
“This new agreement with Ossian will provide us with invaluable insight which will improve our geological understanding of the wider project site.
“Through this collaborative venture, we will be able to update our models and understanding of the ground conditions across the region, which will benefit all stakeholders in the offshore sector.
“BGS are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue our successful partnership with SSE through the Ossian data sharing initiative.
“As increasing numbers of offshore developments get underway, there is a significant opportunity for developers to take inspiration from Ossian’s collaborative approach and contribute to public-good science with similar data sharing initiatives.”