The purpose of this study is to investigate and assess the various methodologies and equipment choices for providing site investigations that identify shallow hazards, geologic hazards, biological conditions, geotechnical properties, and archaeological resources in accordance with 30 CFR 585.626 and 585.627. The information presented in this study is based on decades of experience accumulated by the oil and gas industry offshore, about a decade of experience accumulated by the offshore wind industry in Europe, and the understanding of the geology within the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Hence, the information developed during this study should prove to be a valuable resource for future US offshore wind development projects especially within the Atlantic OCS.
This report is divided into six volumes that address various aspects of the scope of this study. Volume content is organized as follows:
- Volume 1 – Wind Farm Facilities, Geologic and Bathymetric Conditions, and Site Investigation Approaches: Introduces the typical components of offshore wind farms, provides a concise introduction about geologic characteristics within the Atlantic OCS, introduces the various offshore foundation types and systems for offshore wind turbines, lists the main factors that control the selection of a specific foundation system, and provides examples of alternative plans that can be adopted to conduct geophysical and geotechnical site investigations.
- Volume 2 – Geophysical Surveys Benefits and Risks: Analyzes the benefits and risks associated with the different techniques adopted during geophysical surveys and the viability of using the different techniques within the Atlantic OCS.
- Volume 3 – Geotechnical Investigation Benefits and Risks: Analyzes the benefits and risks associated with the different in-situ tests adopted during geotechnical investigations and the viability of using the different techniques within the Atlantic OCS. It introduces the different laboratory tests and the design parameters that can be measured using each of them. It also presents additional details about choosing the number and type of in-situ and laboratory tests for each foundation type.
- Volume 4 – Best Practice Recommendations for Geophysical Surveys: Presents best practice recommendations for survey techniques and equipment for geophysical surveys.
- Volume 5 – Best Practice Recommendations for Geotechnical Investigations: Presents best practice recommendations for geotechnical site investigation techniques and equipment for these investigations.
- Volume 6 – Geophysical and Geotechnical Guidebook: A guidebook for equipment selection and utilization dependent on the site conditions and structures anticipated for future offshore renewable projects within the Atlantic OCS.