To help accelerate the Dutch Government’s ambitions to achieve 70GW of offshore wind power by 2050, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (The Netherlands Enterprise Agency) has appointed Arup to develop an integrated ground model (IGM) and produce a geotechnical interpretative report (GIR) for the Nederwiek Wind Farm Zone Site 1. 

This Wind Farm Zone is located approximately 100 km from shore and forms part of the agency’s Offshore Wind Energy Road Map.

The wind farm will have an estimated capacity of 2GW; enough to power approximately two million Dutch homes. The scope of the project includes operational geotechnical advice, laboratory test strategy and scheduling, geophysical reprocessing and interpretation, geotechnical interpretative reporting, and the application of novel seismic inversion techniques.

Leveraging extensive experience across the energy sector, Arup will combine geotechnical expertise with a digital focus to assess the risks and opportunities of the future development. To assist in the delivery of the IGM & GIR, Arup has enlisted specialist partners British Geological SurveyInosysRockWave and SolidGround, who will be supporting the team over the 18 month project. 

“Increasing large wind farm zones with greater data quantities demands a novel approach to combat challenges posed by lengthy site characterisation and laboratory campaigns. The development of interactive integrated ground models and geotechnical design parameters ahead of leasing provides developers with a deeper understanding of the risks posed by the ground for foundations and cables – this reduces uncertainty while accelerating project construction and time to first power. We’re thrilled and delighted to be helping RVO on this project”, said Chris A Smith, Engineering Geologist at Arup.

The IGM & GIR will be prepared based on the results of an ongoing Arup-defined geotechnical investigation currently taking place in the Nederwiek Wind Farm Zone Site 1. This will validate the geological ground model developed through high resolution geophysical surveys undertaken at the site earlier in 2023 and will provide a measure of predicted geotechnical parameters anywhere in the wind farm zone. 

Joep Bronkhorst, Advisor at RVO said, “We are excited to work with Arup and its specialist partners. Especially, we look forward to Arup’s project deliverables containing innovative techniques. Arup proposed a sound plan on how to deliver the results in a challenging time frame.”

The outcomes of the project will be publicly available to wind farm developers participating in the concession tenders for the Nederwiek Wind Farm Zone Site 1 planned for 2025, with commissioning of the Wind Farm Zone in 2030.