PGE and Ørsted are preparing to carry out the third stage of geotechnical surveys. They will allow checking in detail the ground conditions on the seabed for the construction of the Baltica offshore wind farm with a capacity of up to 2.5 GW. The previous stages of the survey included, among others, drilling to determine the sequence and depth of geological strata, as well as laboratory tests at sea and on land.
– After the stage of preliminary geotechnical tests as planned we move on to the stage of selecting a contractor for detailed geotechnical tests, thanks to which we will obtain an analysis of the geological structure of the seabed and its strength for the foundations of offshore wind turbines. The obtained data will allow us to precisely locate and design the foundations for the executed investment. This is necessary to make an investment decision and start the construction of the largest investment currently underway in the Baltic Sea, i.e. the Baltica Offshore Wind Farm,” says Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna.
– We expect the geotechnical survey for the detailed design to be conducted in the summer and early autumn of this year. During the study, based on the preliminary layout of the turbines within the Baltica project, the contractor will examine the soil conditions for the location of each turbine. Based on the study, we will have clarity on whether to stick with the preliminary layout or relocate any of the turbines if it is determined that conditions are not ideal at the pre-selected site. Thanks to the obtained results we will also be ready to provide detailed data that 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 covered by the tender concerns among others static sounding (CPTU), which allows determining the essential ground conditions, i.e. the strength and compaction of the subsoil. Conducting this survey will allow investors to very precisely determine parameters necessary for future production of foundations for offshore wind farms and their installation in specific locations.
During the static surveys, seismic surveys (SCPTU) will also be performed in locations indicated by investors. These locations will depend on preliminary results obtained from previous geotechnical surveys.
The order also includes specialized surveys that will test the strength of the soil for the offshore wind farm foundations.
According to the schedule, the commissioning of the first stage of the Baltica offshore wind farm project, i.e. Baltica 3 with a capacity of approx. 1045 MW, is planned for 2026. The next stage, i.e. Baltica 2 with a capacity of approx. 1500 MW is to be commissioned by 2027. These investments will contribute to the acceleration of the Polish energy transition. Both Baltica offshore wind farm stages have obtained 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 the environmental decision for the onshore transmission portion and will begin work on obtaining construction permits.
This is the last permit required before a final investment decision is made.