The differences between sand, silt, rocks and clay will go a long way to determining what kind of foundations can be used to hold towering wind turbines above the water’s surface and how those foundations will be anchored to the bottom.
“That data is crucial to how we build a wind farm,” said
Deepwater is set to embark on a study that could last a month or more to determine the underwater geology of 256 square miles of Rhode Island Sound about 18 miles southeast of
There, in waters that it’s leasing from the federal government, the Providence-based company plans to install dozens and dozens of wind turbines over the next decade to supply power to
A liftboat brought to
Once it’s in place, the specialty ship named “Supporter” will lower three tubular legs to the seabed about 120 feet below and then raise itself up about 30 feet above the water to create a stable base for drilling to proceed.
The results of the survey will be used to supplement the construction and operations plans that Deepwater must submit for approval to the federal
Deepwater filed the plan earlier this summer for the
The plan for the
Plans for a 200-megawatt project chosen by
Deepwater is one of three companies that are planning wind farms in the same general swathe of waters between
Supporter, the distinctive ship with 200-foot long legs owned by
The 28 people on the boat — its crew, drillers, engineers and marine mammal observers — will work in shifts around the clock so that core samples can be taken from up to 10 locations around the ocean.
The geology off the
To gain a better understanding of the consistency of the ocean bottom, she’ll direct a team that will drill 200 feet into the sediments, taking 10-foot long samples of about three inches in diameter along the way.
“You don’t know what you’ll find until you get there,” said Baxter.
One of the key qualities of the sediments that Baxter and the other engineers are interested in is their stiffness. Deepwater will feed the data they collect into a computer model that will look at how different foundation types — including latticework jackets like those at the
Deepwater has yet to configure the wind farm or even decide on the types of foundations it will use.
“We’re going to let the data make the decision,” said Murphy.
(c)2018 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.)
Visit The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.) at www.projo.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.