Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions (GDG) was recently awarded €500,000 from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to undertake a research project to investigate the seabed characteristics of the Irish Sea and the implications for offshore wind energy developments along the East Coast of Ireland.
GDG was founded in 2011 and is a Dublin based engineering consultancy with specialist expertise in the area of offshore wind energy. From an Irish base, GDG offer highly technical consultancy services to the international offshore wind market and have helped optimize projects all over the world. As the Irish offshore wind market is gaining momentum, GDG are keen to assist in the selection of the most suitable sites for development as well as the engineering of those sites in the most efficient manner.
The study funded by SEAI kicked off in January 2020 and over the next two years, GDG will analyse the seabed conditions along the east coast by interrogating different geophysical datasets as well as by collecting new geotechnical information in the Irish Sea. The output of the project will include suitability maps which take into account the subsurface conditions, geohazards and associated technical constraints. As foundations for offshore wind energy can account for between 20 and 30% of the overall capital expenditure, knowledge of the soil and rock stratification can have a dramatic impact on the overall project spend and associated cost of energy. Ireland has targeted 70% of all electricity production from renewable sources by 2030, which will need a significant uptake in offshore wind energy if this is to be achieved.
The Climate Action Plan also references the development of at least 3.5GW of offshore wind energy by 2030. The research activities underway at GDG will contribute to identifying those areas of seabed that are technically optimum around the coast of Ireland and through the early analysis of geophysical datasets will hopefully accelerate the development of these sites.
Approximately €250,000 of the available funding will go toward new geotechnical survey work, gathering additional information about the subsurface characteristics of our marine environment. GDG Managing Director, Paul Doherty noted that “this is an exciting opportunity for GDG as a company to gather new datasets and interrogate existing information to help inform which areas of the Irish Sea are best placed to exploit offshore wind energy”.
For more information please contact Jack Walsh (firstname.lastname@example.org).