This is an update for mariners about the ongoing survey operations being carried out off the North Wales coast for the proposed Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm. Survey work in the array area is underway and is due to continue into July. Survey work on the export cable corridors that would link the windfarm to the shore is due to start on 10th July 2020 and will continue for several weeks.
A Notice to Mariners providing an update on this survey work has been issued, which is summarised below and can be downloaded here.
Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm
Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm is a project being developed by innogy to the west of the existing Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm. It is located approximately 10.5km off the Welsh coast in the Irish Sea, with a maximum total area of 106km². Information about the Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm is available here.
The survey work will comprise geophysical and environmental site investigations. The survey vessels Fugro Mercator and Valkyrie will use acoustic and sonar survey methods to investigate the characteristics of the seabed within the proposed Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farm array and along the export cable corridor.
The Fugro Mercator will carry out survey work in the array area and along the export cable route to a water depth of 10m below LAT. The Valkyrie will carry out survey work in the nearshore waters shallower than 10m.
A map of the survey area and coordinates for its boundaries are provided in the Notice to Mariners which can be downloaded here.
The proposed survey dates are given below for the different survey areas:-
- Offshore array area: Fugro Mercator began the survey in this area on 15th June, and is due to take 5-6 weeks to complete the survey.
- Offshore export cable route: Fugro Mercator is due to start survey operations on the export cable route in waters deeper than 10m below LAT from 20th July for a period of 3-4 weeks.
- Nearshore export cable route: Valkyrie is due to start survey operations in waters shallower than 10m below LAT on the 10th July for a period of approximately 10 weeks.
Note that exact start and finish dates will be dependent on the prevailing weather conditions and progress of the survey work.
Details for the two survey vessels, including a link to their present locations, are given below:-
- Fugro Mercator: Survey vessel | Call Sign C6DU5 | MMSI 311000786 | IMO 9299977.
- Valkyrie: Survey vessel | Call sign 2BWA9 | MMSI 235069806
Fugro Mercator will be operating out of the Port of Liverpool and will be carrying out survey operations on a 24 hour basis. As the Fugro Mercator will be towing survey equipment the vessel will require large turning circles and will be restricted in her ability to manoeuvre. All vessels operating within this area are requested to keep their distance, maintaining at least a 1,000m safety zone around the survey vessel, and pass at minimum speed to reduce vessel wash.
Valkyrie will be operating out of Conwy, and will be carrying out survey operations on a 12 hour basis. As the Valkyrie will be towing survey equipment the vessel will require large turning circles and will be restricted in her ability to manoeuvre. All vessels operating within this area are requested to keep their distance, maintaining at least the 500m safety zone around the survey vessel, and pass at minimum speed to reduce vessel wash.
The vessels will be displaying appropriate lights and shapes for the type of operations. They will maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 16. Further information about the survey vessel is provided in the Notice to Mariners which can be downloaded here.
Notices to Mariners
The Notices to Mariners that are currently issued for the Awel y Môr windfarm proposal are listed below.
- Update on survey operations: this is the notice summarised here. It was issued on 26th June and advises of survey operations within the proposed windfarm array site and along one of the proposed export cable routes. The notice can be downloaded here.
- Survey operations: this notice was issued on the 9th June 2020. It advises of the start of survey operations in the offshore array site. The notice can be downloaded here.
Please contact Jim Andrews, Fishery Liaison Officer by e-mail or phone (+44(0)7908-225865) if you have any queries or concerns about this notice.