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2005, ABP Mer, Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm, Inter-turbine Cable Installation Options

2005, ABP Mer, Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm, Inter-turbine Cable Installation Options

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Sedimentology

Description

This project addresses an issue in the present FEPA license pertaining to cable installation methods between the turbines for the Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm. A review of potential inter-turbine cable installation methods for Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm has been undertaken. The review identifies the two primary installation options as jetting or ploughing and provides consideration of the potential environmental issues arising from each option. Practical engineering solutions favour the jetting option above ploughing, and considerations provided in this note suggest that the majority of material being fluidised will settle out over a period of less that 10 minutes. A set of conservative calculations have been provided to indicate primary features of the fate of fluidised sediment arising from jetting methods. From these calculations it is determined that the small fraction of silts have the potential to remain in suspension for longer periods and become advected away from the trench in the form of a sediment plume. The relative impact of this plume needs to reflect that , in the main, the mud fraction is nominal (<5% content) and hence the actual volume of material released at any time is low. Furthermore, the rapid dispersion of any plume is unlikely to create concentrations that are measurable above ambient conditions and detectable beyond distances of a few hundred metres as the plume is entrained into ambient sediment loads. All plume effects are expected to be short-lived and not act cumulatively with subsequent cable laying operations.

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