Detailed marine mapping from SeaZone is helping Forewind Ltd plan and deliver its offshore wind energy project in the North Sea. Using HydroSpatial, SeaZone's digital marine map, Forewind will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the maritime area to help identify potential sites for offshore wind development after successfully winning the exclusive zone development agreement for Dogger Bank. This project coincides with the UK government's forecast to generate 20% of renewable energy by 2020.
Forewind Ltd, a consortium involving Scottish & Southern Energy, RWE npower Renewables, Statoil and Statkraft won the largest Round 3 offshore wind zones, Dogger Bank, potentially the largest in the world when in operation at full capacity, approximately 13GW. The size of this wind farm site is equivalent to North Yorkshire or 3343sq miles, plus with water depths ranging between 18-63 metres, the scale of which provides a massive challenge for Forewind.
Forewind have purchased a 3 year HydroSpatial data licence which provides access to all partners involved in the project, currently in its surveying, planning and assessment stage. This section of the project is planned to be completed in 2014.
Forewind Head of Development, Gareth Lewis comments: "Marine mapping is a vital part of the zone characterisation that the consortium is currently undertaking as part of the site location process."
SeaZone HydroSpatial is the first 'off the shelf' authoritative digital marine mapping, engineered and maintained from raw material from hydrographic offices and other data agencies. HydroSpatial provides reference information comparable with land mapping and is designed for easy access and cost effective use in desktop and web GIS, satisfying the majority of user needs and applications.
Organisations are now provided with a cost effective, 'single source' consistent solution to obtaining many of their marine data requirements. They no longer have to experience difficult, timely and sometimes unsuccessful procurement of individual datasets, or unnecessarily undertake expensive data collection and digitisation work. Collaborating organisations can benefit from using the same well defined and recognised reference base, ensuring cohesive and effective working approach.
SeaZone Hydrospatial consists of six topic layers including Bathymetry and Elevation, Natural and Physical Features, Structures and Obstructions, Socio Economic and Marine Use, Conservation and Environmental Protection and Climate and Oceanography.