On several occasions, the soil conditions have proved to be a key area for offshore wind farm projects; often this can result in disputes between the various parties involved over responsibilities. Despite the soil investigation being the owner’s responsibility, this responsibility is often delegated to a subcontractor. The importance of a thorough and well-performed soil investigation cannot be understated for the design of offshore support structures. A good and well-documented design basis that includes adequate geotechnical information will facilitate ‘fast-track’ project development and a project of high quality with only minor variation orders to the contract; on the other hand, a poorly carried out soil investigation can open up the project to delays and major variation orders, or a conservative and costly design.
By Tove Feld, DNV Global Wind Energy, Denmark