Table of Contents

    Preliminary studies

    Prior to the offshore tender, the GM Energy carries out the necessary preliminary studies. Following certification, the results of the studies will be made available via a publicly accessible database.

    Consult the database

    In order to determine which preliminary studies are required, a data-gap analysis was carried out in 2020.  This analysis examined the data required for the organisation of the tender. An overview of the required preliminary studies follows below.

    The preliminary studies comprise a set of desktop and field research. These studies make it possible to collect all necessary information concerning the Princess Elisabeth Zone (PEZ). This includes, among other things,

    • detailed information about the seabed surface;
    • the geological subsoil;
    • the (possible) presence of objects;
    • the marine environment.

    By providing the results, the risk and the related costs for the candidate-bidder are considerably reduced. In this way, the business case for the development of a new wind farm is optimised.

    1. Desktop stydy of unexploded munition (UXO desktop study)
      • Scope
        1. This study based on existing literature and maps will provide more information on the type, the possible location and the number of sea mines and other unexploded munition from the World Wars.
        2. In addition, the supervisor of this study will formulate recommendations for carrying out the geophysical soil study.
      • Deliverables
        1. A report of this study,
        2. the UXO risk assessment
        3. the provision of GIS shapefiles with an overview of the probable distribution of unexploded war munition in the area and defined higher and lower risk zones, if applicable;
      • Outcome of study
        1. Download UXO desktop study (PDF, 8.36 MB)
    2. Archaeological desktop study
      • Scope
        1. The purpose of this study is to determine the presence or supposed presence of archaeological remains and palaeo-landscapes in the project area, and to provide insight into the potential archaeological value of these (potential) remains and palaeo-landscapes in terms of general conservation status and rarity. Furthermore, the desktop study has to assess whether these (potential) remains could be damaged by the development of offshore wind farms in the project area.
        2. In addition, the supervisor of this study will formulate recommendations for carrying out the geophysical and geotechnical soil studies.
      • Deliverables
        1. The report of this study, a conservative list with known and expected archaeological elements and a well-founded opinion on the probability of their presence and potential archaeological value. The list includes at least ship and aircraft wrecks, anthropogenic artefacts, objects and obstructions, quaternary palaeo-landscapes and indicators of palaeo-landscapes.
        2. A map per element showing the expected or known findings.
      • Indicative timing for the delivery of results
        1. Stage 1: Download Archaeological desktop study (PDF, 16.84 MB)
        2. Stage 2: 2nd quarter 2024
    3. Geological desktop study
      • Scope
        1. Part 1: Geological desktop study based on available data and literature. The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the geological history, the geological framework and the geological characteristics of the offshore area.
        2. Part 2: Integrated geological soil model that provides a stratigraphic framework in order to link interpreted geological and geophysical data with geotechnical data.
        3. Part 3: Geotechnical parameters report; this report presents the geotechnical parameters for the conceptual design of pile foundations for offshore wind turbines for use during the public competition procedure.
      • Deliverables
        1. The report of the geological desktop study
        2. An overview of locations of the publicly accessible and non-publicly accessible data that was consulted.
        3. The report of the geological soil model
        4. The geotechnical parameters report, with the purpose, description and basis of the methodology for the selection of the characteristic values
        5. The delivery of maps
      • Indicative timing for the delivery of results:
        1. Part 1: download geological desktop study (PDF, 7.57 MB)
        2. Part 2 and part 3: 2nd quarter 2024
    4. Geotechnical and Geophysical field studies
      • Scope
        1.  The purpose of the geophysical soil investigation is to determine the bathymetry, morphology and geological structure of the area and the identification of objects in the zone. The purpose is also to obtain geophysical information at these locations in preparation for the geotechnical investigation.
        2. The purpose of the geotechnical soil investigation is to improve the geological and geotechnical insight of the zone and to obtain information as input for the design and installation requirements for offshore energy installations, including but not limited to foundations and infield cables.
        3. This investigation includes obtaining bathymetric date and soil data up to a depth of 100m. Based on e.g. performing MBES, SBES, SSS and magnetometry.
        4. The data from the geological and geophysical studies allow a geological soil model to be drawn up, the vertical and lateral variability to be determined and allow project developers to draw up a (first) wind farm design.
      • Deliverables of these studies
        1. Daily and weekly progress report
        2. Geophysical results report, with e.g. the interpretation of geophysical and geological data and conclusions.
        3. Interpretative maps and profiles (GIS, XYZ files, ...)
      • Indicative timing for the delivery of results:
        • 1st quarter 2024
    5. Field studies of meteorology an physical oceanography (metocean)
      • Scope
      • The performance of a metocean measurement campaign to collect data sets for the entire “Princess Elisabeth zone”, with the following main parameters: wind, waves, currents, water level, sea water conditions, atmospheric pressure and air temperature. Deliverables
        1.  Metocean data report
      • Indicative timing for the delivery of results:
        1.  2rd quarter 2024
    6. Design conditions on meteorology an physical oceanography (metocean design conditions
      • Scope
        • Conducting three meteorological-oceanographic (wind, waves, hydrodynamics) surveys with a view to providing data for determining the design conditions of the new wind turbines.
      • Deliverables of these study
        1.  Report with data relevant for the design of a wind farm
      • Indicative timing for the delivery of results:
        1.  4st quarter 2024
    7. Seabed morphological research
      • Scope
        • Analysing and quantifying the seabed morphology and morphodynamics in the Princess Elisabeth zone.
      • Deliverables of these study
        1.  Analysis of the current and historic seabed morphology and morphodynamics, based on overlapping bathymetric data to be able to determine the expected morphological changes over the lifetime of the wind farm.
        2. Geological ground model
      • Indicative timing for the delivery of results:
        •  2nd quarter 2024
    8. Wind resource assessment
      • Scope
        1. Taking wind measurements to obtain wind parameters, such as air density, temperature, humidity, turbulence, windshear, windspring, mean speed, Weibull A, K parameter of wind speeds and wind direction.  The results of this study should allow a wind farm to be modelled and a yield assessment and a business case to be made.
      • Deliverables of these study
        1.  Wind resource assessment rapport
      • Indicative timing for the delivery of results:
        •   2nd quarter 2024
    9. LCoE study
      • Scope
        1. The study should provide the calculated impact of the different options considered on the LCoE:
          1. - relative differences compared to the LCoE of the base case;
          2. - the cost of the marginal return/supply costs compared to the previous scenario
        2. The above by means of variation of
          1. installed capacity (2100 - 3500 MW)
          2. Lot size (350 - 1400 MW)
          3. Connection: platforms vs island
        3. The purpose of this study is NOT to determine a LCoE, but to be able to compare different cases
      • Deliverables
        1. The results in matrix form
        2. The results and further possible assumptions, in text form
        3. Indicative layouts of the PEZ.
      • Results
        1. Download LCOE study (PDF, 6.32 MB)
    10. Environmental impact assessment
      • Scope
        1. An environmental impact assessment that will support the application for an environmental permit.
      • Deliverables
        1. Recommendations for mitigation.
        2. Compensatory measures for negative effects.
        3. Measures for straightening positive impacts.
      • Indicative timing for the delivery of results

    Studies delivered


    Within the legal framework for the development of offshore wind farms in Belgium, (a) tender(s) for granting (a) concession(s) for construction and operation of (a) wind farm(s) will be organized under the Belgian electricity Act (article 6/3). As part of the tender preparations and in accordance with article 6/3, § 5, of the Belgian Electricity Act of 29 April 1999, the Belgian FPS Economy, DG Energy has had a series of site studies conducted.

    The preliminary studies aim to collect and make available relevant data needed in order for a potential project developer to proceed with the preparation of a so-called 'Front-end engineering design' (Design Basis documentation for the (preliminary) design of future offshore wind farms). The following information is offered to energy developers, to support the Design Basis documentation for the (preliminary) design of future offshore wind farms in the project area and to enable the submission of a competitive bid:

    • Data for determining the layout of a wind farm;
    • Data to calculate wind yield;
    • All data for drawing up the Basic Design of:
      • Foundations
      • Wind turbines

    The potential project developers shall receive a general site description of the project, providing a high-level overview of the site conditions and general project information describing the objectives of the project, in terms of purpose and use.

    Compliance with international norms and standards was ensured at both the stage of the public tender, while drafting the specifications of work, and the stage of the execution of the site studies. In addition, reports which contain the evaluation of site conditions in the project area are made subject to the certification process by DNV. This process is intended to allow for the application of the report results within a subsequent project-specific design basis in accordance with the applied certification scheme DNV-SE-0190:2021-09.

    Whilst as such a great deal of care has been taken in compiling the contents, FPS Economy, DG Energy cannot be held liable for any damages resulting from any inaccuracies and/or outdated and / or incomplete information. The contents of the study reports were developed at the request of the Belgian FPS Economy, DG Energy. No warranty of any kind, for any particular purpose, is provided or implied with respect to the contents of these study report. Use of the information contained in these reports is at the sole expense and risk of the person or entity doing so. The Belgian FPS Economy, DG Energy disclaims any and all liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of using the information published in these reports.

    Last update
    10 June 2024