German energy company RWE has commenced site investigation survey work for its Canopy offshore wind farm located off the coast of northern California, US.

With a planned capacity of 1.6GW, the project will supply clean energy to 640,000 homes.

RWE has chosen Argeo to lead survey operations using advanced and established technologies, including an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

These battery-powered vehicles can operate underwater for extended periods, enhancing efficiency and reducing emissions.

Their design minimises environmental impact and the risk of fishing gear entanglement.

The survey will collect data on the federal lease area and the corridor leading to the shore.

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RWE Offshore Wind Holdings CEO Sam Eaton stated: “Surveying is an important step on the path toward developing Canopy offshore wind and helping provide clean energy that meets California’s ambitious climate goals.

“RWE is committed to responsible, inclusive development by engaging Humboldt residents and Tribal Nations, and working closely with the fishing community as we begin offshore activities on the project.”

The AUVs’ sensors will operate at safe sound levels, adhering to California’s stringent requirements for geophysical surveys to protect marine life.

Argeo North and South America vice-president Dave Gentle said: “Argeo is pleased to partner with RWE on their first commercial-scale floating offshore wind project. We will conduct subsea surveying utilising proven, state-of-the-art technology.

“With extensive experience in ocean surveying, Argeo is well-equipped to deliver comprehensive and detailed site information. We look forward to working with RWE on this significant initiative.

“Due to the water depths in the lease area off the Pacific Coast of the US, Argeo will utilise an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to conduct the surveys.

“The use of an AUV as the survey platform during this initial site characterisation effort will enable high-quality data collection close to the seafloor, including photographs of biological communities.”