The company behind the proposed wind farm off the coast of Brighton and Hove has taken a key step towards winning permission to go ahead with the project.
It wants to find out information that will help it to design effective foundations for dozens of wind turbines about 8 to 15 miles south of the shore.
It also wants to check the geology of the route of the cables from the proposed Rampion wind farm to Shoreham, where the cables will come ashore.
Core sampling is expected to involve drilling up to five metres in depth below the seabed.
Anyone wishing to comment or object – on navigation or safety grounds – has until mid January to contact the Marine Management Organisation.
The work is expected to be carried out over the coming year to 18 months, with work on building the wind farm expected to start in 2012.
A formal planning application is expected to be submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission on Monday 2 January 2012.