The offshore wind farm, based off the Caithness coast in the outer Moray Firth, Scotland, marks a critical stage for the industry in developing deeper water wind farms further from shore.
Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd., a joint venture between EDP Renewables (EDPR UK) and Repsol Nuevas Energias UK, appointed Natural Power as lead ornithology and marine mammal advisors during the scoping, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and post-submission consultation stages of the projects’ development in August 2010.
Natural Power commenced work on the Moray Offshore Wind Farm involving some 25 staff across a four-year period. The Ecology, Hydrology, Planning and Development teams provided MORL with the leading offshore consulting services including:
- Ornithological and marine mammal advice feeding in to the Project Design Envelope
- Scoping guidance
- Boat-based bird and marine mammal surveys
- Worked with academic institutions to develop an assessment framework methodology for construction-related impacts upon marine mammals
- Application of this assessment framework to inform Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) for marine mammals from the proposed developments
- Use of analysis techniques to inform the ornithology impact assessment, including collision and displacement analysis and population viability analysis
- Production of the Ornithology and Marine Mammal Environmental Statement chapters
- Stakeholder Liaison through the EIA compilation process
- Input into post-submission consultation with the determining authority and stakeholders to achieve consent.
"It is great to see a project of this scale achieve consent in Scotland,' said Dr Chris Pendlebury, Natural Power’s Lead ornithological advisor on the project. The Natural Power Ecology & Hydrology team has considerable experience advising on all aspects of ecological and hydrological projects, including all baseline surveying requirements, data collation, statistical & modelling expertise, environmental impact assessments, HRA, mitigation and monitoring. In the past two years alone the Ecology & Hydrology team have worked on 20 offshore wind farms and 60 onshore wind projects across the UK.