Falcon eyes North Ireland tidal site
Marine Ecological Surveys has conducted an impact assessment study of a proposed tidal array installation off Torr Head, Northern Ireland, using Saab Seaeye Falcon.
The study was performed for Tidal Ventures, a partnership between Brookfield Renewable and OpenHydro, for a proposed 100 MW tidal array.
Daniel Brutto, General Manager at Marine Ecological Surveys (MESL), said that a detailed benthic characterisation survey of the habitats and species was necessary to predict the likely impact of the proposed development of the array on the marine environment.
He added that the survey, apart from being required by government agencies to evaluate the affect of the proposals on the marine environment, also helps engineers refine their plans for site location and determine cable runs by identifying the routes least likely to impact the environment.
MESL team worked with Roving Eye Enterprises, an Orkney-based ROV service provider, who added a high definition camera to their Falcon ROV and spent the three-day window filming at the 40 locations whilst sending the data topside to a team of MESL marine scientists on board the vessel, who were also directing the survey.
Torr Head tidal array is expected to consist of between 50 and 100 fully submerged tidal turbines with a maximum total installed capacity of 100 MW. The total number of turbines installed will depend on the rating of the selected turbine. Tidal Ventures aims to begin construction in 2017 depending on the progress of the planning and electricity grid connection processes.
MESL is a UK-based consultancy providing survey, monitoring, and subtidal and intertidal mapping services.
Image: Saab Seaeye