Photo: Illustration/Hornsea One offshore wind farm (Photo courtesy of Ørsted)

Ørsted to begin surveys at Hornsea Three’s kittiwake nesting sites

As part of its development of the 2.9 GW Hornsea Three offshore wind farm in the UK, Ørsted is also required to implement compensation measures for the protection of the Black-legged kittiwake. Now, the company is starting surveys at the locations where artificial nesting structures for kittiwake are proposed to be set up.

The offshore wind developer has scheduled geophysical surveys to start on 14 November south of Seaham Harbour and offshore Hartlepool, with the survey vessel, Spectrum 1, mobilising from Ramsgate.

The survey works are planned to last for approximately 21 days, with site specific works to take approximately ten days within that window.

The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) gave the development consent to the Hornsea Project Three offshore wind farm on 31 December 2020 and, in July this year, the project was awarded a Contract for Difference (CfD).

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As part of the Development Consent Order (DCO) from December 2020, the company is required to include ecological compensation measures for the Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), a vulnerable seabird species whose populations could be affected by wind farms.

The project providing artificial nesting structures for kittiwake along the east coast of Englang is the first of its kind, according to Ørsted.

Each structure will be purpose-built, bespoke and specific to the landscape characteristics of each location. The structures also present an educational opportunity, allowing researchers to better understand kittiwake, the developer says on its website.

Hornsea Three, which will be built 160 kilometres offshore the Yorkshire coast, is expected to be commissioned in 2027. With a capacity of 2,852 MW, the wind farm will be able to produce enough electricity to power 3.2 million UK homes.

Upon winning the CfD for Hornsea Three this summer, Ørsted said that this was the world’s single biggest offshore wind farm.