Scotland: Natural Power Develops Framework for Consenting OWFs
International renewable energy consultancy Natural Power has collaborated with academia to develop a new framework to inform the impact assessment and consenting of Offshore Wind Farms in Scotland.
With over a decade of Planning and Development experience, Natural Power’s principal consultant Nancy McLean has been actively involved in a collaboration which has published a novel framework to enable impact assessments of underwater piling noise. Within Natural Power Nancy specialises in consent management, working with her team to deliver Environmental Impact Assessments.
Nancy was one of five renewable energy, underwater noise and marine mammal experts to work on the paper, which was published earlier this month. Working on behalf of Moray Renewables Offshore Ltd, Nancy worked with experts from Aberdeen University and St Andrews Sea Marine Mammal Research Unit (SMRU Ltd) to produce a robust framework for the quantification and assessment of potential impacts of offshore wind farm construction noise.
The resulting assessment methodology has been built utilising Aberdeen University and SMRU Ltd’s knowledge and research on population parameters and distributions of marine mammals in the Moray Firth, and Natural Power’s knowledge of the consenting requirement for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Habitat Regulations Appraisals (HRA).
The development of this methodology required extensive consultations with Marine Scotland, its advisors and stakeholder to ensure acceptance for the framework’s use to inform the EIA and HRA processes. It will enable Marine Scotland to make informed consenting decisions on the grounds of potential marine mammal impacts from offshore developments within the Moray Firth.
Further consultation with other developers has also resulted in adoption of the framework in other Scottish offshore wind EIA and HRAs, highlighting its value to the offshore wind industry in Scotland.
Press release, July 10, 2013; Image: scotland