SNH guides collision risk assessment for tidal projects

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published a guidance on assessing the risk of marine wildlife colliding with tidal turbines.

SNH has produced the guidance to help developers, consultants and regulatory bodies, to promote a standardised approach to collision risk assessment for tidal energy projects.

The guidance describes three models which may be used to estimate the number of animals likely to collide with tidal arrays.

It also provides information on the process of obtaining animal densities at collision risk depth and standard biological parameters used in the models.

Chris Eastham, Marine Renewables Adviser for SNH, said: “High energy tidal environments are ideal for renewable energy projects, but they are also important for a wide range of marine wildlife, from mammals and fish, to diving seabirds.

“Tidal turbines pose a collision risk to wildlife and it’s important to understand the degree and extent of this risk. We’ve still much to learn about the ways animals react to turbine arrays in our seas and the whole topic of assessing the risk of collision is still in its infancy. This guidance will provide greater confidence in impact assessments and help protect our marine wildlife.”

SNH is the government’s adviser on all aspects of nature and landscape across Scotland