UK: SRSL to Conduct Environmental Surveys for West Islay Tidal Energy Farm

UK SRSL to Conduct Environmental Surveys for West Islay Tidal Energy Farm

Environmental consultancy, SRSL has been commissioned by DP Marine Energy Ltd (DPME) to conduct environmental baseline surveys for the proposed West Islay Tidal Energy Farm. This is in addition to producing Environmental Statement chapters assessing the potential impact of the development on marine mammals, birds and fish.

Renewable energy developer DPME and partner DEME Blue Energy Ltd, propose to develop a phased 400MW tidal stream project 6km off the island of Islay on the South West Coast of Scotland. DPME has so far been awarded an agreement for a Commercial Lease of 30MW by The Crown Estate. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) works are underway and submission is planned for February 2012.

Clodagh McGrath at DP Energy Ltd comments, “A full tidal array has not been installed anywhere, commercially to date. In order to move nascent technology into the commercial arena and expedite market deployment, it is necessary to establish an array of turbines in one site to verify the performance capability and environmental characteristics of a full array.

To this end, SRSL have successfully concluded a 2-year baseline survey campaign for marine birds and mammals and have recently completed underwater noise surveys at the site. The SRSL project team will assess potential impacts on marine mammals by combining information on the characteristics of the underwater environment, with the noise output of the proposed devices and the risk of animals encountering a turbine. SRSL are also conducting commercial and natural fish baseline studies and fisheries liaison activities.

“SRSL is a key consultant to the West Islay Tidal Energy Project, developing scientifically defensible methodologies for assessing the environmental impacts on marine mammals and fish” – Clodagh McGrath, DP Energy Ireland Ltd.

Lucy Greenhill, EIA & Consenting Services Manager at SRSL, comments: “We are delighted to have successfully completed these environmental surveys of the West Islay site. This is testament to the experience and ability of the SRSL survey personnel to operate in challenging metocean environments. Our unique location combined with careful project management allowed our team to maximise the use of available weather windows, ensuring that we achieved a robust baseline for our client, DP Energy”.

To date, SRSL has delivered consultancy services and field surveys for 8 renewable energy developments in Scotland, to facilitate sustainable development of the marine renewable energy industry in these waters.

Press Release, December 18, 2012