UK: Walney Wind Turbines and Fish Live in Perfect Harmony
The first survey of the impact of offshore wind farms on fish life is available. It shows that wind turbines and fish live in perfect harmony. The number of some fish species has actually increased.
While the last wind turbines are being put into operation in the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Walney Offshore Windfarms, there is probably good news for all fish in the area. A new report from Horns Rev 1 shows that offshore wind farms and fish can live in perfect harmony.
The 80 large wind turbines in the Horns Rev 1 Offshore Wind Farm located 14-20km in the North Sea off Denmark’s most western point can celebrate its 10th anniversary in about six months. Like other offshore wind farms, Horns Rev 1 is located at a relatively low water depth, ie about 14-19 metres, in an area where fish life is typically good.
Already before Horns Rev 1 was constructed, researchers from DTU Aqua – National Institute of Aquatic Resources mapped the fish life in the area. The biologists have compared the results with the situation in the area seven years after the wind turbines were put into operation.
The survey showed that Horns Rev 1 Offshore Wind Farm has no negative impact on the fish life; the survey points out that the stone constructions act as artificial reefs, providing good breeding conditions with a wide range of food and shelter from the current, and they attract fish preferring stony bottoms. The wind turbines have thus created habitats for a number of new species.
The armour stones placed for scour protection at the bottom of the sea around the wind turbine acts as an artificial reef. The stone constructions provide good breeding conditions for fish and attract species which usually prefer stony bottoms.
Offshore WIND staff, March 21, 2012; Image: dongenergy