WSP to Develop Guiding Principles for Offshore Wind Farms in UK
WSP has been appointed by RenewableUK to develop a set of guiding principles for undertaking Cumulative Impact Assessments for offshore wind farms in the UK.
We tendered for this study as part of a consortium including: ABPmer, Oxford Brookes Impact Assessment Group, ERI and Levett Therivel. The consortium offers extensive experience in offshore wind farm developments and comprises a small, committed team of high level consultants from each organisation, including WSP’s Martin Broderick, Senior Technical Director, and Beverley Walker, Head of Offshore Renewables.
RenewableUK commissioned the study after research revealed that Cumulative Impact Assessment presents a significant challenge to the consenting of offshore wind farms. Uncertainty over the cumulative impacts of projects has shown to lead to significant delays in achieving consent; and the expanding scale of the developments present an increased risk to birds and marine mammals. Our experts will also need to consider uncertainty around specific impacts such as collision/displacement.
The project will be led by a steering group with representatives from RenewableUK, RWE, Centrica, Statkraft, Mainstream, The Crown Estate and NERC, and is to be funded by NERC marine renewable energy KE programme.
The guiding principles, which will draw on best practice and need to be supported by stakeholders across the industry, will be completed by and publicised in early September – in time to facilitate projects submitting applications later in the year.
Martin Broderick commented: ‘This project represents a significant and prestigious win for WSP, providing us with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our depth of expertise in EIA process across the power generation sector’.
RenewableUK is the UK’s leading renewable energy trade association focused on the wind and marine renewables industries. The association’s primary purpose is to promote wind, wave and tidal power across and around the UK and act as a central information source for their 644 corporate members.
Offshore WIND staff, May 30, 2012; Image: dwea