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Offshore Wind Energy

Continued development of offshore renewable energy projects, specifically wind energy development, requires specialist, professional input for ecological baseline surveys and impact assessment to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment process. ECOFACT have developed a project team to cater specifically to the offshore sector, providing project feasibility assessments and ecological impact assessment reporting for baseline surveys.

The designation of coastal and marine Natura 2000 sites for seabirds and Annex I habitats and Annex II species around Ireland’s coast has also led to the requirement for Appropriate Assessment reporting to accompany the pre-planning / submission stage of many offshore developments. ECOFACT are a leading provider of Appropriate Assessment reporting and have direct project experience in providing comprehensive Natura Impact Statement (NIS) reporting for offshore wind energy developments.


Specific services offered to the off-shore wind energy sector include:

  • Baseline ecological surveys including seabirds, marine mammals and benthic ecology.
  • Hydrodynamic and bathymetric surveys to inform marine habitat and benthic community impact assessment.
  • Ecological Impact Assessment reporting for Feasibility and Environmental Impact Assessment planning stages including benthic ecology, fish and commercial fisheries assessments, marine mammals & seabirds.
  • Appropriate Assessment reporting and Habitats Regulations Assessments for offshore wind developments potentially affecting Natura 2000 sites.
  • Construction phase and post-construction / operational phase ecological monitoring of off-shore developments.

ECOFACT have experience in preparing and coordinating Appropriate Assessment reporting for large-scale offshore wind energy developments taking account of the diverse conservation interests of designated Natura 2000 sites within the study area.

Current News Stories:

  • Major new book – Wildlife and Wind Farms

    A major new book will be published in May 2017 entitled ‘Wildlife and Wind Farms: Conflicts and Solutions’. Volume 1 of this book includes a chapter prepared by Ecofact Principal Ecologist Dr. William O’Connor. The two-volume set provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between wind farms and wildlife, each volume dedicated to one of the two […]

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  • Surveying wintering birds in the Irish Midlands

    Our staff are currently undertaking a number of wintering bird surveys in the Irish Midlands. Here we have provided some photos and videos from bird surveys we undertook during December 2015. Our bird surveys are undertaken to inform both the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) reports being prepared for proposed wind energy […]

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  • Marine and estuarine ecology surveys

    Marine and estuarine ecological surveys are a key service provided by ECOFACT. These surveys are undertaken for a number of purposes, including informing the Environmental Impact Assessments and Article 6 Appropriate Assessments of proposed developments affecting the marine / estuarine environment. These surveys are also to monitor the impact of industrial and municipal discharges and aquaculture […]

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  • Freshwater Pearl Mussel surveys

    The Freshwater Pearl Mussel Margaritifera margaritifera is a (freshwater) bivalve listed under Annex II and V of the EU Habitats Directive. It is legally protected in Ireland under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Act (1976 (Protection of Wild Animals) (Statutory Instrument No. 112, 1990) and the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations (Statutory Instrument No. 94, 1997). Owing […]

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  • Our latest freshwater ecology surveys

    The gallery below is a selection of photos from the aquatic ecology survey work we completed during August and September 2015. The surveys here are being undertaken to inform projects such as the management of waste water treatment plants and water abstraction schemes. The work will also be used to inform environmental impact assessments and appropriate assessments of proposed […]

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