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.