At the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Wind Energy Technologies Office, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are jointly leading the U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research (SEER) project, a multi-year collaborative effort designed to facilitate knowledge transfer for offshore wind environmental research around the world.
Through significant stakeholder outreach and engagement efforts, the SEER team identified a set of research topics pertinent to offshore wind development on the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. The SEER team is now developing a corresponding set of educational research briefs that synthesize key issues, identify existing knowledge gaps, and prioritize future research needs.
As part of this effort, the SEER team hosted a series of free, public webinars that presented findings from the briefs and featured panel discussions with subject matter experts, followed by question-and-answer periods. The first webinar covered topics related to the first two research briefs that will be published as part of the SEER project: Underwater Noise Effects on Marine Life Associated with Offshore Wind Farms and Risk to Marine Life from Marine Debris and Floating Offshore Wind Cable Systems.
During the Underwater Noise Effects on Marine Life Associated with Offshore Wind Farms session, Dr. Rebecca Green (NREL) summarized the international and U.S. literature related to potential underwater sound impacts from offshore wind development on marine life, including marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, and invertebrates, with relevance to future development on the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts. While the risks and effects from impact pile driving during wind farm construction were given special attention, additional types of noise from other phases of the wind farm life cycle (e.g., site surveys, operations, and decommissioning) were also discussed. Ms. Rebecca Faulkner (Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) and Dr. Jim Miller (University of Rhode Island) participated in the event as subject matter experts during the panel discussion.
During the Risk to Marine Life from Marine Debris and Floating Offshore Wind Cable Systems session, Dr. Alicia Mahon (PNNL) summarized the potential impacts of both primary entanglement hazards of floating cable systems and secondary entanglement hazards related to marine debris and derelict fishing gear. Ms. Lauren Saez (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and Dr. Desray Reeb (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) participated in the event as subject matter experts during the panel discussion.
The webinar recording is available below: