The proposal is to develop a tidal array in the River South Esk Estuary. The tidal stream array will be installed in 2 phases over a period of 14 months, eventually having a capacity of up to 0.7MW and will contribute to meeting the Scottish Government’s targets of providing 100% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The project comprises 15 tidal turbines with gravity foundations. These transmit electricity to the shore with armoured cables where they are connected to a shore station. The shore-station comprises control systems and power conditioning equipment including switch gear and a transformer. The power is then transmitted to the GSK Montrose site using a buried electrical cable. The offshore site is marked by navigational markers and appropriate warning signs.
The project license application was rejected and project was cancelled.
River South Esk Estuary (proposed).
The project license application was rejected.
Proposed in 2010, Environmental Statement Non-Technical Summary published in March 2012, project rejected/cancelled in May 2013.
Key Environmental Issues
Swanturbines Ltd did the EIA on behalf of GSK
Environmental statement: GSK Montrose Swan Turbines Environmental Statement Non-Technical Summary
Baseline Assessment: GSK Montrose Tidal Array
|Receptor||Study Description||Design and Methods||Results||Status|
|Marine Mammals||Marine mammal assessment||Information on marine mammals in the vicinity of the development has been collected though literature, data records, consultation and detailed visual survey at the proposed site over a period of 12 months.||Harbour Seals and Grey Seals are regularly seen in the Montrose basin and have been observed at the proposed turbine site. Typically 15 to 20 seals are seen hauled out within the basin at low tide. |
Key potential impacts on marine mammals from tidal turbines are considered to be injury to the animals owing to a collision with turbine blades, disturbance as a result of underwater noise and the presence of the turbines creating a barrier to movement in and out of the Montrose basin.
|Fish||Fish species composition and collision risk assessment||Desk studies to identify species of concern. Computational models have been developed to assess the potential effect of injury to a fish through an interaction with the rotor blades.||Atlantic salmon, sea trout, European eel, river and sea lamprey, flatfish, elasmobranchs, freshwater pearl mussel, blue mussel and horse mussel were identified. |
Although there is limited data available in support of a quantitative risk assessment, the ability of migratory fish to navigate fast flowing and complex geographical terrain to reach spawning grounds suggests that the slow moving turbines will not present a significant obstacle to migration. It is also considered that although slow moving, there is a possibility that fish will experience injury during an interaction with the turbine rotor.
|Birds||Bird assessment||Data has been collected by a desk based assessment of existing records, consultation with stakeholders and field survey work to allow an understanding of the movement and behaviour of bird species in the proposed deployment area. In terms of the potential effects of the turbines, the most sensitive species found at the site is the Eider duck. This is a diving bird of international importance.||The main potential impacts are considered to be displacement of birds from their habitat, disturbance and collision with the rotor blades whilst diving. Disturbance is not considered to be significant but the potential for collision and displacement by changing tidal patterns within the basin are considered to be moderately significant. ||Completed|
|Physical Environment||Seabed assessment||Baseline assessment of seabed ecology at proposed site.||The main potential impacts on the seabed are loss of habitat owing to the placement of the gravity foundations, smothering of seabed life from disturbed sediment, colonisation of the structures and pollution from routine and accidental discharges. There is also the potential to indirectly impact on other seabed and riverbed habitats located upstream and downstream of the array. The Montrose basin and South River Esk contain protected habitats and/or species with international and national protected status.||Completed|
|Physical Environment||Bathymetry and tidal height and flow assessment||Studies have been undertaken to assess the tidal heights and flows, the bathymetry and |
sedimentary processes at and around the site. This has included desk studies in which existing data and literature has been analysed, computational modelling of aspects of the site to gain a better understanding of flow patterns, and a series of physical surveys.
|The majority of impacts for coastal and sedimentary processes are considered to be insignificant and will be mitigated by the phased installation approach. Due to the high sensitivity of the potential impact of a variation to tidal heights in the basin, monitoring of tidal heights is proposed. Two tide gauges are proposed to be deployed; one within the Montrose basin and a reference gauge to the east of the turbine site. For the pre-installation monitoring period, measurements will be taken over a 6 month period in order to include a full (equinoxal) tidal cycle. Bathymetry or photography methods will be employed to relate tidal heights to available habitat areas and this data will be used to understand the sensitivity of the basin ecology to tidal levels. ||Completed|
|Human Dimensions||Cultural heritage assessment||An assessment of any cultural heritage assets within the study area has been completed using publicly available GIS data. The area of study is zone 1km buffer from all the physical aspects of the project such as the substation building and underground cable route.||It is considered that no significant direct or indirect effects will occur at cultural heritage assets in the area, therefore no mitigation measures have been proposed. Best practice construction methods will be observed during the construction of the array and the associated ancillary structures. ||Completed|