‘NoordzeeWind’ (a joint venture of Nuon Duurzame Energie and Shell Wind Energy) has built a wind farm consisting of 36 Vestas V90/3MW wind turbines off the coast of the Netherlands, near Egmond aan Zee. The turbines were built in the summer of 2006 and the site is in operation since January 2007. The main goal of this wind farm is to evaluate the economical, technical, ecological and social effects of offshore wind farms in general. Therefore a Monitoring and Evaluation Program (NSW-MEP) has been developed to gather the knowledge resulting from this project. This knowledge will be made available to all parties involved in the realization of large-scale offshore wind farms. Bureau Waardenburg and IMARES in cooperation have been commissioned to execute both the baseline and the effect study on the effects the wind farm has on flight paths, flight altitudes and flux of local and migrating marine birds as well as non-marine migrating birds.
The bird research in OWEZ, before and after the realization of the wind farm, took place between 2002 and 2010. The research included studies on the effects of the wind farm on local birds (Leopold et al. 2011), as well as on flying birds (Krijgsveld et al. 2011) and also included an assessment of the cumulative effects of the hypothetical realisation of multiple offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea (Poot et al. 2011a). Finally, in 2010-2011, the situation at OWEZ was compared to the situation at a location much further offshore, at the gas production platform K14C (Fijn et al. 2012).
In the report at hand, the knowledge gathered at OWEZ on the effects of the wind farm on birds is summarised and integrated in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge on potential effects of offshore wind farms on birds. The conclusions presented in this report can be used in the site-selection process for future offshore wind farms, to minimise the potential effects of these wind farms on birds.
The Offshore Wind farm Egmond aan Zee has a subsidy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs under the CO2 Reduction Scheme of the Netherlands.