Effects on Harbour Porpoises from Rødsand 2 Offshore Wind Farm


Title: Effects on Harbour Porpoises from Rødsand 2 Offshore Wind Farm
Publication Date:
November 01, 2012
Document Number: 42
Pages: 70
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Teilmann, J.; Tougaard, J.; Carstensen, J. (2012). Effects on Harbour Porpoises from Rødsand 2 Offshore Wind Farm. Report by Aarhus University. pp 70.

E.ON Vind Sverige has been commissioned the construction of Rødsand 2 Offshore Wind Farm comprising 90 wind turbines, south of Lolland-Falster, Denmark. The location of the wind farm is 3 km west of the existing Nysted Offshore Wind Farm with 72 turbines. In combination the two wind farms represents the largest wind farm area in the world. Porpoises were monitored by automatic acoustic dataloggers (T-PODs) according to a statistical BACI design and deployed during baseline (Sep 2008-Feb 2009) and during operation (Sep 2011-Mar 2012). These instruments were deployed at 10 stations covering a coastal stretch of 35 km from Gedser to Rødby, including the wind farm area with reference areas on both sides. In addition, background noise at four of the T-POD stations was recorded by automatic noise loggers. In order to assess the potential cumulative effect of two adjacent wind farms, similar data from the Nysted Offshore Wind Farm were also analysed. We found no overall change in echolocation activity over the entire monitoring area from baseline to operation of Rødsand 2 Offshore Wind Farm. Also, there was no significant change in the echolocation activity in Rødsand 2 Offshore Wind Farm relative to each or a combination of the three reference areas, i.e. changes from baseline to operation were similar in the impact and reference areas. Also no significant change in noise levels audible to porpoises was found. This could be due to a generally high noise level in the area, masking the turbine noise or that the noise loggers in the wind farm were deployed between the wind turbines, i.e. at distances ~350-450 m from the turbines. This study also shows that the echolocation activity is still significantly lower in Nysted Offshore Wind Farm since the baseline in 2001-2002, although the difference seem to gradually diminish possibly due to a habituation of the porpoises to the wind farm or better feeding posibilities. We found no cumulative effect of the two wind farms together. The gradual return of porpoises in Nysted Offshore Wind Farm seemed to be unrelated to the construction of Rødsand 2 Offshore Wind Farm. This is the first time the effect of two wind farms next to each other have been studied.

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