Offshore wind farms are beginning to form part of coastal and marine landscapes located in dynamic surroundings. An integral management model must therefore be applied to achieve not only technical and economic viability of the project but also respect for the environment. Amongst other aspects, the latter calls for an analysis of the possible impact these facilities may have on littoral processes and this requires the differences between littoral processes prior and subsequent to the facility's construction to be known. The maritime climate, the composition of the coast, lay-out distribution and characteristics of the facility's components need to be known, particularly foundations as they are the main obstacles waves and currents meet. This article first addresses different aspects related to an offshore wind farm's influence on the analysis of how it affects littoral dynamics and, because of their importance in this study, pays special attention to foundations. Coastal erosion due to this type of facility is then examined. The main conclusion of this article is that, whilst there are certain opinions claiming the coast is not affected by the presence of this kind of facility since the distance from location to coast and between wind turbine generators themselves is long, the impact must be analysed in each specific case, at least until experience proves otherwise and criteria are adopted in this respect.
Offshore Wind Farms: Foundations and Influence on the Littoral Processes
Title: Offshore Wind Farms: Foundations and Influence on the Littoral Processes
January 01, 2011
Journal: Journal of Coastal Research
Esteban, M.; López-Gutiérrez, J.; Diez, J.; Negro, V. (2011). Offshore Wind Farms: Foundations and Influence on the Littoral Processes. Journal of Coastal Research, 64, 656-660.