This report examines outcomes and conclusions from monitoring regimes undertaken as a result of statutory requirements imposed on developers of OWFs in UK waters through consent conditions.
Consent conditions are typically developed between the regulator (advisors and stakeholders) and developer as a project evolves. The terms of the consent conditions are translated into monitoring specifications which are required to be undertaken for defined durations. The consent conditions require that the outcomes of these monitoring programmes are subsequently reported to the regulator.
The monitoring requirements are largely driven to:
- validate predictions made in an EIA or HRA
- detect any unforeseen impacts
- ensure compliance with measures identified in assessments to mitigate significant impacts.
Two important considerations for monitoring are:
- Uncertainty – the extent of error or assumptions that were made in calculating the impact. The higher the degree of uncertainty, the greater the need to monitor
- Significance – the extent to which the identified impact is deemed significant.
The aims of this report are to:
- Provide a review of the extent to which data collected through post-consent monitoring has enhanced the evidence base on direct and indirect impacts of OWFs both at the site, and generic level
- Explore whether the rationale and objectives of the post-consent monitoring conditions are appropriate, proportionate and achievable, and whether monitoring strategies and licence conditions are presently fit for purpose or require amendment
- Produce a list of recommendations to improve monitoring in the future and ensure that data collection is targeted at areas where the largest risks and uncertainties remain.
To achieve these aims the study has been undertaken in three tasks listed below:
- Task 1: Site-specific review
- Task 2: Synthesis review of evidence gathered from all Offshore Wind projects (i.e. as documented through Task 1)
- Task 3: Recommendations on a framework for identifying and implementing future post-consent monitoring.
Review of post consent offshore wind farm monitoring
This report describes the outputs from Tasks 2 and 3. More detailed results from Task 1 will be published separately.