The ME1117 project has collated and strategically reviewed monitoring reports from ten wind farms, which are currently operational or under construction in English and Welsh waters. The aim of this desk-based review has been to summarise the monitoring undertaken at each site and to compare and contrast the monitoring and licence conditions between sites to distinguish between generic and site specific issues, identify comparability of datasets, to assess which conditions can be removed or require amendment, and where possible to forecast implications of identified effects for future Rounds of offshore wind farm development. Ultimately, this desk-based review was a first step in providing recommendations and a framework for future monitoring, and it is recommended that similar reviews be undertaken in the future as more data becomes available.
The benthos, fisheries, sediment processes and noise (Cefas), ornithological (FERA) and marine mammal (SMRU Ltd.) aspects of the monitoring reports have been reviewed. While there are site and topic specific issues and suggestions, it has been possible to formulate more general recommendations across the sector for future monitoring. It is concluded that it is vital to have clearer objectives within licence conditions to ensure the developer knows why and what monitoring is required. The importance of incorporating datasets from national or even international monitoring programmes to utilise all available data is highlighted and the need to develop novel techniques to assess the issues identified in the Environmental Statements is made. It has been recognised that few conditions can be removed from licences. Licence conditions also need to better reflect current scientific understanding and need to be more explicit in their wording to aid enforcement. More work is also required within monitoring reports to assess interactions between different receptors. Finally, all topic areas stressed the need to have a standardisation of survey and analytical methodologies wherever possible to aid in future comparison and assessment.
- Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Benthic Ecology
- Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Birds
- Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Fish
- Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Marine Mammals
- Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Underwater Noise