Marine Scotland (MS), The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), The Carbon Trust, The Crown Estate (TCE) and the offshore wind development community are working together to implement an Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) of works to fund and deliver strategic research projects to reduce consenting risk for offshore wind projects in UK waters. Addressing strategic evidence gaps is a high priority for the offshore wind sector as many potential future offshore wind projects are at risk. Offshore wind developments in UK waters are progressing rapidly and the outputs of this proposed programme are required to inform consent and licence applications and advice and decisions by the UK regulatory authorities.
Following consultation with the UK Underwater Noise Group and the offshore wind industry improvements to standard mitigation measures associated with potential injury effects of underwater noise on marine mammals came through as being a priority consenting risk to the offshore wind farm (OWF) industry. The focus of this first ORJIP (ORJIP Project 4) is therefore the strategic data collection and technology research to develop solutions on behalf of offshore wind developers to address this risk.
This review constitutes Phase 1 of ORJIP Project 4 (project specification described in Invitation To Tender provided in Appendix A). This review summary has been prepared by Xodus Group Ltd, in collaboration with SMRU Marine, who were commissioned to undertake the work by DECC as representatives of the ORJIP Interim Working Group (IWG)/ORJIP Programme Group.