Renewables consultancy Natural Power has teamed up with academics to develop a new framework on impact assessments of underwater construction noise for offshore wind farm developments in Scotland.
The company’s principal consultant Nancy McLean, who specialises in consent management and leads her team to deliver Environmental Impact Assessments, worked on behalf of Moray Renewables Offshore Ltd with staff from Aberdeen University and St Andrews Sea Marine Mammal Research Unit.
The study, Framework for Assessing Impacts of Pile-Driving Noise from Offshore Wind Farm Construction on a Harbour Seal Population, uses Aberdeen University and SMRU’s “knowledge and research on population parameters and distributions of marine mammals” in the Moray Firth and Natural Power’s knowledge of the consenting requirement for EIAs and Habitat Regulations Appraisals.
The paper “will enable Marine Scotland to make informed consenting decisions on the grounds of potential marine mammal impacts from offshore developments within the Moray Firth”, Natural Power said. Further consultation with other developers has also seen the framework adopted in other Scottish offshore wind EIA and HRAs, it added.
The document can be read in full here.