|The environment and offshore wind development||The environment and offshore wind development|
In DONG Energy we work intensely to protect and minimise the impact on the environment when building offshore wind farms. It is an important part of planning, construction and operation and is a focus area in all phases of our wind farm projects.
Comprehensive environmental work
From the first phase of screening and scoping of a potential area for a wind farm site we include investigations of environmental impacts. The intense work with the environment continues during the planning and development phases. Comprehensive environmental surveys are carried out in order to secure that minimum harm will be made to the environment due to the wind farm.
Monitoring of the environment will take place both during construction and operation of the wind farm and the data is used to test impact predictions and the success of mitigation measures. Monitoring can also be used to improve impact predictions and assessments for future projects and this together with the implementation of extensive mitigation measures will secure that no major impacts occur.
We strive to protect and minimise the impact on the environment and to secure a good dialogue with authorities and stakeholders. Our agenda focuses on remaining responsive to our surroundings and seeking to be compliant with legislation.
Creating new artificial reefs to the benefit of marine life
When building offshore wind farms it is sometimes necessary to move large boulders from the seabed in order to make room for cables or foundations. At Anholt Offshore Wind Farm, Wind Power has been able to contribute in a positive way to the restoration of nature in the seas in connection with the construction.
More than 5,800 large stones with sizes ranging from nearly one metre to four metres in diameter have been relocated to make space for the cables and foundations for the wind farm. The many stones were used for creating 25 new artificial reefs within the wind farm. They promote the biodiversity in the Danish waters surrounding the Kattegat.
The reefs have been constructed in cone-shaped cavitation rock formations which give optimal breeding and habitat conditions for the flora and fauna that live on and by reefs. The cavities in the reefs attract lobsters, crabs and a variety of gadidea. Moreover, various types of seaweed are growing on the reefs.
Protecting animal life
When constructing offshore wind farms we are at some of our projects also responsible for the installation of the onshore export cable that connects the offshore wind farm to the onshore substation. The installation will often be in open trenches and a corridor of approximately 15-20 meters will be affected by the installation work. During the installation work habitats can be affected. In this case, we will take action to preserve the affected animals, and mitigation measures are therefore implemented on the basis of pre-construction surveys.
We take the newt's habitat into consideration
One of the animals that can be affected via loss of habitat by the cable installation work is the Great Crested Newt, which is often a challenge in our UK projects. To protect the newts we have undertaken pre-construction surveys. These surveys will include all ponds within 250m of the cable route. Where Great Crested Newts are identified a detailed mitigation strategy that includes fencing and relocation is agreed with the authorities. The fencing will exclude the Great Crested Newt from the construction site during construction, and the relocation will make sure that no Great Crested Newt is within the construction site once the fence has been erected. The captured newts are then released in a sheltered area close to a suitable refuge. Habitats for Great Crested Newts which have been impacted within the construction site, will be restored post construction.
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