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Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) Ocean Energy

ORJIP Ocean Energy is a UK-wide collaborative programme of environmental research with the aim of reducing consenting risks for wave, tidal stream and tidal range projects.

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Projects

Following the identification of key consenting issues and risks, ORJIP Ocean Energy has identified where research can help reduce uncertainty around these key consent issues at a strategic level. High priority strategic research projects have been identified and are shown here.

Further information can be found in the Forward Look.

Please contact the Secretariat if you would like to be involved any of these projects or would like to contribute to the next Forward Look.

Please use the drop-down menu to select a topic, followed by the button to expand a project.


1.1.1 Collision Risk
Project A.1 Near-field monitoring of marine mammals around operational tidal turbines and first arrays to inform collision risk assessment

Aim

To monitor the behaviour of marine mammals around operational tidal turbines to build an evidence base to inform collision risk assessments for tidal projects and to help determine whether or not collision is ever likely to be an issue for marine mammals.

Objective

There is concern that collisions between marine mammals and operational tidal turbines may occur.  Monitoring studies to date have been limited and have largely focused on collision detection, providing little evidence to help reduce uncertainty.

Strategic monitoring studies around single turbines and first arrays have the potential to provide evidence to reduce uncertainty around collision risk, evasion and avoidance behaviour.  This evidence will help determine whether or not collision is every likely to be an issue for marine mammals; establishing the need for future baseline characterisation surveys and post-consent mitigation and monitoring.

Required outputs

  • To determine whether collisions are detectable
  • Records of any collisions with tidal turbines
  • Data to help determine the likelihood/probability of occurrence
  • To agree fixed definition for key behavioural responses (avoidance, evasion, etc).
  • Greater understanding regarding reef effects and fish aggregation behaviour and the indirect effects of increased collision risk for predators
  • Data to help establish avoidance and evasion rates for use in collision risk modelling
  • Improved understanding of evasion behaviour
  • Evidence base to inform future consenting processes and post-consent mitigation and monitoring requirements

Location

Any installed tidal turbines at test sites including EMEC, Meygen (Inner Sound), TEL (Ramsey Sound), Minesto (Strangford Lough)

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • A review of collision risk monitoring undertaken to date will be included in the OES Annex IV State of the Science Report, which will be published in Q1 2016. This will include standard definitions for key behavioural responses (avoidance, evasion, etc)
  • Scottish Government Demonstration Strategy
  • Monitoring undertaken around tidal turbines including those deployed at EMEC, ORPC (USA), OpenHydro (Canada), Verdant Power (USA)
  • Monitoring planned at MeyGen. MeyGen Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with University of Aberdeen (February 2015 – January 2017) Beth Scott and Benjamin Williamson KTP Associate
  • Monitoring planned at Tidal Energy Ltd’s DeltaStream Demonstrator project in Ramsey Sound (use of PAM and AAS to monitor behavioural response of a marine mammals in close proximity of an operating turbine)
  • Advanced Telemetry and Bio-logging for Investigating Grey Seal Interactions with Marine Renewable Energy Installations, January 2016 to January 2019 (PhD – University of Swansea KESS programme/NRW). Supervised by Dr Tom Stringell (NRW) and Dr James Bull, Dr Luca Borger and Prof Rory Wilson (University of Swansea). This project will use cutting-edge telemetry and bio-logging devices to quantify and understand interactions between grey seals and potential MRE installations. Daily diary tagging technology (Swansea Live Animals Movements (SLAM) tags – advanced accelerometers), will be used to monitor and assess in-water seal behaviour and energy expenditure.  It is hoped that some of the tags will be used on animals from Ramsey Island to enable interactions around the DeltaStream device to be monitored.
  • SEACAMS II (planned): Investigation of Marine mammals behaviour in close proximity of an operating turbine.
  • Understanding of the collision risk of marine mammals with underwater rotating equipment and the behavioural response of different animal species.  Ongoing R&D project by Tidal Energy Limited at Ramsey Sound – no results available as yet but equipment procured via Carbon Trust/WG grant prior to early termination.
  • University of Washington’s Intelligent Adaptable Monitoring Package (iAMP), January 2015 to June 2017 (Dr. Brian Polagye). Development and field deployment of cabled and autonomous integrated monitoring packages for marine renewable energy.  Deployments planned for late 2016 off the Oregon Coast (US, pre-installation wave energy monitoring) and early 2017 at the Wave Energy Test Site (US, post-installation wave energy monitoring).

Candidate project(s)

  • Deployment of FLOWBEC or EMEC’s Integrated Environmental Monitoring Platform at existing sites e.g. EMEC, MeyGen (Possible funders - Scottish Enterprise/SDI/DECC SEA programme)
  • Extension/expansion of TEL monitoring programme in Ramsey Sound including additional data analysis, particularly sonar and PAM data  
  • SME deployment at EMEC in 2016
  • Potential for new instrumentation and/or algorithms to be implemented by third parties during the Intelligent Adaptable Monitoring Package (iAMP) deployments planned for late 2016 off the Oregon Coast (US, pre-installation wave energy monitoring) and early 2017 at the Wave Energy Test Site (US, post-installation wave energy monitoring).
  • Analysis of existing underwater video footage gathered around devices at EMEC

Recommended actions

Investigate opportunities or mechanisms for collaborative data sharing or strategic monitoring across test sites, demo zones and projects (ORJIP Ocean Energy and Project Managers)

Project A.2 Further research to help understand the possible likelihood, probability and consequence of collision with tidal turbines for marine mammals

Aim

To help establish whether key species are ever likely to be struck by operational tidal turbine

Objective

Due to a perceived risk that collision events with tidal turbines may occur, tidal developers are required to install highly precautionary collision risk monitoring systems to detect any potential events and to increase understanding as to the likelihood of collision events occurring.  However, targeted lab-based research and modelling into the potential for collision events to occur and the possible consequences of any collision events may help to determine if collisions with tidal turbines are a real concern, or not, for key species within shorter timescales.  Laboratory testing and modelling may also be a more cost effective mechanism for investigating the likelihood and consequences of collision risk with tidal turbines than monitoring at sea.

Such studies have the potential to provide evidence that will help determine the possible likelihood and probability of any collision events occurring.  This evidence will directly inform the need for future baseline characterisation surveys and post-consent mitigation and monitoring.

Required outputs

  • Modelling hydrodynamics (size of animal, buoyancy, swim speed, etc) to investigate if marine mammals and diving birds would actually be hit and the consequences of collision.
  • Better understanding of potential impact pathways for single machines and arrays; including arrays with a mixture of technologies

Location

N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • MS-Led Project with SNH Contribution: Fine Scale Seal Density Mapping.
  • Seal at-sea distribution, movements and behaviour, SMRU, via DECC SEA site
  • Marine Scotland project: Update in collision risk estimation for harbour seals and tidal turbines
  • Monitoring undertaken around tidal turbines including those deployed at EMEC, ORPC (USA), OpenHydro (Canada), Verdant Power (USA)
  • MeyGen Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with University of Aberdeen (February 2015 – January 2017) Beth Scott and Benjamin Williamson KTP Associate
  • Monitoring planned at TEL (Ramsey Sound)
  • PNNL harbour porpoise study re. consequence of collision with MCT
  • Comparison of blade strike modelling results with empirical data (Ploskey and Carlson, PNNL 2004)
  • Assessment of strike of adult killer whales by an OpenHydro Tidal Turbine (PNNL)
  • SMRU work investigating the physical consequences of potential blade strikes on marine mammals

Candidate project(s)

  • CFD modelling to investigate the likelihood and consequences of collision events (Possible lead: Queens University Belfast/Edinburgh University)
  • Seal tagging at an existing development/test site
Project A.3 Further development of instrumentation and methodologies for detecting potential collision events around tidal turbines and arrays

Aim

To support the development of technologies and agreed approaches for detecting and identifying wildlife, monitoring wildlife behaviour and interactions with machines and support structures in high energy environments.

Objective

The use of monitoring systems which have already been developed has not been exploited optimally because of lack of funding.  There are also significant challenges regarding use of existing technology which currently undermine our ability to monitor at the scale of arrays, and over timescales needed to obtain useful data.  Hence, powering up, marinisation and ease of deployment / recovery are all considerations which need to be urgently addressed, as is the potential to deploy monitoring technology in tandem with devices / foundations.

It is also clear that some of the existing technologies do not collect data at appropriate spatial scales to be of use, and development of appropriate software / data transfer systems often lags behind the development of the hardware. Development of GPS tagging technology has proceeded apace and there is much to gain from use of telemetry and tagging at array deployment sites.

Further development of suitable instrumentation and methodologies are clearly required to enable strategic monitoring studies to proceed.  Strategic monitoring studies around single turbines and first arrays have the potential to provide evidence to reduce uncertainty around collision risk, evasion and avoidance behaviour.  This evidence will help determine whether or not collision is every likely to be an issue for marine mammals; establishing the need for future baseline characterisation surveys and post-consent mitigation and monitoring.

Required outputs

  • Critique of the capabilities of existing technologies including the suitability, quality, reliability, durability, limitations, etc. for use in high energy marine environments combined with an analysis of the specific development/innovation needs to allowing detection and monitoring at the scale of arrays.
  • Development/trialling of suitable cost-effective instruments and methodologies for use in high energy environments to monitor wildlife behaviour and to detect and quantify incidence of any collisions during operation of single test devices and first arrays. 
  • Development of a fully automated, cost effective collision risk detection system with integrated software package allowing first array developers to deploy and monitor.
  • Development of cost effective monitoring systems to gather behavioural data to inform EIA/HRA.
  • Advancement in battery power/redundancy, cable protection and performance
  • Solutions to video camera fouling issues
  • Solutions to data storage and management issues (data mortgages)

Location

Test sites and first arrays

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • ORJIP Review of Acoustic Deterrent Devices and Marine Mammal Mitigation for Offshore Wind Farms (SMRU Marine and Xodus) Phase 2 (stage 1 and stage 2): Exploring the possibility of using ADDs as a ‘replacement’ for MMO/PAM mitigation. Although the focus of the work has been on offshore wind, some of the principles might apply to ocean energy.
  • Scottish Government Demonstration Project at Meygen
  • MeyGen Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with University of Aberdeen (February 2015 – January 2017) Beth Scott and Benjamin Williamson KTP Associate
  • Mammal impact on tidal turbine blades. Relevant Research: ORE Catapult Tidal Blade Collision Sensor (report due Q1 2016). Censis, with project funding contributions from NERC and SNH is delivering a study investigating the feasibility of adapting and developing existing sensor technology to detect final moments before impact and blade damage assessment. Insights will be made publically available
  • Further use and development of the FLOWBEC platform
  • SMRU/NERC/MREKE funded project to develop self-contained buoy tracking system (report due soon)
  • Use of sonar and passive acoustics at Strangford Lough (MCT) and
  • Ramsey Sound (TEL) using sonar and passive acoustics and stress transducers and accelerometers to see if collisions are physically ‘detectable’
  • University of Washington’s Intelligent Adaptable Monitoring Package (Iamp), January 2015 to June 2017 (Dr. Brian Polagye). Development and field deployment of cabled and autonomous integrated monitoring packages for marine renewable energy.  Deployments planned for late 2016 off the Oregon Coast (US, pre-installation wave energy monitoring) and early 2017 at the Wave Energy Test Site (US, post-installation wave energy monitoring).
  • NIMS (though 2016) (Dr. John Horne, University of Washington). In cooperation with PNNL, develop and test algorithms for real-time detection of biomass properties and individual target trajectories.

Candidate project(s)

  • Development of automated detection and acoustic deterrent systems for around tidal devices. Possible lead: SMRU.  This could possibly be undertaken in collaboration with work for ORJIP Offshore Wind or aquaculture funded work.
  • Extension/expansion of monitoring at Ramsey Sound to further test the capability of collision detection technologies
  • Deployment and testing of ‘integrated package’ at EMEC for example SME deployment at EMEC in 2016
  • “Cooperative target” testing with objects of known mass, speed, and position to test capabilities of collision monitoring systems. Prototype drifter “swarm” in early development at NNMREC. Dr Brian Polagye (University of Washington)
  • Exploitation of sensors deployed on TEL DeltaStream turbine to analyse signals produced by ‘normal’ turbulence and establish a noise threshold. Use of Swansea BEMT software to predict levels of signal created by a collision and to determine if collision is significant and could be identified in the signal. Possible lead: Tidal Energy Limited/ Swansea University
1.1.2 Underwater Noise
Project B.1 Establishment of an acoustic ‘evidence base’ for operational devices and arrays

Aim

To ensure access to the best available data and information regarding underwater noise and marine energy projects for regulators, advisors, developers and researchers.

Objective

An underwater noise database was created through a NERC KE project which aims to improve knowledge of underwater noise emitted by marine renewable devices around the coast of the UK to ultimately improve noise assessments, comparability of acoustic data and sound propagation models.

This database needs to be maintained and hosted in such a way that maximises its future use in research and project development/consenting activities.

Required outputs

Well maintained and accessible database to improve knowledge of underwater noise emitted by marine renewable devices and associated infrastructure

Location

N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

None identified

Candidate project(s)

None identified

Recommended actions

Facilitate discussions to ensure that database is maintained and accessible to all (ORJIP Ocean Energy)

Project B.2 Development of noise propagation models to further reduce uncertainty regarding the potential impacts of commercial scale arrays

Aim

To inform assessment of potential impacts of operational noise from demonstration and commercial scale arrays on key species

Objective

There is currently broad agreement that the operation of single tidal turbines and small arrays will not result in significant effects on key species as a result of underwater noise.  Concern remains that there is not sufficient evidence to rule out potentially significant effects from the operational of commercial scale arrays. 

The development of a robust noise propagation model, in parallel with gathering and sharing acoustic monitoring data from single machines, will enable developers to predict the acoustic profiles of arrays.  This information can then be used to inform commercial scale EIA/HRA and will determine the need for any future baseline or post-consent monitoring studies. 

It will be important to consider how tidal flow and sea state might affect noise propagation and turbine noise modelling. 

Required outputs

  • Establishment of agreed approaches to modelling noise impacts from turbine operation including, potentially, validation of methods used in EIAs.   
  • Understanding of how operational noise changes when scaling up from single devices to arrays.
  • Comparison of available propagation models
  • Explanation of the models and their outputs to make them more user-friendly
  • Explain how the outputs of the models translate into the impact assessments for different species to make it clear for regulators and advisors
  • Explain how the outputs of the models translate into impact assessments for defence submarine navigational interests

Location

N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • EMEC project which looked at monitoring of noise across the different projects at their sites and what was learnt/what worked well.
  • EMEC’s regulator’s guide to underwater noise funded by NERC
  • TCE and MS guidance on underwater noise
  • SNH proposal for underwater impact assessment on hold at the moment – they have submitted proposals for a project costing around £20-30k which would feed into one element of the underwater noise models
  • Monitoring of noise outputs at Pelamis devices by Heriot-Watt – SNH funded
  • SAMS/Loughborough project to investigate the effects of flow speed on noise propagation – DECC funded

Candidate project(s)

A review of the different approaches to noise modelling at consented W&T projects around the UK. This would need to be undertaken by an independent academic expert.
1.1.3 Displacement
Project C.1 Development of an agreed approach to assessing the potential effects and consequences of displacement from wave and tidal arrays

Aim

  • To determine whether or not displacement is an issue for the wave and tidal industries and if so, to determine if displacement is likely to be a potential issue at the cumulative and larger commercial scales
  • To identify any input parameters that require improvement in understanding – this could identify data gaps/research needs and may help to determine what needs to be modelled.
  • To help determine the need for/scope of any further research

Objective

At present, wave and tidal developers are required to consider the potential effects of displacement on marine birds, mammals and fish in relation to first arrays.  However, it is essential at this time to consider whether or not displacement from wave and tidal arrays is ever likely to result in a biologically significant population effect.

Required outputs

  • Review of models currently used to estimate displacement e.g. PcoD, PVA, CEH displacement effects model (regarding consequences of displacement in birds for Forth and Tay offshore wind farms)
  • Investigation into whether these models can be refined for use in wave and tidal industries

Location

N/A

Recently completed project(s)

Hebridean Marine Energy Futures project (awaiting publication)

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • Joint SNCB Displacement Advice Note. Advice on how to present assessment information on the extent and potential consequences of seabird displacement from Offshore Wind Farm (OWF) developments. Guidance completed Nov 2015, with expectation of release early in 2016. Though focused on offshore windfarms, many of the principles will be equally applicable to wave and tide. Contact: Glen Tyler (SNH) (Glen.tyler@snh.gov.uk).
  • Marine Scotland – PVA project – out to tender
  • Marine Scotland – Post-consent monitoring – offshore wind – power analysis study – out to tender
  • Review of EMEC monitoring data by CREEM and EMEC
  • TURNKEY Activity 6 aims to increase understanding of the possible interactions between fish and marine renewable energy developments, http://www.turnkeyproject.eu/, July 2013 to September 2015, (barbara.bremner@uhi.ac.uk).

Candidate project(s)

A review of existing approaches/models (e.g. those used by offshore wind industry) to investigate the consequences of displacement and refinement of these models for use in wave and tidal industries.  Possible leads would be SMRU (marine mammals) and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) (birds)
1.1.4 Socio-economics
Project D.1 Further studies and research to understand the potential social and economic opportunities and impacts from the development of marine energy projects in rural communities

Aim

In line with Scottish and Welsh government policies to maximise the benefits from marine energy for the local and wider supply chain, various host communities and local/community investors who provide the backbone of support, and the key to future opportunities for the marine energy sector

Objectives

  • To better and fully understand the social and economic relationships linked to marine energy.
  • To learn from the experience of the last 20 years of marine energy activity to promote proven mechanisms and find better approaches to engagement and collaboration between government, wider industry, local industry and communities.
  • To explore more appropriate ways of planning, investing, working and sharing in the opportunities and challenges associated with marine energy.
  • To create a better balance between the investigation, management, development and protection of social, economic, ecological and cultural assets associated with prospective marine energy production areas.
  • To ensure that wherever possible marine energy develops along with and alongside the other sectors with which it shares space, assets and opportunities.

Required outputs

  • To ensure that socio-economic studies and initiatives consider all stakeholders: technology inventors and innovators, larger industrials, utilities, other local and wider supply chain companies, academic institutions, government, agencies, other sea and land users, energy customers, near neighbours and associated communities
  • To model the full social, economic, ecological and cultural life cycle of marine energy projects on a geographically sensitive basis.
  • To better understand and manage the capacity, capabilities, aspirations, limitations and sustainable development potential of stakeholders in the marine energy sector.
  • To better understand, develop and promote sustainable roles that all stakeholders can play in the future marine energy, and wider energy sector.
  • To ensure that approaches to managing socio-economic issues are consistent with the needs of the appropriate regulatory, permitting and planning processes and that they focus upon future rather than past aspirations, needs and requirements.
  • A methodology for social impact assessment that is qualitative
  • Guide on what to include in an assessment – what do the regulators/local authorities actually need
  • Stakeholder map (as long as beneficial and not just stating the obvious)

Location

Learn from communities already associated with marine energy e.g. Orkney, Islay, Strangford, Cornwall, Isle of Wight, Cromarty Firth, Caithness & Sutherland, Shetland, Western Isles, Rathlin, S Wales, Anglesey, etc.

Engage with all levels of stakeholders

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • TCE report on socio-economic methodology and baseline for PFOW W&T developments
  • TCE report on socio-economic methodology and baseline for W&T developments
  • WES project on value of wave industry to Scotland
  • MS assessment on socio-economics in different communities is currently being undertaken. TCE is feeding into it through Mike Cowling. Title is along the lines of “A two-way conversation with the people of Scotland on the Social Impact of offshore renewables”
  • MS Community benefits report – led by onshore wind, currently in progress
  • MSP work on socio-economic issues
  • Human Dimensions of Tidal Energy (until August 2016) Dr. Stacia Dreyer.  Case study comparison of attitudes towards current energy development in urban (Washington, US) and rural (Alaska, US) communities.
  • Development of guidance for undertaking social impact assessment – Marine Scotland
  • Development of guidance for undertaking economic impact assessment – Marine Scotlan

Candidate project(s)

  • Guidance on how socio-economic issues should be addressed in EIAs and other regulatory and planning processes. 
  • Establish a generic socio-economic stakeholder map for the marine sector.
  • Examination of the future roles and responsibilities for stakeholders in the marine energy sector. Approaches to characterising socio-economic receptors in the marine energy sector.
1.1.5 General
Project E.1 Monitoring around operational tidal turbines and first arrays to gather information on the behaviour of diving birds, marine mammals, basking shark and migratory fish around operating tidal turbines

Aim

To gather data to help understand what effects on behaviour, if any, the presence and operation of devices and arrays may have on key species.

Objective

Strategic monitoring studies around single turbines and first arrays have the potential to increase understanding of behaviour of key species around operational tidal turbines and associated infrastructure.  This evidence will help establish the need for future baseline characterisation surveys, inform future EIA/HRA and the need for any post-consent mitigation and monitoring.

Required outputs

  • Better understanding of the potential effects of tidal energy projects to inform EIA/HRA. 
  • Reduced uncertainty and a collective evidence base to help streamline future consenting processes and will help ensure that all project level requirements (baseline studies and post-consent mitigation and monitoring measures) are proportionate.
Review of existing data and information e.g. EMEC developer video monitoring

Location

TBC

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • Scottish Government Demonstrator Project at Meygen
  • Monitoring undertaken around tidal turbines including those deployed at EMEC, MCT at Strangford Lough, ORPC (USA), OpenHydro (Canada), Verdant Power (USA)
  • Monitoring undertaken around wave devices to date including those deployed at EMEC
  • Monitoring planned including MeyGen and TEL (Ramsey Sound), OpenHydro (France and Canada), FORCE (Canada)
  • Strangford Lough: the effect of an operating tidal turbine on Harbour seal movements. SMRU.  Via DECC SEA site
  • Small-scale habitat use (rather than merely abundance) of renewable energy sites by mobile marine species (fish, seabirds, marine mammals); including Hebridean Marine Energy Futures (HMEF) project report, SNH/MS-funded work by SMRU, NERC RESPONSE project report
  • Knowledge on temporal and geographical distribution of marine animals at MRE sites (near and far field) Near field: Broudic, Tidal Energy Ltd , DeltaStream Demonstrator project, Use of PAM and AAS to monitor behavioural response of a marine mammals in close proximity of an operating turbine
  • SEACAMS II (planned): Investigation of Marine mammals behaviour in close proximity of an operating turbine
  • Understanding the impact of arrays and tidal range projects on the distribution of prey such as aggregation around structures and displacement. If tidal stream turbines act as fish aggregating devices, will this lead to more collisions with fish predators (birds and mammals). Predator prey interactions at a tidal stream site – FLOWBEC (EMEC). In press
  • Active sonar monitoring around Seagen and Minesto device in Strangford Lough to investigate behavioural impacts on birds and marine mammals
  • Ecology of black guillemots in relation to marine protected areas and marine renewable energy developments, October 2015-April 2019 (MASTS PhD)
  • Advanced Telemetry and Bio-logging for Investigating Grey Seal Interactions with Marine Renewable Energy Installations, January 2016 to January 2019 (PhD – University of Swansea KESS programme/NRW). Supervised by Dr Tom Stringell (NRW) and Dr James Bull, Dr Luca Borga and Prof Rory Wilson (University of Swansea).
Candidate project(s)
  • Deployment of FLOWBEC or EMEC’s Integrated Environmental Monitoring Platform at existing sites e.g. EMEC, MeyGen (Possible funders – Scottish Enterprise/SDI/DECC SEA programme)
  • Extension/expansion of TEL monitoring programme in Ramsey Sound
  • SME deployment at EMEC in 2016
  • Potential for new instrumentation and/or algorithms to be implemented by third parties during the Intelligent Adaptable Monitoring Package (Iamp) deployments planned for late 2016 off the Oregon Coast (US, pre-installation wave energy monitoring) and early 2017 at the Wave Energy Test Site (US, post-installation wave energy monitoring).

Recommended actions

  • Investigate opportunities or mechanisms for collaborative data sharing or strategic monitoring across test sites, demo zones and projects (ORJIP Ocean Energy and Project Managers)
Project E.2 Development of mitigation measures for identified and potential impacts of wave and tidal developments

Aim

To develop a ‘toolbox’ of possible mitigation measures for use in EIA/HRA and the development of Project Environmental Management Plans 

Objectives

The development of an industry Toolbox which lists and describes mitigation measures that can be implemented to reduce or remove identified and possible impacts that may result from tidal energy developments could be used in the development of project specific Project Environmental Management Plans.  The creation and maintenance of a common platform, or Toolbox, would ensure that all developers and regulators have access to the best available information regarding possible mitigation measures.  It is important that this is informed by a review of the effectiveness of each mitigation measure from environmental monitoring reports and other research.  

It is possible that new or adapted mitigation measures may be required to reduce or remove certain potential impacts.  Any requirement for new and adapted measures will be determined through the deployment and monitoring of single machines and first arrays.       

Required outputs

  • ‘Toolbox’ of existing mitigation measures for wave, tidal stream and tidal range
  • Development of novel mitigation measures
  • Review of the effectiveness/success of mitigation measures
  • Review of the transferability of mitigation measures between different developments
  • Toolbox with industry standard mitigation measures that can be implemented/adapted at a project level

Location

N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • All project EIAs and HRAs
  • ORJIP Review of Acoustic Deterrent Devices and Marine Mammal Mitigation for Offshore Wind Farms (SMRU Marine and Xodus) Phase 2 (stage 1 and stage 2): Exploring the possibility of using ADDs as a ‘replacement’ for MMO/PAM mitigation. Although the focus of the work has been on offshore wind, some of the principles might apply to ocean energy.
Candidate project(s) Trial of acoustic deterrent devices (ADDs) at the TEL Ramsey Sound site
Project E.3 Further development of instrumentation and methodologies for monitoring wildlife behaviour around tidal turbines and arrays

Aim

To support the development of technologies and agreed approaches for detecting and identifying wildlife, monitoring wildlife behaviour and interactions with machines and support structures in high energy environments. 

Objective

The use of monitoring systems which have already been developed has not been exploited optimally because of lack of funding.  There are also significant challenges regarding use of existing technology which currently undermine our ability to monitor at the scale of arrays, and over timescales needed to obtain useful data.  Hence, powering up, marinisation and ease of deployment/recovery are all considerations which need to be urgently addressed, as is the potential to deploy monitoring technology in tandem with devices/foundations.

It is also clear that some of the existing technologies do not collect data at appropriate spatial scales to be of use, and development of appropriate software/data transfer systems often lags behind the development of the hardware. Development of GPS tagging technology has proceeded apace and there is much to gain from use of telemetry and tagging at array deployment sites.

Further development of suitable instrumentation and methodologies are clearly required to enable strategic monitoring studies to proceed.  Strategic monitoring studies around single turbines and first arrays have the potential to provide evidence to reduce uncertainty around collision risk, evasion and avoidance behaviour.  This evidence will help determine whether or not collision is every likely to be an issue for marine mammals; establishing the need for future baseline characterisation surveys and post-consent mitigation and monitoring.

Required outputs

Critique of the capabilities of existing technologies including the suitability, quality, reliability, durability, limitations, etc. for use in high energy marine environments combined with an analysis of the specific development/innovation needs to allowing detection and monitoring at the scale of arrays.
Development/trialling of suitable cost-effective instruments and methodologies for use in high energy environments to monitor wildlife behaviour and to detect and quantify incidence of any collisions during operation of single test devices and first arrays. 
Development of cost effective monitoring systems to gather behavioural data to inform EIA/HRA. 

Increased understanding and an evidence base to reduce future requirements and streamline the consenting process.

Location

Test sites and first arrays
Recently completed project(s) SNH and MS funded report (SNH, 2015), Development of a monitoring protocol for assessing the use of seal haul-out sites in the Sound of Islay.  Available at: http://www.snh.gov.uk/publications-data-and-research/publications/search-the-catalogue/publication-detail/?id=2387

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • FLOWBEC platform, MeyGen Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with University of Aberdeen (February 2015 – January 2017) Beth Scott and Benjamin Williamson KTP Associate
  • SMRU/NERC/MREKE funded project to develop self-contained buoy tracking system (report due soon)
  • Monitoring at Strangford Lough (MCT and Minesto), Ramsey Sound (TEL)
  • Advanced Telemetry and Bio-logging for Investigating Grey Seal Interactions with Marine Renewable Energy Installations, January 2016 to January 2019 (PhD – University of Swansea KESS programme/NRW). Supervised by Dr Tom Stringell (NRW) and Dr James Bull, Dr Luca Borga and Prof Rory Wilson (University of Swansea).
  • ORE Catapult Tidal Blade Collision Sensor (report due Q1 2016). Censis, with project funding contributions from NERC and SNH is delivering a study investigating the feasibility of adapting and developing existing sensor technology to detect final moments before impact and blade damage assessment. Insights will be made publically available
  • ORE Catapult is working with PML and others to develop a Biofoul map of UK wave & tidal sites and looking at current Biofoul sensor technology
Candidate project(s)
  • Deployment of FLOWBEC or EMEC’s Integrated Environmental Monitoring Platform at existing sites e.g. EMEC, MeyGen (Possible funders – Scottish Enterprise/SDI/DECC SEA programme)
  • Extension/expansion of TEL monitoring programme in Ramsey Sound
  • SME deployment at EMEC in 2016
  • Potential for new instrumentation and/or algorithms to be implemented by third parties during the Intelligent Adaptable Monitoring Package (Iamp) deployments planned for late 2016 off the Oregon Coast (US, pre-installation wave energy monitoring) and early 2017 at the Wave Energy Test Site (US, post-installation wave energy monitoring).
Project E.4 Further research to improve understanding of the potential population level effects of protected mobile species from commercial scale wave and tidal current projects

Aim

To improve understanding of population level impacts and develop methods to assess the significance of population level impacts for protected mobile species to improve confidence in EIA/HRA for commercial scale projects and to inform project specific monitoring requirements.

Objectives

It is important to understand potential project specific and cumulative effects on populations of key species in order to inform EIA/HRA.  There is uncertainty as to the level of impact that may result in a significant population level effect for protected species.  This has resulted in a precautionary approach being applied to planned arrays requiring developers to undertake extensive baseline survey work to inform EIA/HRA.  This has also resulted in a number of developers being required to implement mitigation and monitoring measures that may be disproportionate to the actual risks posed by developments.     

Confidence in EIA/HRA would be improved by establishing thresholds of acceptable change to mobile species populations by developing methodologies and tools for setting/allocating thresholds for features across multiple projects or in combination with other impacts.  Reduced uncertainty around population level effects will help streamline future consenting process and help ensure that project level data gathering requirements are proportionate to the potential risks posed by the development.   

Required outputs

  • Clarification required on how data is used by Regulators
  • Identify and prioritise impacts that have the potential to result in population level effects
  • Focus on species that are at risk/vulnerable
  • Establish the limits of acceptable impact under the terms of the Habitats Regulations for both European Protected Species and qualifying species of SACs and SPAs.
  • Develop a modelling and management framework appropriate for assessing the risks.  Link results to the management of potential impacts on Favourable Conservation Status of protected sites/species. Model(s) to understand possible population level impacts
  • Methodologies for setting/allocating thresholds – Level of acceptability – better definition required. 
  • Guidance on the application of mammal management units to EIA / HRA processes.

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • University of Aberdeen involvement in EPSRC EcoWatt project March 2015 to February 2017
  • Field investigations of early migration behaviour of salmon smolts in Scottish nearshore waters planned for 2016. Environmental Research Institute, North Highland College
Candidate project(s) Review of different models that are currently being used to assess population level effects e.g. PcoD, PBR.
Project E.5 Review and dissemination of findings of environmental monitoring studies

Aim

To provide regulators, industry and stakeholders with the best available information regarding the potential environmental impacts of wave and tidal developments

Objectives

To ensure that the best available information and data is available to regulators, agencies, stakeholders, developers and researchers to inform; marine planning and site selection, EIA/HRA, the development of Project Environmental Management Plans and future industry wide research plans.

It is essential that data and information generated through international research and monitoring is considered/disseminated at a UK and project level and that it is used to inform policy and project level decisions at the earliest opportunity, to shrink the current gap between science and policy/decision making.

Required outputs

  • Formal mechanism to share data and experience across test sites, demo zones and projects, including exploration of the value of ‘cluster’ approaches to gather data to inform consent applications for multiple projects.
  • Regular focused knowledge exchange workshops
  • Maintained online database/library and notification system
  • Position papers on key issues based upon the best available information
  • Wide dissemination of all outputs and resources including international engagement and collaboration
  • Online platforms for information sharing and discussion around key consenting issues, lessons learnt etc.
  • Effective transfer of data and information from ‘science to policy’ from the ocean energy sector and other industries where relevant
Location N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

OES Annex IV (including the Tethys database, webinars, expert forums and State of the Science Report led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
Candidate project(s) Continuation and expansion of OES Annex IV
Recommended actions
  • Facilitate discussion and collaboration between database managers e.g. Wave and Tidal Knowledge Network, Tethys (ORJIP Ocean Energy)
  • Establish a working group or formal mechanism for sharing data and experience between test sites, demo zones and projects (ORJIP Ocean Energy)
  • Facilitate and encourage communication of new data and information from research to policy (All)
1.1.6 Regulatory
Project F.1 Review of PBR approach to regulation including consideration of alternatives

Aim

To review the existing PBR based approach to consenting marine energy projects in the UK and to identify and consider alternatives 

Objective

At present, there is an assumption that collisions will occur between sensitive species and that all collisions would result in mortality.  This, coupled with the robustness of PBR models, makes it difficult to provide a realistic quantitative assessment of the potential impacts of wave and tidal energy developments, making future projects difficult to consent.

This project will help to identify possible alternative approaches/improvements for high priority species e.g. harbour seal and will help identify further research priorities. 

Required outputs

  • Identify possible alternatives that could be adopted given the immediacy of the issue
  • Review legislation – what is actually required? Ultra precautionary approach is limiting understanding of the issue despite the impact being uncertain.
  • Development of monitoring programmes for consented projects to reduce uncertainty.  Monitoring requirements around operational tidal devices should be clearly defined and public reporting of data e.g. Scottish demonstration Strategy at MeyGen – what duration of monitoring is required before next phase of development can commence?  The requirements should be clearly defined.

Location

N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

Marine Scotland – Fine scale (1km x 1km) seal density mapping to update seal density maps for PFOW
Candidate project(s) A review of the use of PBR as a tool for assessing the significance of or thresholds for impacts on marine mammals within consenting processes.  Note: NRW are considering commissioning this project pending availability of required resources (funds and staff time).  Would be managed by Dr Tom Stringell, Senior Marine Mammal ecologist. 

Recommended actions

Feedback results from workshop on ‘methods for assessing impacts on seal populations’ on 3rd Feb 2016 (SNH and Marine Scotland)
Project F.2 Development of methods/processes for identifying and managing environmental risks associated with wave and tidal energy developments within the consenting process

Aim

To review and improve the existing approach to risk management within the consenting process so as to ensure that project specific requirements are proportionate to the potential risks posed by a specific development

Objectives

At present, a precautionary approach to consenting has been applied to most tidal energy developments, particularly planned arrays.  This has resulted in requirements for lengthy and expensive baseline studies which have significantly affected project timescales and development budgets.  There is an apparent disconnect between such survey requirements and the ability of the data to help identify, assess and manage potential impacts specific to tidal energy developments.  There is growing concern that by applying a precautionary approach, the level of scrutiny being placed on the sector is disproportionate to the potential risks posed by tidal energy projects. 

A number of tools, methods and processes for managing environmental risks associated with tidal energy developments have been developed in recent years.  Further development and consolidation of these tools and methods could help establish a common and proportionate approach to risk management similar to that seen in other sectors e.g. oil and gas and aquaculture which could help streamline future consenting processes for commercial scale tidal energy projects.

Required outputs

  • Clarity and guidance regarding the consenting process and supporting information requirements for test sites and demonstration zones.
  • A proportionate but robust approach to evidence gathering for test sites, demonstration zones and arrays which is clearly linked to identified sensitivities and impact pathways

Location

N/A
Recently completed project(s) NRW Guidance to inform marine mammal site characterisation requirements at wave and tidal stream energy sites in Wales (July 2015) (http://www.naturalresources.wales/our-evidence-and-reports/guidance-to-inform-marine-mammal-site-characterisation-requirements-at-wave-and-tidal-stream-energy-sites-in-wales/?lang=en.)  NRW commissioned report carried out by SMRU Consulting. This project developed a framework for assessing risk to marine mammals from wave and tidal stream developments and provides guidance on how to tailor surveys to provide better information for impact assessments.

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

Horizon 2020 RiCORE Work package 3 – Survey, Deploy and Monitor. This work package concerns the feasibility of a rollout of the Survey Deploy and Monitor approach to consenting across the EU as well as other forms of risk-based and adaptive management. See http://ricore-project.euScottish Government – Review of the potential impacts of wave and tidal energy developments on Scotland’s marine ecological environment 
Candidate project(s) Review of existing consents to determine how baseline survey data was used to inform the decision making process with a view to establishing good practice/principles
Recommended actions
  • Provide clarity on the consenting process for test sites and demonstration zones (regulators)
  • Provide guidance on corresponding data requirements to support consent applications (regulators and SNCBs)
  • Develop and refine risk based approaches to consenting (regulators)
  • Establish a formal mechanism to share data and experience across test sites, demo zones and projects (ORJIP Ocean Energy) and ensure that learning is translated into the development of agreed good practice within consenting processes.
Project F.3 Development and agreement of methods/processes for implementing a design envelope approach to consenting wave and tidal arrays

Aim

To develop and agree a suitable approach for implementing a design envelope approach to EIA and HRA for wave and tidal arrays.

Objective

Due to the nascent nature of the ocean energy sector, it is difficult for project developers to fully define proposals at the scoping and EIA stage to the standard that may be expected for more established (particularly onshore) sectors.  In order to consent projects, regulators require sufficient information to fully understand the potential for any significant impacts to arise from a proposal.  Given the current status of the energy extraction technologies and supporting infrastructure, there are also considerable benefits in retaining a degree of flexibility in a consent application.  Conversely, a design envelope which is too wide, can lead to unrealistic development scenarios and considerable difficulties in predicting and assessing potential impacts, particularly where cumulative and in-combination impacts are being considered.   

This topic was raised during a recent workshop held in Cardiff by The Crown Estate, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales, Natural England and Welsh Government.  Participants agreed that further support and guidance is required to ensure that project design envelopes can be defined in such a way that allows developers to retain a necessary degree of flexibility whilst meeting the requirements of regulators and stakeholders.  This should consider the implications of the project design envelope through the whole consenting process from pre-application through consents to post-consent construction and operation. 

Required outputs

  • An evidence base of projects already consented/developed to enable better definition of more realistic design envelopes in the future
  • Good practice guidance for defining project design envelopes for test sites, demonstration zones and arrays
  • Formal mechanisms to enhance shared learning from existing/consented projects and to translate this learning into the development of agreed good practice.
  • Industry glossary of agreed terminology

Location

N/A
Recently completed project(s) Findings of UK Demo Zone workshop held in Cardiff in July 2015 by The Crown Estate, Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural Resources Wales, Natural England and Welsh Government (Available at: http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/media/501992/ei-uk-wave-and-tidal-demonstration-zones-workshop.pdf).

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

None identified at this time.
Candidate project(s)
  • Possible project by NRW* - Developing principles and approaches to defining Project Design Envelopes for marine projects, using marine mammals and the Morlais north Anglesey tidal energy demonstration zone as a case study. (If the project goes ahead it would be completed by April 2016). This project will use marine mammals and the West Anglesey Demonstration Zone as a case study to explore the environmental issues, challenges and opportunities associated with defining flexible project design envelopes for multi-technology marine energy test sites and demonstration zones, with a view to further developing the good practice approaches and principles identified at the UK demo zone workshop held in Cardiff in July 2015.
  • Development of guidance and good practice for defining project design envelopes for demonstration zones and arrays including a review of experience and lessons learned from test sites and consented projects.
* Supported by Project Steering Group composed of Morlais, SEACAMS, NRW Operations, NRW Licensing
Recommended actions
  • Organise and facilitate a workshop on project design envelopes to help inform guidance on best practice (ORJIP Ocean Energy with support from regulators and SNCBs)
  • Produce an Industry Glossary of Agreed Terminology to ensure common interpretation and use of key terms e.g. commercial array, demonstration zone, lease area, site, etc. (ORJIP Ocean Energy with support from regulators and SNCBs)
Project F.4 Development and agreement of methods/processes for developing Project Environmental Management Plans, incorporating mitigation measures and adaptive management strategies, for demonstration and commercial scale wave and tidal arrays

Aim

To provide methods and procedures for developing PEMPs for commercial scale, long terms wave and tidal array developments

Objectives

Project Environmental Management Plans have been developed for single device installations and small scale arrays.  In order to move towards the planning for and consenting of commercial scale arrays, methods and procedures are required to help develop PEMPs and adaptive management strategies to enable the development of commercial scale and long term PEMPs for wave and tidal projects.  

Required outputs

  • Review of PEMP (or similar) development and reporting processes from other marine industries
  • Review of single device and demonstration array PEMPs developed to date
  • Guidance/suite of tools for developing, consulting on and implanting project specific PEMPs including; stakeholder engagement plan, reporting timescales and requirements, feedback mechanisms, etc.
Location N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • MS is currently developing a PEMP template for offshore wind developments
  • EMEC Environmental Appraisal – guidance on PEMP development
  • EMEC Monitoring Advisory Group are looking at monitoring requirements
  • FORCE Adaptive Management Plan
  • OpenHydro Snowhomish PUD Adaptive Management Plan
  • Development Zone workshops
  • NSIPs process – development of Evidence Plans
  • Development of Offshore Wind PEMP templates by Marine Scotland 
  • MeyGen Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with University of Aberdeen (February 2015 – January 2017) Beth Scott and Benjamin Williamson KTP Associate
Recently completed project(s) Adaptive Management Plans for MCT (Strangford Lough), Anglesey Skerries and Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
Candidate project(s) Development of guidance for producing Project Environmental Management Plans
Project F.5 An agreed approach to undertaking any HRA with regards to SACs for harbour porpoise is required

Aim

To determine HRA requirements for future wave and tidal project applications and any implications for existing sites and licenced developments

Objectives

Due to requirements of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), SNCBs are required to identify Special Areas of Conservation for harbour porpoise.  There is currently uncertainty as to when sites currently under consideration in the UK will go to consultation, at which point they will need to be considered during HRA. 
Due to the wide ranging nature of harbour porpoise and current uncertainty regarding a number of perceived risks with marine energy projects, particularly collision risk with operational tidal turbines, it is difficult to ascertain what effect the designation of Special Areas of Conservation will have on proposed marine energy developments in the UK with regards to HRA.   Furthermore, it is uncertain what will be required with regards to existing sites and consents.

Guidance is required from SNCBs and Regulators to ensure that a consistent and proportionate approach is applied to HRA across the UK.

Required outputs

  • Guidance as to how any SACs for harbour porpoise should be considered during any necessary project specific HRA
  • Guidance as to the status of harbour porpoise outside any designated SAC i.e. European Protected Species
  • Guidance on the interpretation of Management Units and how they should be used in HRA and EIA
Location N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • Management Papers currently being prepared by SNH
  • Guidance is currently being developed by Marine Scotland and SNH regarding this issue
Candidate project(s)
  • Development of guidance on interpretation of Management Units and how they should be applied to EIA/HRA.  Possible lead and funders: SNCBs.
  • As part of the exploration of issues surrounding the development of Conservation Objectives and management for the proposed new harbour porpoise SACs, the UK Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies are considering how disturbance might be assessed within HRA and in particular, how significant disturbance might be defined.  There are no outputs which can be shared at this stage in the process, but outputs will be shared as appropriate.  Although the focus of these considerations has been piling activity and acoustic disturbance, some of the principles are likely to also be relevant for wave and tidal stream projects.
1.1.7 Shipping and navigation
Project G.1 Development of agreed methods/processes for assessing, mitigating and managing potential impacts on shipping and navigation

Aim

To develop agreed methods/processes for assessing, mitigating and managing potential impacts on shipping and navigation

Objectives

To develop agreed methods/processes for assessing, mitigating and managing potential impacts on shipping and navigation; particularly in relation to potential cumulative impacts around development clusters and strategic development areas.

Required outputs

  • SANAP for key strategic development areas
  • Site suitability mapping tool that considers navigational safety
Location N/A

Relevant projects currently planned or underway

  • Strategic Area Navigation Appraisal (SANAP) for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Strategic Area (Anatec)
  • NOREL guidance on under keel clearance
Candidate project(s)
  • Strategic Area Navigation Appraisal (SANAP) for key development areas
  • Development of a navigational site suitability screening tool

ORJIP OE is also open to any existing projects already underway that fall within the scope of the priority projects as a way of raising the profile of the research and sharing data. ORJIP OE encourages Network members to approach the Secretariat if they have any relevant project ideas, or suitable project sites and the Secretariat can provide the necessary coordination to help put projects together.