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Oxford, Sheffield and Heriot-Watt Universities helping with the 96MW project's environmental impact assessment
The TotalEnergies and Simply Blue Group joint venture Blue Gem Wind has commissioned seabird researchers from Oxford, Sheffield and Heriot-Watt Universities to support environmental impact assessment work for the 96MW Erebus floating offshore wind farm in the Celtic Sea.
The supplementary data will provide tracking analysis for species including Gannet, Manx shearwater and Guillemot and provide information on connectivity between the project site and Grassholm, Skomer and Skokholm using existing long term GPS tracking data.
“This data provides a unique view of behavioural usage of the Erebus site for these species, including understanding whether birds are travelling, feeding or resting and assists in understanding seabird behaviour during daylight and darkness,” Blue Gem Wind said.
Blue Gem Wind project managing director Mike Scott said: “As part of our Environmental Impact Assessment we commissioned two years of offshore digital aerial surveys in September 2019 to understand and characterise seabird, and marine mammal use, of the proposed Erebus project.
“On completion of these aerial surveys we are supplementing this work by engaging the services of several academic institutions responsible for long term seabird tagging and tracking projects from the Pembrokeshire Islands.”
Blue Gem Wind consenting manager Ben Huskinson said: “The decision to proactively commission the additional work was taken after continuous engagement with the Wildlife Trust, RSPB, JNCC and Natural Resources Wales.
“As Wales’s first floating wind project, we wanted to engage and source the best available data and ensure that the introduction of a new technology into the Celtic Sea is fully understood and assessed.
“We remain on track to submit our Environmental Statement to Natural Resources Wales in December.”
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