Seiche Environmental protects marine mammals at Triton Knoll

In: Windfarms
East Anglia based Seiche Environmental has been appointed to implement important marine mammal safety mitigation measures at the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm.
Specialising in underwater acoustic measurement, monitoring, and mitigation measures, the team from Seiche has been brought on board to ensure that the impact of underwater noise from construction activities - linked to the installation of 90 monopile foundations and two offshore substation platforms has minimal impact on any local cetaceans and seals.

Seiche’s marine mammal mitigation team - based on-board the 183 metre long installation vessel Seaway Strashnov - uses specialist Passive Acoustic Measurement (PAM) equipment to identify if any marine mammals are present under water. Under the direction of their team, an Acoustic Deterrent Device (Lofitech’s Seal Scarer) is used to help keep any marine mammals that may be present, beyond the 500 metre radius protection zone - established before live piling operations.

Combined with visual monitoring during daylight hours, Seiche’s team of observers and PAM operators ensure that the Marine Mammal Mitigation Protocol, which follows the government’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s guidance protocol, is adhered to at all times.

In addition to the marine mammal mitigation services, Seiche is also recording and reporting on noise output during the installation of the initial piles, so that predictions - used to assess the potential impact on marine fauna – can be validated.

Commenting on the project, Nicola Harris - Associate Director Environmental Services for Seiche, said: “Understanding and minimising the impact of offshore construction on marine mammals is a vital part of modern offshore wind farm development. Pile driving activities are governed by strict marine mitigation procedures, and we are proud to be providing the crucial expertise to ensure that the noise from these works is managed in a way that is not damaging to the like of grey seal, harbour porpoise and harbour seal, as well as other species less common in the North Sea, including white-beaked dolphin and minke whale.

“Utilising noise monitoring methodology developed by Seiche’s BioSciences and Acoustic Technical specialists, we have implemented mitigation measures that are in accordance with best practice underwater noise guidance and standards whilst better understanding the effect of offshore developments on the marine environment.”

Located 32km off the coast of Lincolnshire in the east of England,
Triton Knoll is being owned by innogy (59%), J-Power (25%), and Kansai Electric Power (16%) with innogy managing the construction as well as the long-term operation and maintenance works, on behalf of its project partners.

The wind farm will feature 90
V164-9.5 MW turbines mounted on monopile foundations connected by over 100km of cabling. The wind farm is expected to produce first power in 2021. Once fully operational, it will be capable of generating enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of over 800,000 typical UK households

The project's first turbine foundation was hammered into place in January 2020. Each foundation consists of a steel monopile which weighs on average 600 tonnes and measures around 54 metres long as well as a transition piece.

Onshore progress was made during 2019 to construct the project’s electrical system, which consists of a 57km underground onshore export cable, a new landfall connection and purpose-built onshore substation. Construction is due to finish in 2020 and will ensure the project is all set to transmit power, via the offshore substations which were mechanically completed in 2019, into the national grid network and ultimately over 800,000 UK homes.

In 2021, the focus of construction will shift to the installation and energisation of the powerful 9.5MW turbines, with
Triton Knoll anticipating the first electricity to flow from the wind farm into the UK National Grid later that year.

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