UK: Natural Power to Conduct Ecological Survey for First Flight Wind

UK Natural Power to Conduct Ecological Survay for First Flight Wind

Leading renewable energy consultancy Natural Power has been appointed by First Flight Wind Ltd, the developers of Northern Ireland’s first offshore wind farm, to provide bird and marine mammal advisory and survey works over the Wind Resource Zone off the Co. Down coast of Northern Ireland.

First Flight Wind, a consortium comprising of B9 Energy, DONG Energy and Renewable Energy Systems Ltd (RES), was awarded a Wind Resource Zone of approximately 438km² off the Coast of County Down, Northern Ireland, by The Crown Estate in Autumn 2012.

Starting in July 2013, Natural Power’s experienced Ecology team commissioned a local Kilkeel vessel, to carry out the surveys, which are expected to last until late 2014. The boat-based surveys will see ornithologists and marine mammal observers undertaking surveys each month to collect data suitable for analysis and impact assessment.

Chris Pendlebury, Principal Ecologist at Natural Power said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by a consortium of three leading developers on such a large-scale project. Our Ecology team can provide clients with the full range of ecological advice during the lifespan of offshore renewable projects: from strategy to surveys and modelling. The team have worked on over 15 offshore wind farms and 60 onshore wind projects across the UK, including Robin Rigg and Inch Cape offshore windfarms in Scotland and Codling Wind Park in Ireland.”

Dr Carolyn Heeps, Project Development Manager of First Flight Wind commented: “As part of the overall Environmental Impact Assessment, First Flight Wind is undertaking a suite of surveys within the Wind Resource Zone. The boat-based surveys which Natural Power is carrying out play a crucial role in building a comprehensive picture of the existing environment, and will help us assess the potential impacts of the proposed offshore wind farm.”

The Natural Power Ecology & Hydrology department has considerable experience advising on all aspects of ecological and hydrological projects, including all baseline surveying requirements, data collation, statistical & modelling expertise, environmental impact assessments, HRA, mitigation and monitoring. The company’s long history in offshore wind and expertise is in the provision of advice and surveys to all phases of wind farm developments (feasibility, EIA, post-consent, pre-construction, construction and operation/OFTO).


Press release, August 7, 2013; Image: naturalpower