Danes Delay Sejerø Bugt Project over Sea Bird Concerns
Developers interested in constructing the Sejerø Bugt nearshore wind farm will have to wait an additional month to file their final bids after an environmental impact assessment (EIA) suggested that the farm could affect a population of migratory sea ducks which winter in the area.
In the assessment, researchers from Aarhus University and Niras, a consulting company, reassessed earlier EIAs for proposed offshore wind farms in Sejerø Bugt and Smålandsfarvandet.
The EIA was commissioned by the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) and Energinet.dk to reassess the potential of displacement of common scoter if wind farms are built in the areas.
According to the findings, it can not be excluded that the offshore wind farms may affect the nearby bird sanctuary and the population of common scoter.
Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate postponed the deadline for final bids until 4 May, saying that they need time to ”clarify the consequences” of the EIA.
Earlier environmental assessment suggested that offshore wind farms with a capacity of up to 350MW could be constructed in the areas, also suggesting that the Sejerø Bugt OWF should be built in a restricted area and with certain remedial measures.
The conclusions of both assessments are similar, but on opposite side in relation to the question whether the bird protection area will be affected by the farms or not, according to DEA.
Denmark is subject to the EU Habitats Directive, and the rules of the Natura 2000 stipulate that the precautionary principle should be applied when there is doubt about the outcome of the project.
The nearshore wind farm site Sejerø Bugt is located 8 km from the coast of western Zeeland, north of the city of Kalundborg. The potential wind farm at the site could have the capacity of up to 200MW.
In 2015, DEA launched a call for tenders for nearshore wind farms totaling 350MW in six sites. The tender was projected to be closed in the spring of 2016, with wind farms expected to be completed in 2020.
For all sites, the concessionaire(s) will be able to decide where to locate their wind farms within the limits of the designated area, and within the limits set by the EIAs.
The six nearshore wind farm sites are Vesterhav Nord, Vesterhav Syd, Sæby, Sejerø Bugt, Smålandsfarvandet, and Bornholm.
Offshore WIND Staff