BODL to Listen Out For Small Cetaceans off Blyth

Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Ltd (BODL) will be deploying 11 hydrophones in order to monitor the presence and activity of small cetaceans in and around the proposed 99.9MW Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration project, Kis-Orca reports.

Photo: Katrin Lohrengel/ Sea Watch Foundation

The hydrophones are passive devices consisting of a buoyant plastic tube 67cm in length and 10cm in diameter attached to a weight by a 4m length of line, with the battery powered electronic recording device inside.

The vessel Princess Royal will be used to deploy and retrieve the equipment. The period of deployment will be until at least October 2016.

The Blyth Offshore Wind Demonstration project will comprise an offshore wind farm located 5.7km off the Norhumberland coast. The development has consent for up to 15 turbines when fully constructed.

BODL, the developer of the project, is a wholly owned subsidiary of EDF Energy Renewables.

EDF ER acquired the rights to develop the project in October 2014, securing both the seabed rights from The Crown Estate and the associated land rights and meteorological data from the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

The scheme will be used by EDF ER to install and trial new turbine and foundation technology in realistic offshore conditions before being used on a wider scale.

A final investment decision on building the site is expected to be made later this year. Should the project proceed, the first stage of construction will focus on the development of ‘Array 2’ section of the wind farm, an arrangement of turbines closest to shore, requiring site investigations, design and procurement activities covering the installation of five turbines and the associated electrical cable which would connect to the electrical grid on shore.