BOEM Contracts TNO, CSA, Oasis for Renewable Energy Acoustic Propagation Study
CSA Ocean Sciences, Oasis, and Dutch company TNO Maritime & Offshore have been awarded a contract from the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for a project related to underwater noise during offshore wind construction offshore activities.
Use of offshore wind energy is expanding in Europe and North America. Individual offshore wind turbines are supported by large piles, of several meters in diameter, and the construction process requires these piles to be driven tens of meters into the seabed, resulting in concerns about possible adverse effects of construction noise on marine life, the project partners explained.
Such effects are routinely evaluated by carrying out environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for each wind farm, but no harmonised methodology presently exists to ensure EIAs carried out by different organisations would produce comparable results for the same construction.
To address this situation, BOEM has contracted the team of American and European experts in underwater sound propagation and bioacoustics, with the main goal of the project – called A Parametric Analysis and Sensitivity Study of the Acoustic Propagation for Renewable Energy Sources and Projects (PASS) – being providing BOEM with a harmonised acoustic propagation methodology for future environmental impact assessments.
TNO’s contributions to the project are to provide finite element predictions of the sound field close to a pile, to develop simple methods for extrapolating from measurements close to a pile, and to advise CSA and OASIS based on TNO’s experience on European construction projects.