Ørsted Starts Building Hornsea Three’s Kittiwake Artificial Nesting Structures

Ørsted has commenced work on constructing artificial nesting structures for Black-legged kittiwake offshore Minsmere and Lowestoft in East Suffolk, UK, as part of a compensation scheme associated with its Hornsea Three offshore wind farm.

Concept design of the artificial nesting structures; Image source: Ørsted

The works were scheduled to start on 30 January for the site off Minsmere, where one artificial nesting structure (ANS) will be built some 1.4 kilometres offshore. The construction of two artificial nesting structures 1 kilometre off the coast of South Beach, Lowestoft, is expected to start on 4 February.

By 31 March, all three artificial nesting structures should be completed.

The ANS installation will be carried out using the Typhoon 3000 jack-up barge, the tug Brutus, and the anchor-handling tug Dutch Pearl, with the crew transfer vessel CRC Vanguard supporting the operations.

Under the Development Consent Order (DCO) for the 2.9 GW Hornsea Three offshore wind farm, the developer is required to include ecological compensation measures for the Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), a vulnerable seabird species whose populations could be affected by wind farms.

The project providing artificial nesting structures is the first of its kind, according to Ørsted, who, besides the three ANS sites in East Suffolk, also plans to build the same structures in North East England, where geophysical surveys of the identified ANS sites were performed in the fourth quarter of last year.

Each structure will be purpose-built, bespoke and specific to the landscape characteristics of each location. The structures also present an educational opportunity, allowing researchers to better understand kittiwake, Ørsted says on its website.

Hornsea Three, which was awarded a Contract for Difference (CfD) in July 2022, will be built 160 kilometres offshore the Yorkshire coast.

The offshore wind farm is expected to be commissioned in 2027 and, with a generation capacity of 2,852 MW, it will be able to produce enough electricity to power 3.2 million UK homes, according to the developer.


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