Orsted Van Oord droppable oyster structures

Ørsted and Van Oord to Install Droppable Oyster Structures at Borssele 1&2 Offshore Wind Farm

Ørsted and Van Oord, through their Ocean Health initiative, will install innovative droppable oyster structures at the 752 MW Borssele 1&2 offshore wind farm in the Netherlands to introduce European flat oysters and improve biodiversity in the wind farm.

Orsted Van Oord droppable oyster structures

The new installation method will allow affordable and manual deployment of oyster broodstock, according to Ørsted.

The oyster constructions were designed and tested by Van Oord and Delft University of Technology and are suitable for large-scale application, said Ørsted.

We want the transition to sustainable energy to also create long-term value for people and nature, with a positive effect on the climate and biodiversity. To this end, we work with experts such as Van Oord, to jointly develop scalable recovery measures that help us achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity,” said Ruben Dijkstra, Managing Director Ørsted Benelux.

Offshore wind farms provide hard substrate and an undisturbed seabed and are suitable locations to restore the flat oyster population in the North Sea, according to Ørsted. Offshore wind farms are currently located far away from the scare natural oyster reefs, which means there is no connection to them.

To stimulate the development of oyster reefs, oysters must be proactively released, according to Ørsted.

Both Ørsted and Van Oord have been working for some time to reintroduce the European flay oyster in the Dutch North Sea, mainly with oyster structures that have been placed with the help of a crane.

These are structures containing adult oysters that can reproduce which leads to the settlement of oysters and ultimately reef formation in the wind farms.

With the innovative droppable oyster structures only a small vessel, such as a crew transfer vessel (CTV), is required to place the constructions, according to Ørsted.

This means that the structures can easily be included in regular maintenance and repair work which can be carried out on a larger scale, said Ørsted.

The new method will be used at the Borssele 1&2 offshore wind farm from 2024.

Located 22 kilometres off the coast of the province of Zeeland, Borssele 1&2 is Ørsted’s first offshore wind farm in the Netherlands.

The offshore wind farm comprises 94 Siemens Gamesa 8 MW wind turbines and the 752 MW project was fully commissioned at the end of November 2020.


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