Artist's impression of Hywind Tampen floating wind farm and the Snorre platform

New Marine Research Project to Tackle Underwater Noise from Floating Offshore Wind Farms

A new collaborative marine research initiative has started, focusing on identifying innovative designs and best practices for monitoring and mitigating underwater noise associated with floating offshore wind farms.

Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOW CoE) will work alongside project partners Equinor, JASCO Applied Sciences, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), and Xi Engineering, with ORE Catapult serving as project lead.

The collaborative marine research project has been jointly funded by The Crown Estate and the Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence.

While the industry has gathered significant data banks related to noise emissions related to bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines, fewer sources exist for floating offshore wind, said ORE Catapult.

The FLOWN-MIT programme has been developed to enhance understanding of environmental impacts while promoting a consistent, evidence-based approach to monitoring and mitigating potential risks.

Its work is expected to be completed by spring 2026.

“The team will harness live operational data from commercial floating offshore windfarms to model an accurate acoustic profile of noise emissions from floating offshore wind turbines,” said Andrew Stormonth-Darling, Principal Portfolio Manager – Floating Wind at ORE Catapult.

“This research will involve a thorough environmental risk review, and identify appropriate noise monitoring and mitigating tools and techniques designed to facilitate a consistently well-informed, efficient, evidence-based consenting process.”

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Established by The Crown Estate, the GBP 50 million (about EUR 58.7 million) Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme brings together a coalition of 26 government organisations, industry bodies, and environmental NGOs to collaborate and act as agents for change in the face of climate and biodiversity crises, according to ORE Catapult.

“Through pioneering solutions to mitigate underwater noise, we are not only de-risking the consenting process for offshore wind developments but also protecting marine wildlife, supporting biodiversity and nature recovery,” said Olivia Thomas, Head of Planning & Technical, Marine, The Crown Estate.

The FLOWN-MIT programme is among 35 projects funded by the initiative to fill evidence gaps around the sustainable development of offshore wind.

In terms of other news coming from ORE Catapult, the centre recently opened the National Floating Wind Innovation Centre (FLOWIC), which is said to be the world’s first dedicated innovation centre for floating offshore wind, in Aberdeen, Scotland.

ORE Catapult also secured nearly GBP 86 million in capital funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to enhance its wind turbine blade and drive train testing facilities in Blyth, Northumberland.

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