Building on Ørsted’s long term commitment to environmentally responsible wind farm development, this proposed collaborative approach to delivering benefits to biodiversity at a sea-scape level is another step to achieving a net-positive biodiversity impact for all projects we commission from 2030 onwards.
Should Ørsted be successful in winning seabed, the project will help demonstrate how to deliver a Net Positive Impact in the Celtic Sea and also, crucially, creates a framework supporting offshore wind developers to work together and coordinate their biodiversity projects - a huge opportunity for developers and Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies to achieve significantly larger positive outcomes, at a seascape scale.
Stine Andersen, Ørsted’s Celtic Sea Bid Developer, said:
“The particular opportunities and challenges of biodiversity interactions with floating technology are currently less explored, and we propose a strategic and collaborative ecosystem-scale solution.”
Samir Whitaker, Ørsted’s Biodiversity Lead Specialist, added:
“Collaboration is key to balancing the needs of the environment, other sea users, and communities onshore, and the Celtic Sea’s leasing round presents an opportunity to create a net positive outcome for nature.”
“A collaborative, strategic approach to net positive impact in the marine environment has the ability to create a more substantial outcome for biodiversity, and the risk of not working together would be a missed opportunity for the effective restoration of the natural environment.”
As a global leader in offshore wind, Ørsted has set an industry-leading ambition that all new renewable energy projects it commissions from 2030, at the latest, should deliver a net-positive biodiversity impact. Any Ørsted project in the Celtic Sea will meet this ambition, as well as respond to the requirement from The Crown Estate to produce a social and environmental value creation plan.
However, the marine environment is complex with highly mobile species, diffuse impacts, as well as numerous and diverse threats to habitats and species - all of which require assessment and interventions across large scales. The project with Bluedot Associates will inform the development of floating offshore wind by Ørsted in the Celtic Sea region, enabling biodiversity to thrive at a seascape scale. The approach can also be applied more broadly and could be used collaboratively as developers look for effective joined-up approaches to creating healthier seas. In the future, this approach could also link with strategic environmental measures taken through the forthcoming UK Government Marine Recovery Fund.
To support Ørsted in preparing to deliver Net Positive Impact in its Celtic Sea projects, Bluedot Associates’ approach considers the state of biodiversity features, the pressures they face, and the responses that could be taken to reduce pressures and improve state.
There are already opportunities for offshore wind developers to collaborate with each other and Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, from coordinating baseline studies, sharing data, and agreeing long-term monitoring plans at the outset through to working in coordinated way on the design of appropriate responses to reduce pressures and improve the state of priority biodiversity features at a seascape scale.