Leading international renewable energy consultancy, Natural Power, has been appointed as the environmental impact assessment (EIA) co-ordinators for the offshore elements of the Narec Offshore Wind Demonstrator Scheme after a competitive tendering exercise run by Turner and Townsend on Narec’s behalf. The Demonstrator will be located offshore from Narec’s Blyth headquarters, and will enable turbine manufacturers to develop novel approaches across the supply chain for new technologies that will aid the delivery of Round 3 and Scottish Territorial Water offshore projects. It will provide facilities for the testing and demonstration of prototype and pre-production turbines, with the opportunity to also study alternative foundation types, construction methods and remote monitoring.
Narec are dedicated to advancing the development, demonstration, deployment and grid integration of renewable energy. The offshore wind demonstration scheme will consist of up to 20 pre-consented ‘pods’ at which tenants may deploy their prototypes, demonstration turbines and foundations. These pods will be in up to four rows, increasing in distance offshore and with water depths of approx 20m, 35, 45 and 55 meters to allow testing of alternative installation methods and foundation types.
Natural Power will deploy expertise from a wide range of its consulting and management departments on the project. The development team have been working with Narec since June, and are already well underway co-ordinating the environmental impact survey work. Natural Power’s ecology, technical and marine departments are also involved: The ecology team co-ordinating the baseline ornithology and marine mammal surveys; the technical team are working with Narec to refine the estimates of the long term wind resource available across the site; marine engineers will be undertaking metocean and coastal processes modelling in partnership with Partrac; and Natural Power’s ZephIR wind lidar has already been deployed on site and is successfully up and running providing remote wind resource measurements up to 200 metres from ground level.
Senior Development Manager, Nancy McLean, is leading the project delivery for Natural Power and commented “This is a very exciting scheme for Natural Power to be involved in and is a great opportunity for us to utilise our lifecycle project skills. The whole team are looking forward to working closely with Narec, and being involved with the on-going success of the project.”
Narec’s Offshore Demonstrator Project Manager, Nathalie Stevenson added “Narec are very pleased to be working with Natural Power to deliver the EIA for the Narec demonstrator scheme. Understanding and predicting potential impacts of new turbine models, foundation technologies and installation methods is going to be central to submitting as robust an EIA as possible, and will require close co-operation of tenants, consultants and regulators. This process will be new territory for the planning regime compared with commercial offshore wind farms. We look forward to what will be an interesting but hopefully rewarding challenge for both parties”.