• Image of micro-platform with tidal and wind turbines in North Connel near Falls of Lora
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TIdal Demonstration for Energy Scheme

The main purpose of this project was to design an environmental monitoring plan (EMP) for a pilot tidal turbine installation in Fair Head (N. Ireland).

SAMS’ role was to gather information from baseline studies in high energy locations, combined with lessons learnt from other marine industries in order to design an EMP framework suitable across the tidal-stream and wave sectors.

The approach was to...

  1. identify key environmental parameters and species that are likely to be vulnerable and/or indicate change as a result of site development. These included marine mammals, sea birds, fish and benthic invertebrates.
  2. consider the specific tools required for monitoring, whether standard (e.g. line-transect sampling), recently developed/applied (e.g. Before-After/Control-Impact BACI designs) or not-yet developed (e.g. mammal-turbine collision detectors), and
  3. determine the statistical power needed to detect changes.

The ultimate aim was to develop EMPs that can assess, with a known degree of certainty, whether or not new marine renewable installations will actually impact the marine environment and whether redesign, mitigation or site adjustment are required for extraction of marine renewable energy without undue harm to our coastal seas.

The SAMS lead scientist on this project is Dr Kim Last.