Acoustic tech for wind farms proves whale effective

A technology to protect whales by deterring them from straying too close to offshore wind construction sites has proved to be effective. The Offshore Renewables Joint industry Programme (ORJIP) used […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A technology to protect whales by deterring them from straying too close to offshore wind construction sites has proved to be effective.

The Offshore Renewables Joint industry Programme (ORJIP) used funding from innogy, ├śrsted, and Statoil to advance research into Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDS), which have already been found to keep seals and harbour porpoise safe.

The latest research has shown the equipment also works on minke whales, which were observed to display “clear and sustained movement away from the ADD deployment site, adopting faster swim speeds with more directed movement”.

During the construction of wind farms, percussive pile driving for foundation installation generates loud underwater noise which can injure marine animals.

Currently construction can be delayed if sea creatures are found in the vicinity.

Olivia Burke, Manager of the ORJIP ADD project at the Carbon Trust said: “The results from this research are really exciting and are a result of many organisations working together to help shed light on this important area.

“The findings will help increase industry and regulator confidence in the use of ADDs to actively manage the protection of marine mammals during the piling phase of construction.”