Hollandse Kust Zuid helps in uncovering opportunities to improve wind farms nature

Teams from Vattenfall and De Rijke Noordzee launched a joint investigation at the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm to find out more about the possibilities for enhancing nature on wind farms.

Offshore wind power development must be done in a way that respects the environment and nature for it to be sustainable. Sustainable electricity production and a healthy ecosystem are becoming more and more entwined, thanks to important research on biodiversity, ground-breaking inventions, and updates to wind turbines.

By 2030, Vattenfall hopes to significantly increase biodiversity. Protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity are linked to global climate targets and the goal of making fossil-free living a reality within a generation as part of the government’s biodiversity policy for the development of wind farms. This means that we set high standards for biodiversity in the tendering process and incorporate biodiversity considerations into onshore and offshore wind projects from the beginning. The business is also involved in a number of lengthy studies on the environment and biodiversity near wind farms.

Supporting nature

The company is examining how wind turbine designs can help to develop nature on wind farms, whereas research has traditionally focused on enhancing the natural environment around turbines. Fish and other marine life can enter and exit the turbines thanks to openings in the foundations of the structures. The issue at hand is whether the animals will use the interior of the turbines as a new habitat, a place to hide, or a source of food. Together with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, the study will be conducted at the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm (NIOZ). A variety of measurements will be made inside and around the turbines in the upcoming years to determine how far biodiversity has come.

Safeguarding marine life

Plans for the upcoming Hollandse Kust West VI wind farm are being carried out by Vattenfall in the same manner. Additionally, it will make use of cutting-edge technology, such as vibration systems for fixed turbine foundations to reduce underwater noise, a variety of innovations to lessen the likelihood of birds and bats colliding with wind turbines, and nature-inclusive designs for wind farms to preserve and restore natural marine habitats. In order to fill in any knowledge gaps regarding the effects of offshore wind power on marine ecology, we are also developing a thorough, multi-year ecological research program. We will disseminate the information and understanding gained from Hollandse Kust West lot VI using our knowledge and communications platform, support additional ecological research at the wind farm, and educate a wider audience about offshore wind and marine ecology.

Image source: Vattenfall

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