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West of Orkney windfarm plans submitted

HiDef are pleased to see that the application for consent for the West of Orkney wind farm has now been submitted. The proposed development is located approximately 25km from the north coast of Scotland and will generate around 2GW of clean electricity.

HiDef have played an important role in this application, from discussions in 2018 through to beginning data collection back in July 2020 when we successfully completed the first high-resolution digital aerial survey of the development area and 4km buffer. Surveys continued at approximately monthly intervals until September 2022, and over the survey program duration 32 species of birds and 12 species of non-avian animals, including marine mammals, fish and jellyfish were detected. These data were used to support the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for ornithology and marine mammals.

HiDef led on the marine mammal work delivery for the EIA. Our specialists delivered the marine mammal scoping chapter and baseline supporting study. The latter included modelling of the DAS data to provide spatial predictions of harbour porpoise and white-beaked dolphin density. Using outputs from the underwater noise assessment prepared by SMRU Consulting, HiDef prepared the marine mammal chapter for the Environmental Impact Assessment Report.

Finally, we prepared the Outline Marine Mammal Mitigation Protocol, which is required to minimize the risk of injury to marine mammals from preconstruction and construction underwater noise related impacts.

We look forward to working with Offshore Wind Power Limited to support their development post consent.

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