Environmental monitoring

In order to build and operate a wind farm, there are many local environmental issues to take into account. That is why all wind farm developers undertake Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), using surveys and assessments to identify all the natural, physical and human environmental factors which could be affected by the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of their wind farms. Separate EIAs for Sheringham Shoal’s offshore wind farm and its onshore grid connection were carried out. As part of the EIA process, Sheringham Shoal engaged with the full range of consultees including more than 45 statutory and non-statutory bodies representing key interest and user groups in North Norfolk and nationally. The EIA results were incorporated into Environmental Statements (ES) which were submitted as part of the consent applications to the relevant authorities, and you can find further detailed information on this topic in the Consenting Documents page of this website.

To enable the operation and maintenance of the power plant, Sheringham Shoal has been granted a Marine Licence by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).  This licence carries conditions for present and future environmental monitoring, specifically that post-construction monitoring is required at different intervals and for different periods across the following suite of areas:

  • Birds
  • Marine Mammals
  • Benthic Ecology and Sabellaria
  • Fish
  • Elasmobranchs
  • Bathymetry
  • Side-scan Sonar
  • Archaeology

Consequently a scheduled programme of surveys is planned in advance, in liaison with the MMO, and in cooperation with qualified sub-contractors commissioned to carry out the surveys, in order to ensure full compliance with the conditions of the Marine Licence.  Full consultation procedures with stakeholders, for example the fishing community, are followed when surveys are planned and implemented.

Noise resulting from the operation of the wind farm is monitored and follow-up actions are implemented as may be appropriate. Sheringham Shoal strives to minimise the disturbance caused by its operations, and this is particularly applicable to the onshore electricity substation at Salle.