TenneT Installs Artificial Reefs in Dutch North Sea to Support Marine Life Near Offshore Wind Farms
Posted 27/10/2023 14:34
TenneT, the Dutch transmission system operator, has joined forces with contractor Equans/Smulders to deploy a series of artificial reefs near the offshore wind power transformer platform Hollandse Kust (west Alpha). These reefs are strategically designed to foster marine life around the platform and contribute to nature-inclusive construction practices in the North Sea. The initiative is part of TenneT's comprehensive effort to promote ecosystem well-being alongside the development of offshore wind energy infrastructure.
The deployment of these artificial reefs aims to deepen the understanding of marine life behavior and habitat preferences, guiding the construction of future wind farms with minimal impact on the surrounding environment. Saskia Jaarsma, the head of offshore development at TenneT, emphasized the organization's commitment to ecologically responsible practices, underlining the importance of ongoing research, monitoring, and stimulation of marine life.
The initiative involves the placement of two types of artificial reefs near the Hollandse Kust west alpha jacket, employing both reef cubes and reef balls made from recycled and nature-friendly materials. These structures serve as potential hotspots for the settlement of coral, algae, and various marine organisms, creating favorable conditions for juvenile fish, crabs, and lobsters.
The project also entails a comparative study between the two reef shapes, with a focus on assessing the effectiveness of each design in facilitating marine biodiversity. TenneT's ecological experts, including marine biologist Annemiek Hermans, are actively monitoring the reefs' impact on the surrounding ecosystem, evaluating factors such as the diversity of life forms and the establishment of habitats for various marine species.
Jaarsma highlighted the significance of such initiatives in fostering a comprehensive understanding of nature-inclusive construction, paving the way for informed decision-making and future industry practices. The organization remains dedicated to fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing across stakeholders in the North Sea, contributing to the collective goal of promoting ecological sustainability and biodiversity around offshore wind farms.