Underwater Biodiversity Surveys Concluded for Expansive Baltic Sea Offshore Wind Ventures
Posted 11/08/2023 14:25
In a significant step towards the development of renewable energy resources, OX2 and Ålandsbanken Fondbolag have successfully concluded underwater biodiversity surveys for their ambitious Noatun offshore wind projects, situated near Åland in the Baltic Sea.
To meticulously explore the submerged ecosystem where the Noatun North and Noatun South offshore wind projects are envisaged, the project team employed innovative methodologies.
A pivotal innovation has been the utilization of environmental DNA (eDNA) to gain precise insights into fish populations. This technique has yielded remarkable findings, with the detection of previously unrecorded fish species in the region. Haddock, sand creeper, flounder, and four-bearded rockling are among the newfound species, shedding new light on the aquatic biodiversity in the vicinity.
While underwater surveys have concluded, investigations above the water's surface are ongoing and are slated for completion in the forthcoming autumn months. The study's scope includes monitoring avian activity, with a focus on razorbills and kittiwakes. Additionally, 13 porpoise detectors remain immersed to collect data on porpoise presence, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the area's natural dynamics.
The development trajectory of these offshore wind projects has been punctuated by meaningful milestones. In November 2021, OX2 and Ålandsbanken Fondbolag formalized their intent to collaboratively advance the Noatun South venture, boasting a substantial capacity of 3 GW across 250 turbines. Building upon this momentum, a binding agreement was reached in September 2022 to usher in the development phase for both Noatun South and the expansive Noatun North project, encompassing a mammoth 360 turbines and an intended total capacity of 5 GW.
This profound commitment to renewable energy has been supported by the Government of Åland, which granted permission for site investigations and environmental impact assessments.
As the intricate web of data and analysis continues to unravel, these comprehensive studies stand as a testament to the dedication of OX2 and Ålandsbanken Fondbolag in fostering sustainable energy solutions within the Baltic Sea region.