Stockport-headquartered consultancy APEM has completed seabird and marine mammal surveying relating to Vattenfall’s proposed Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm.
The project saw APEM collect over 34,000 ultra-high resolution digital photographs over a 24-month period (EA 01-Mar-17) and provide absolute density estimates for marine mammals. APEM’s aircraft-mounted camera systems gathered high-quality data enabling its in-house ornithology team to identify the species of over 95% of the birds in the images. The images are now being analysed by the project team and will help inform its final environmental impact assessment.
APEM project manager Sean Sweeney said: "We know how important it is for developers to have data that they can rely on and that is trusted by regulators. Our new method for using our aerial digital data to estimate population densities of marine mammals is a significant advance for the industry and we’re looking forward to continuing to provide high resolution aerial digital surveys for Vattenfall."
Once constructed, the Norfolk Boreas windfarm would cover an area of about 725km² and with a generating capacity of 1.8 GW - enough to supply around 1.3m homes.