Supporting developments in offshore wind, wave, tidal stream, tidal lagoon and tidal barrage

Marine renewable energy will increasingly play an important role in helping the world meet its energy demand, reduce greenhouse gases and improve security of supply from sustainable sources.

ABPmer assists developers and contractors worldwide in achieving their ambitions; sharing detailed knowledge of the marine environment to help them deliver offshore wind, wave, tidal stream, tidal lagoon and tidal barrage development.

We are a recognised Development Service Provider offering a wide range of services that support clients throughout the project lifecycle; from site selection and feasibility, through environmental impact assessment and consenting to engineering design, construction and operation and maintenance.

Such is our reputation, having provided input to most of the UK’s offshore wind, wave and tidal developments as well as elsewhere in the world, we are regularly asked to advise governments, their agencies and regulators in developing and shaping policy.

Our strategic research initiatives for the renewables sector continue to be highly regarded and widely recognised outputs.

To date these include: the Atlas of UK Marine Renewable Energy, metocean guidelines for marine renewable projects (CIRIA), SEASTATES weather downtime tool, as well as the BSI Guide: EIA for Offshore Renewable Energy Projects.

Feasibility and site assessment

To minimise project risk, it is important for offshore wind developers to undergo a careful feasibility and site assessment process, including:

  • Site selection and characterisation
  • Feasibility and constraints analysis
  • Specification and management for surveys
  • Data gap analysis and data management

Site selection and characterisation
A robust site selection and characterisation exercise ensures the most appropriate place is identified for a development. This typically involves the analysis of available metocean, geophysical, geotechnical and environmental data to understand key site characteristics of relevance to engineering design and environmental consenting.  

Feasibility and constraints analysis
Determining the most appropriate place for a development or operation is founded on an understanding of constraints and opportunities.

Our specialists undertake multi-criteria analysis and provide sound advice based on our knowledge of environmental constraints alongside legal and policy requirements, to inform decision-making and minimise risk of consenting failure.

Survey: specification, data collection and management
Site assessments must be underpinned by an understanding of the baseline environment. ABPmer offers the full complement of survey capability, supporting projects with hydrographic, metocean, ecological, environmental, geophysical and topographic surveys.

We have a strong track record of specifying requirements and sufficiency criteria for marine surveys and provide client representatives to ensure safe and effective operations.

Data gap analysis and data management
It is important that data used as part of development projects is managed and applied effectively.

ABPmer’s data and GIS specialists support clients with the preparation, validation and uploading of offshore survey data to inform developments. All data is handled in compliance with client and external guidelines to support quality assurance.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Prior to the submission of an offshore wind development application, a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be undertaken. ABPmer provides support and advice throughout the EIA process, including:

  • Marine licence and consent application
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Discharge of consent conditions
  • Habitat compensation and mitigation
  • Post-consent survey

Marine licence and consent application
The consenting of offshore wind developments can be complex and must account for both national and international policy and legislation.

ABPmer has a wealth of experience supporting developers and regulators in the sustainable development of coastal and offshore areas.

Stakeholder engagement
Successfully engaging with stakeholders is an essential component of the consenting process. We are well practiced in communicating with all interested parties to achieve consensus and de-risk the application process.

Discharge of consent conditions
EIAs are usually granted subject to conditions covering the efficient operation of the development control process, which must be undertaken (discharged) before or during the commencement of works. We assist clients to discharge any conditions, such as monitoring requirements, in the most efficient and effective manner possible and support maintenance of compliance registers.

Habitat compensation and mitigation
Measures to avoid, mitigate and compensate negative ecological impacts should be identified as part of the EIA process.

As specialists in habitat creation and restoration in the nearshore and coastal zone, we routinely carry out investigations into impact investigations, and prepare Environmental Management and Monitoring Plans to accompany licence applications.

Post consent survey
It is usually a requirement of an EIA to verify conditions and impacts of a development after consent has been granted.

ABPmer offers the full complement of survey capability, supporting projects with hydrographic, metocean, ecological, environmental, geophysical and topographic surveys. Our marine specialists interpret survey results and deliver focussed monitoring reports to satisfy licence conditions.

Design, build and O&M

The successful design and operation of offshore wind farms is dependent on understanding metocean conditions at the site of interest. Engineers and operators require a good understanding of these conditions, as they can impact and influence their designs operationally, and in terms of safety and cost.

  • Metocean criteria
  • Weather downtime statistics
  • Seabed mobility and scour assessment
  • Cable landfall and burial assessment

Metocean criteria
ABPmer has substantial experience providing metocean design criteria for offshore wind. By using long-term hindcast models such as our in-house database SEASTATES, we provide fast access to quality controlled metocean information.

Subjecting metocean data to extremes analysis, we provide clients with intelligence on operational and extreme wind, wave, water level and current conditions, as well as meteorological data, sea water properties, and estimates of marine growth rate.

Weather downtime statistics
Adverse weather can have a major impact on project cost, programme and safety at sea; developers cannot afford to be without an understanding of the effect of weather on operations.

ABPmer’s Weather Downtime Express (WDTX) service provides developers with the necessary information to optimise operations and minimise weather risk, supporting decision-making and operational planning.

Seabed mobility and scour assessment
Mobile bedforms such as sand banks and sand waves cause many challenges during design and construction.

Using project-specific geophysical data, recent and historic seabed surveys, and oceanographic data from our SEASTATES metocean database, we help developers map the behavioural characteristics of the seabed across the wind farm site and export cable corridor.

Cable landfall and burial assessment
During cable route planning, it is vital to ensure sufficient levels of conservatism are factored into engineering design.

ABPmer helps offshore wind developers investigate ongoing and future coastal challenges at proposed export cable landfall locations. By understanding potential impacts to the costal process at the sites, we provide robust, appropriate cable installation options.

Ready to speak to one of our specialists about your requirements? Get in touch.

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