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Offshore Ecology Projects

SPR also have an inhouse offshore ecology team comprising of Senior Ecology Mangers, Ecology Managers and Assistant Ecology Managers who have expertise in ornithology, marine mammals, and nature inclusive design to name a few.


The team support all stages of offshore projects from origination and auction to operation and are always looking to mitigate any impact to the marine environment, the primary step in the mitigation hierarchy. The Offshore Ecology team will then apply the next levels of the mitigation hierarchy to ensure there is limited impact to the marine environment.

Environmental Surveys

Digital aerial surveys (DAS) that can collect data on a variety of species such as birds, marine mammals, and fish are used as part of our Environmental Impact Assessment. All survey data collected will inform the turbine design and layout to avoid impact to any species.

Research Development

Research and development is key to the offshore business. The Offshore Ecology Team are part of many industry-leading working groups that provide a platform for knowledge sharing and funding for data collection projects across the UK and Europe. These include OCEaN (Offshore Coalition for Energy and Nature) and CEMIND (Collaboration for Environmental Mitigation and Nature Inclusive Design).

East Anglia: Harbour Porpoise Projects, Lowestoft, UK

ScottishPower Renewables, through its East Anglia ONE windfarm, has completed a three-and-a-half-year study to better understand the impacts of offshore wind farm construction on the harbour porpoise population. 

The Harbour Porpoise is one of the smallest marine mammals in the ocean and the most abundant. However, they are at risk from several threats including pollution, climate change, shipping noise, military activities, oil and gas exploration, and accidental catch in fishing nets.

The study, backed by SPR with an investment of over £700k, sought to establish the real-life effect of construction noise on this protected species, with a focus on testing and improving population impact models which will increase certainty when assessing the noise impacts of future offshore wind farms on harbour porpoise.

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Ecology at East Anglia THREE

SPR are also funding a similar study through its East Anglia THREE project which also lies wholly within the Southern North Sea Special Area of Conservation designated for harbour porpoise.

This study will aim to investigate changes in harbour porpoise behaviour during the various phases of construction using a set of 12 underwater acoustic devices to detect and register underwater sound including harbour porpoise clicks. The study began gathering pre-construction data in April 2023 and will continue to collect data until at least 12 months after completion of construction of East Anglia Three windfarm.

 The data will then be analysed by experts and used to inform a greater understanding of the impacts of construction on harbour porpoise.

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Marine Mammal Image
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