Director - Offshore Renewables
Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm is located in the east Irish Sea, approximately 9 km from Walney Island near Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, UK.
RPS has been involved in the Ormonde project since 2004, having originally fulfilled the role of lead EIA consultant during the planning and development phase, prior to acquisition of the project by Vattenfall. Since this time we’ve been involved in the provision of environment and consents support throughout the pre-construction, construction and post-construction/operational and maintenance (O&M) phases.
Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm
East Irish Sea, United Kingdom
Ormonde was one of the first offshore windfarms to be consented and built. It was the first commercial deployment of 5 MW turbines, and the first UK project to use jacket foundations. The Irish Sea is host to multiple existing and often competing sea uses including oil & gas, fisheries, and commercial navigation. Additionally, significant areas of the sea bed and surrounding coastal region have environmental designations. RPS was engaged to deliver the EIA – and consent was successfully achieved in 2008.
Following consent, several conditions needed to be confirmed as discharged by the regulator before construction could commence. These conditions required the preparation of multiple management plans, and the establishment and coordination of an environmental monitoring programme. RPS was retained to provide support across the pre-construction phase and to ensure compliance with the environmental monitoring programme during the construction and post-construction phases.
With the introduction of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, several O&M activities required additional licensing. In addition, changes to environmentally protected areas meant that designations closed and overlapped the operational site. Our ongoing support has enabled Vattenfall to maintain production within this changing regulatory landscape.
Image courtesy of Ben Barden Photography.
RPS managed the EIA from the scoping phase to submission of the Environmental Statement and award of consent, working closely with the regulator and stakeholders throughout the consenting process.
We managed the pre-construction condition discharge process and prepared several of the consents management plans including the Environmental Monitoring Plan, the Project Environmental Management Plan (PEMP) and the Marine Pollution Contingency Plan (MPCP).
We also acted as Environmental Liaison Officer (ELO) during the construction phase, monitoring compliance with the PEMP and maintaining the consents register to track compliance. We coordinated several of the environmental monitoring surveys including Marine Mammal Observation, suspended sediment monitoring, fisheries and ornithological surveys, and prepared a series of annual monitoring reports to communicate the results of the construction and post-construction monitoring programmes, which have since been confirmed as fulfilled by the regulator.
RPS continues to provide O&M phase environment and consents support to Vattenfall. Recent work has included O&M Marine Licensing for licensable activities at the offshore wind farm site and O&M base at the Port of Barrow, reviewing contractor method statements, delivering spill awareness training, developing the O&M phase MPCP, facilitating an environmental aspects and impacts assessment workshop, and leading a spill response exercise.
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