In January the Annex IV expert forum met to discuss the challenges associated with the environmental monitoring around tidal turbines. The video can be viewed below.The discussions highlighted the various ways that different monitoring techniques have been developed and used to monitor tidal turbines. The monitoring methods covered underwater noise as well as marine animal monitoring (mostly focused on fish and marine mammal monitoring).

Jason Wood (SMRU Consulting North America) outlined SMRU Consulting’s marine mammal work at FORCE & the Cape Sharp Tidal OpenHydro turbine location which has included CPOD surveys, icListen hydrophone surveys (fixed and drifting), Gemini sonar monitoring and visual surveys.

The main gaps highlighted by Jason included data on the near field behaviour of marine mammals and information on how the monitoring equipment works in tidal sites and whether or not the data obtained can tell us if a strike has actually occurred.

Carol Sparling (SMRU Consulting Europe) presented an overview of all the marine mammal monitoring around tidal turbines that SMRU Consulting has been involved in, including MCT SeaGen, TEL DeltaStream, MeyGen, Cape Sharp Tidal, FORCE, and the Bay of Fundy. Our monitoring methods have included aerial, PAM and visual surveys, seal telemetry studies, sonar and video monitoring. Carol highlighted that there is a need for integrated analytical tools, and highlighted that projects benefit from early and direct engagement with engineers and project developers. One key question raised was how the monitoring will scale up from single turbines to arrays.

Check out the video below for the full forum presentations: