In July 2020, the Secretary of State issued a ‘minded-to-approve letter’ to Hornsea Three, which outlined that the proposed kittiwake compensatory measures submitted to the Planning Inspectorate did not contain sufficient evidence to give the required level of confidence that the proposed approach could be successfully applied to compensate for the level of impact to the Flamborough and Filey Coast SPA. Following this, Shoney Wind Ltd (SWL) shared their kittiwake tower design concepts with Hornsea Three and Hornsea Four projects. Today, 31st December, Hornsea Three was granted consent by the Secretary of State.
An Ørsted spokesperson said: “Ørsted would like to thank Shoney Wind Ltd for sharing its specialist knowledge and innovative concepts for purpose built, modular, adaptable, and relocatable artificial kittiwake towers which helped inform the Hornsea Three Kittiwake Compensation thinking [*]. The Shoney Wind designs take account of environmental factors such as wind direction and sun exposure and include internal access to breeding kittiwakes via a stairwell and internal cabin. The designs facilitate direct access to the birds and enable ornithologists to undertake comprehensive monitoring of birds, their nests and their young. Shoney Wind designs include supplementary feeding mechanisms successfully pioneered by Shoney Wind’s collaborator, the Institute for Seabird Research and Conservation of Anchorage, Alaska”
*Ørsted is yet to choose a tower design and may decide to adopt an alternative.
Nathalie Stevenson, the Director of SWL remarked “The Hornsea Three consent award is an important step-change for the UK offshore wind industry. Increasing sea surface temperatures are a significant threat to seabird prey; and the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is critical to slowing down climate change. SWL’s kittiwake nesting and feeding towers have the potential, if deployed in the right locations, to offset collision mortality and thus enable the growing UK offshore wind industry to coexist with kittiwakes.”
The Ørsted Hornsea Three consent award press release can be found here.
More information on SWL’s kittiwake towers can be found here.