The Danish transmission operator Energinet has commissioned environmental studies to be carried out by Niras and Rambøll at the site of the two energy islands in the Baltic and North Seas. In the coming years, the populations of marine mammals, fish and birds during different seasons of the year are to be surveyed.
Rambøll will conduct environmental studies in the Baltic Sea in waters where offshore wind turbines will be installed 20 kilometers off the south coast of Bornholm. Denmark plans to harvest 2 GW of power from offshore wind farms approximately 20 kilometers off the south coast of Bornholm. From here, green energy will be sent to Zealand and abroad.
Niras, in turn, will conduct research on a future energy island in the North Sea, some 80 kilometers off the west coast of Jutland. The island will be located approximately 100 kilometers from the coast. Once completed, the island will collect 3 GW of energy from offshore wind farms and ship it to Denmark and other countries. In the longer term, the island will be expanded to accommodate 10 GW.
These two entities were selected as a result of a tender. They are to complete their task until 2024.
– Renewable energy from wind in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea will help Danes and Europeans to use energy without affecting the climate in the future. It is crucial, however, that the green transition goes hand in hand with the protection of nature and wildlife – said Hanne Storm Edlefsen, vice director for energy islands at Energinet.
While the environmental research is being carried out, specialized vessels in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea will conduct analyzes of sea depth, seabed features and geological strata under the seabed. Geophysical data will be used in the construction of wind turbines and cable deployment.
Denmark will also have to carry out environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for the islands and individual construction projects. The body responsible for the environmental assessment of the energy island plans is the Danish Energy Agency. The results of the environmental studies carried out by Niras and Rambøll will be fed into the EIA.
A public consultation on an island in the Baltic Sea will start in October.
In autumn 2021, the Danish Energy Agency will start the first consultation on the environmental assessment of energy island plans. For an energy island in the North Sea, consultations will start on 23 August and for an energy island in the Baltic Sea on 4 October. Consultations will last 5 weeks.