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Accompanying ecological research „alpha ventus”

Environmental compatibility

The Trianel Windpark Borkum is located in the so-called priority area for wind power, which has been adopted into the regional development plan by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency. The priority area comprises the area to the north of Borkum and covers an area of 542 km2 in total. The Trianel Windpark Borkum occupies only a fraction of this area.

The site is near the Borkum Riffground FFH area. The investigation into environmental compatibility carried out for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is included in the regional development plan, has revealed that the installation of wind turbines will not adversely affect the protection and maintenance objectives of the FHH area, provided certain precautionary measures are undertaken. 

Having said that, there will be short-term adverse effects on the marine fauna and flora during the construction phase of the wind farm. These are created by noise and the disturbance of sediment during the erection of the tripods and the installation of cables on the seabed. Due to the disturbance of sediment, the seawater will become murky from time to time. The noise created during the fastening of the tripods can lead to disturbance near the wind farm and further a field.

Water is a good medium for conducting sound. This means that at certain times of day there will be an increase in noise pollution underwater. Since all these impacts are not continuous, no lasting disturbance is to be expected for fish, porpoises, and seal species. It is possible that some seabed creatures will be unsettled by the short-term disturbance of sediment when the tripods are anchored to the seabed. However, it can be presumed that there will be no larger scale lasting damage or even a displacement of living creatures. 

Overall it can be said that during installation of the wind farm, the impact on mammals, fish, birds and seabed creatures will be short-term and minor. Furthermore, as both mammals and fish are highly mobile it can be expected that there will be a lot of movement both over time and area. Porpoises for example cover up to 58 km in a day. The nursing grounds for the young animals are primarily in coastal waters, particularly the areas to the west of the island of Sylt.

Kegelrobbe bei Helgoland (® Andreas Trepte)

Grey seals are primarily found along the British coast. Some birthing and resting places are located at the sandbanks in the mudflats (of Amrum and Heligoland). This species will also only be disturbed during the construction phase, if at all. Generally it must be said that the main threat to the North Sea habitat comes from fishing, oil spillage, sand and gravel extraction and the discharge of pollutants.