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Environment

Respect for the environment is one of Equinor’s pre-requisites for success. With this comes a responsibility not only to do no harm in developing projects but also to improve the quality of the marine environment.

Equinor is conducting a number of studies on offshore wind coexistence and environmental impact around its offshore wind projects.

Hywind Scotland

Equinor, operator of Hywind Scotland, is collaborating with Scottish Government Directorate Marine Scotland to better understand how fishers can safely operate around and within floating offshore wind farms. In a survey undertaken at Hywind Scotland in 2022, Marine Scotland tested three kinds of fishing gear; creels, fishtraps and jigging lines. Whilst not all of these fishing methods are used commercially around Hywind Scotland itself, the purpose is to demonstrate how methods used globally can interact with floating offshore wind farms.

More on Hywind Scotland

Hywind Tampen

Equinor is funding a research project around Hywind Tampen, the world’s largest floating wind farm under construction, to map fish stocks, as well as measure physical parameters such as noise in the area where the offshore wind farm will be established. The research project is led by the Institute of Marine Research, and will increase the knowledge base on environmental impacts from offshore wind farms and how development of wind farms can happen in good cooperation with the fishing industry.

Equinor has also installed a bird radar system at Hywind Tampen’s first turbine to monitor bird behaviour in the area. The bird radar is part of a larger study to investigate how bird life is affected by offshore wind, supporting by the Norwegian Research Council.

More on Hywind Tampen

Industry initiatives

With the Offshore Wind Strategic Monitoring and Research Forum (OWSMRF), which is being delivered by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Equinor and other industry partners are identifying priority needs for improving understanding of the impact of offshore wind farms on marine birds in the UK. Research has focused on black-legged kittiwake, as well as a new group of species that are much less known – Manx shearwaters and storm petrels. Manx shearwaters and storm petrels are difficult to study due to their remote habitats and, in comparison with other species, very little is known about how they use the marine environment, how their populations are faring and how they interact with offshore wind farms.

A floating offshore wind farm has the potential to increase habitats and biomass opportunities in the Celtic Sea. Protecting and enhancing the environment for marine mammals is also a key part of our thinking.We are continuing to gather new data from our Hywind Scotland and Hywind Tampen assets, which continues to help mature and inform our developments.