Jul 25 2013

Construction and Decomission

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During construction, there may be a significant amount of noise produced from pile driving and boat traffic. These are both known to cause avoidant behaviors in marine mammals and have been observed during offshore wind construction and development. 1, 2, 10 Additionally, drilling, cable laying, and construction will disturb the seabed producing increased suspended sedimentation, which can affect the feeding and reproductive habits of certain organisms. 11

Aquamarine Power: Installation of The Oyster http://www.aquamarinepower.com/news/oyster-generates-%C2%A31m-for-orkney-economy/


The effects of decommission of a wave surge converter are expected to be the same as construction: noise, sedimentation, and habitat interference. Studies of colonization of offshore wind structures and wave power buoys have shown to act as fish aggregation devices (FAD) otherwise known as artificial reefs. 12 There have been observations of significant biomass aggregation over the years at these locations as the hard substrates are colonized, from the moorings of powerbuoys to the scour protection of wind turbines and monopile surfaces, aquatic organisms have claimed the farms as their own. Ongoing research will continue to monitor the areas, but as of yet, there appear to be no significant negative effects. 1,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 Currently, there have been no studies on how organisms colonize newly installed wave surge converters nor how they respond to the removal of a device from the environment. Impact of decommission will depend on how the devices integrate into the environment. 3,5, 11




  1. Andersson, Mathias H., and Marcus C. Öhman. “Fish and sessile assemblages associated with wind-turbine constructions in the Baltic Sea.”Marine and Freshwater Research 61, no. 6 (2010): 642-650.

  2. Aquamarine Power a. “Brough Head Wave Farm Scoping Report” Aquamarine Power (2011) Available from: http://aquamarinepower.com/resource-library.aspx?usterms=&uscat=2

  3. Aquamarine Power b. “Oyster Phase 2 Decommissioning Report” Aquamarine Power (2011) Available from: http://aquamarinepower.com/resource-library.aspx?usterms=&uscat=2

  4. Boehlert, George W., and Andrew B. Gill. “Environmental and ecological effects of ocean renewable energy development: a current synthesis.” (2010).

  5. Frid, Chris, Eider Andonegi, Jochen Depestele, Adrian Judd, Dominic Rihan, Stuart I. Rogers, and Ellen Kenchington. “The environmental interactions of tidal and wave energy generation devices.” Environmental Impact Assessment Review 32, no. 1 (2012): 133-139.
  6. Langhamer, Olivia, Dan Wilhelmsson, and Jens Engström. “Artificial reef effect and fouling impacts on offshore wave power foundations and buoys–a pilot study.” Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 82, no. 3 (2009): 426-432.
  7. Langhamer, Olivia, and Dan Wilhelmsson. “Colonisation of fish and crabs of wave energy foundations and the effects of manufactured holes–a field experiment.” Marine Environmental Research 68, no. 4 (2009): 151-157.
  8. Langhamer, Olivia. “Effects of wave energy converters on the surrounding soft-bottom macrofauna (west coast of Sweden).” Marine environmental research69, no. 5 (2010): 374-381.
  9. Langhamer, Olivia, Kalle Haikonen, and Jan Sundberg. “Wave power—Sustainable energy or environmentally costly? A review with special emphasis on linear wave energy converters.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews14, no. 4 (2010): 1329-1335.
  10. Lindeboom, H. J., H. J. Kouwenhoven, M. J. N. Bergman, S. Bouma, S. M. J. M. Brasseur, R. Daan, R. C. Fijn et al. “Short-term ecological effects of an offshore wind farm in the Dutch coastal zone; a compilation.” Environmental Research Letters 6, no. 3 (2011): 035101.

  11. Shields, Mark A., David K. Woolf, Eric PM Grist, Sandy A. Kerr, A. C. Jackson, Robert E. Harris, Michael C. Bell et al. “Marine renewable energy: The ecological implications of altering the hydrodynamics of the marine environment.” Ocean & Coastal Management 54, no. 1 (2011): 2-9.

  12. Wilhelmsson, Dan, and Torleif Malm. “Fouling assemblages on offshore wind power plants and adjacent substrata.” Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science79, no. 3 (2008): 459-466. 

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