BMT to develop windfarm risk assessment methodology

News - March 4, 2005

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in the UK has awarded BMT Renewables Ltd, a subsidiary of British Maritime Technology Ltd (BMT), a contract to develop a formal safety methodology for offshore wind farms.

BMT will be developing a methodology for Government to assess the marine navigational safety risks of offshore wind farms, in close liaison with Government, stakeholders and developers. It will also produce a standard marine safety risk assessment procedure for developers to take into account the needs of all stakeholders. BMT will be carrying out extensive consultation and research to ensure these tools are robust, verifiable, auditable and accountable in a local, national and international context.

It is anticipated that phase one of this comprehensive project, focusing on UK round two wind farm projects, will be completed by June 2005.

Dr Phil Thompson, Managing Director of BMT Renewables Ltd commented: "The project scope covers impacts of an individual wind farm and also the more complex issues associated with cumulative and in-combination effects of multiple developments. To deal with this we will be employing our broad range of navigation and emergency response planning tools, all of which have been widely adopted and extensively validated by industry. BMT is also currently working on equivalent standards for other EU countries, most recently Belgium."

Some round two proposal developers are already engaged in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), which includes the assessment of navigational risk arising from their offshore wind farm. Therefore, the Government, with assistance from BMT Renewables, is planning to disseminate information and guidance throughout the life of the research project to ensure that developers are able to address all relevant marine safety issues prior to the submission of their applications for consent.

The first stakeholder workshop will involve interested stakeholders and developers at the earliest possible stage of the research project.

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