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Recent experience of CIA in renewables consenting in Scotland Ian Davies Marine Scotland Science.

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Presentation on theme: "Recent experience of CIA in renewables consenting in Scotland Ian Davies Marine Scotland Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 Recent experience of CIA in renewables consenting in Scotland Ian Davies Marine Scotland Science

2 Planning authority Licensing authority Science support Marine Scotland’s roles in renewable energy

3 Consents and licences in Scotland Marine Scotland Act and Marine and Coastal Access Act Licence Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 (s.36) Section 44 European Protected Species (EPS) Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act Energy Act (2004) Decommissioning issued by DECC

4 EC EIA Directive. Assess effects on: Human beings Fauna and flora Landscape/seascape Material assets Cultural heritage EC Habitats Directive: Effects on protected sites and species SPAs SACs Requirement for CIA

5 Moray Firth wind farms Consented 2014

6 To avoid deterioration of the habitats of the qualifying species or significant disturbance to the qualifying species, thus ensuring that the integrity of the site is maintained and the site makes an appropriate contribution to achieving favourable conservation status for each of the qualifying features; and To ensure for the qualifying species that the following are established then maintained in the long term: (i) Population of the species as a viable component of the site* (ii) Distribution of the species within site (iii) Distribution and extent of habitats supporting the species (iv) Structure, function and supporting processes of habitats supporting the species (v) No significant disturbance of the species Bottlenose dolphin Harbour (common) seal

7 Assessment framework Moray Firth developers worked with University of Aberdeen to develop framework for assessing effects of pile driving to harbour seal populations Got regulatory and SNCB buy in early in the process Generic enough to allow use for other species in other areas Draws on available data and supplements with expert opinion where data not available

8 Areas and issues included in cumulative assessments Carried out at different “regional” scales for different species Defined by population range Harbour seals assessed at 2 levels: Moray Firth (and Firths of Forth and Tay) Bottlenose dolphins assessed at whole east coast level Main issue considered to be noise from pile driving Assessments looked at potential effects on survival and reproductive rates based on level of exposure to noise Exposure to PTS had influence on survival and disturbance had effect on reproductive ability Population modelling used to assess the effect of these changes to survival and reproduction in the long term Example output from population model for harbour seals

9 Monitoring Funding of population and demographic data collection for harbour seals and bottlenose dolphins (Aberdeen and St Andrews universities) Passive acoustic monitoring of dolphins and porpoises on east coast (MSS) to allow assessment of changes to distribution – Using CPODs to detect porpoise and dolphin presence and SM2Ms to record dolphin whistles for species ID

10 Moray Firth wind farms Consented 2014

11 Species of negligible concern Black-legged kittiwake, Northern fulmar, Great skua and Arctic skua SNCBs advised no adverse effect on site integrity using a qualitative assessment due to the minimal predicted effects.

12 Great black-backed gull, Herring gull, Puffin, Razorbill and Guillemot) Full quantitative assessment required Species of greater concern

13 What was the problem? Displacement proportion of birds displaced birds on water, using water, in flight or all potentially vulnerable proportion of birds adult proportion of adults breeding proportion of adults from Colony X, Y and Z mean, peak or mean peak abundance estimate proportiobn of birds that fail to breed successfully each displaced bird from a discrete pair Collision Avoidance rate breeding season nocturnal activity flap/ gliding flight attraction to survey vessles rotor speed - mean, seasonal mean Apportioning SNH approach At-sea flight direction information GPS tracking data Starting populations SPA vs non-SPA colonies ThresholdsPopulation Viability Analysis (PVA) Potential Biological Removal (PBR) Starting population Maintain +ve trajectory What is acceptable f-value for use in PBR PBR in relation to productivity effects

14 Why was it a problem? Difficult to identify differences in approaches taken. Lack of transparency if different approaches used without clear rationale Unclear whether different values can be combined for CIA May artificially bias conclusions for/ against one project May result in CIA conclusions being opaque or open to challenge

15 How was it resolved? Discussions between developers, SNCBs and MSS Aim to reconcile any differences where possible Clarification of reasons for any remaining differences Re-running collision or displacement effect assessments using Common Currency as required

16 Assessment of consequences for populations SNCBs favoured use of Potential Biological Removal (PBR). MSS developed Acceptable Biological Change (ABC) method. – Probabalistic population modelling – Accommodate mortality and productivity – Not result in significant additional risk to the populations of concern

17 Consequences Windfarms licensed on a reduced scale Lessons learned to feed into advice and guidance. More strategic approach e.g. PVAs for key colonies/ populations, estimating effects at a regional scale Post-consent monitoring????

18 CIA is a significant hurdle and should be discussed early in the application process. Predictable challenges: – Definition of scope – Timing of projects – Quantification – Underwater collision – Displacement and consequences – Population models and assessment methods – Horizon : Basking sharks, other protected fish, new MPAs/SPAs Lessons for wave and tidal


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