Since 2009, Marine Scotland Science (MSS) has dedicated cruise time from its survey vessels, the MRV Scotia and the MRV Alba Na Mara to survey areas of interest to Scotland’s emerging marine renewables industry.
This work has included covering areas under development for Pelamis projects in the waters off Orkney, Shetland, Lewis and the northern coast of the Scottish mainland. Each survey provides invaluable data on water depth, seabed makeup and marine habitats.
During 2011 Marine Scotland Science’s survey activities included the collection of bathymetry, video and sub-bottom profiling data at Pelamis Wave Power’s offshore wave farm development at Farr Point, off the north coast of Sutherland.
Laura Carse, Project Manager for the Farr Point development said:
“It’s fantastic that MSS is carrying out these surveys for the sector as the data will enable developers to ground-truth existing data, help validate technical decisions and contribute to the understanding of the biology of the seabed, information that will be used to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment process.
“Assessing seabed conditions is a vital step in identifying areas most suited for Pelamis deployment and for targeting future surveys more effectively. These initial surveys undertaken by MSS will accelerate key project development decisions for Pelamis wave farm sites under development.”
The surveys form part of the Scottish Government’s marine data gathering campaign which is supported by vessels from MSS, the Northern Lighthouse Board and SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency). The findings are published online and can be accessed through the Marine Scotland Interactive website or via YouTube and Google Earth.
Peter Hayes, Offshore Energy Environmental Manager, said:
“Marine Scotland (MS) will continue to assist marine renewables development within Scottish waters through an ongoing programme of sea bed survey work for 2012 – 2013. Liaising with the Scottish Renewable Forum and working collaboratively with other government departments will ensure that future MS surveys continue to focus on priority locations acquiring the most relevant data necessary to advance the sustainable development of marine renewables.”
Subsea World News Staff , May 09, 2012; Image: Scotland.gov