The Crown Estate has published a wealth of data and information gathered from the former Atlantic Array offshore wind project in the Bristol Channel through its online resource, the Marine Data Exchange.
The extensive data garnered from this part of the seabed has now been brought together in one place and is the first time information from the Round 3 offshore wind leasing programme has been made available in this way. It encompasses a wide-range of information, including environmental material, such as bird and mammal surveys; human activity evaluations, such as shipping, navigation and archaeological data; and physical environmental detail, such as geotechnical and geophysical data and sediment sampling.
These studies can take a long time and be expensive to carry out, for example marine bird studies, an essential part of planning to ensure that natural habitats are not affected by offshore developments, can take around 3 years to complete.
Dermot Grimson, Head of Strategy and Policy at The Crown Estate said: “As manager of the UK seabed, we are harnessing the power of open data to help build a picture of this natural resource for different marine users. By making information freely available through the Marine Data Exchange we can help stimulate research, support academia and contribute towards the long term sustainable development of the seabed.
Recognising the potential benefits of capturing and sharing the data coming out of industries such as wind, wave and tidal energy, Crown Estate includes a ‘data clause’ into offshore leases to improve understanding of the seabed.
To date, over 100 offshore developments have been issued agreements that include this data clause.
Press Release, September 02, 2014