Press release

Ailes Marines announces the presentation of the results of environmental studies and tooling test campaigns to stakeholders in the Saint-Brieuc wind project.

The noise impacts of drilling are compatible with the normal life cycle of the fish species studied. Ailes Marines decided to abandon the driving technique and favor the drilling method for the installation of the piles. Turbidity generated during the work will have a low impact on the environment. Ifremer validates the reference state of the fishery resource studies carried out by Ailes Marines and RTE.

Saint-Brieuc / Paris – December 10, 2020 – After 2 years of studies and monitoring, Ailes Marines and the scientists involved presented on December 10 to the Management and Monitoring Committee chaired by the Prefect of Côtes d'Armor and bringing together the main actors of the project:

❖ The results of additional studies requested by the CDPMEM22 on the impact of noise and turbidity in the perimeter of the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm.
❖ The results of this summer's tooling test campaigns.
❖ The Ifremer report on the quality of the reference state of the
fishery resource studies carried out by Ailes Marines and RTE.

● Studies on the impact of noise: new knowledge for MRE

In addition to the 135 measurements included in the prefectural authorizations for the project (of which more than 40 concern environmental aspects), Ailes Marines has launched an unprecedented campaign of in situ of noise emitted during tool tests in order to more precisely characterize the impact of the works on the marine environment.

These measurements complemented the laboratory studies carried out on the fish species of interest, validated by the CDPMEM22, relating to scallops , clams, lobsters and cuttlefish.

These scientific studies were conducted by Dr. Laurent Chauvaud, research director at the CNRS, Prof. Frédéric Olivier from the National Museum of Natural History and Dr. Delphine Mathias.

The studies on the impact of noise on cuttlefish were carried out by Michel André, Professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and Director of the Bioacoustic Applications Laboratory (LAB).

This study campaign, which took place over 24 months, represents a world first for research in marine biology. This is in fact the first time that studies of this scale on the impact of noise on fisheries resources have been carried out as part of the construction of an offshore wind farm.

The methodology implemented by the various researchers made it possible to provide new scientific knowledge concerning the impacts of noise on the species studied.

The results of these studies carried out in the laboratory and on site demonstrate that:

❖ The significant effects of the tools used are compatible with the normal life cycle of the species studied (scallops, clams, cuttlefish)
❖ The noises tested do not have a major impact on the organisms studied (scallops, clams , sea almond).
❖ The radius of incidence for drilling noise on the seiche is a few tens of meters around the work zone.

These excellent studies and their unique and original results will be submitted to international scientific publications.

In situ measurements show that the work will generate sounds of a sound intensity comparable to, among others, speedboats, cruise ships, container ships, jet skis.

Alongside these studies, Ailes Marines also carried out turbidity readings generated by testing of trenching and drilling tools in order to more precisely characterize the impact of the work on the environment.

The results of these studies demonstrate that the turbidity generated during the work will have a low impact on the environment.

❖ For drilling, the turbidities measured are less than 5 NTU whatever the distance (between 400 and 800 m from the drilling point).
❖ For slicing, average turbidities are always less than 6 NTU (400m from the slicing point). Although some occasional peaks at 17 NTU are observed.

The NTU (Nephelometric Tu rbidity Unit) is the standard unit of measurement for turbidity. If the NTU is less than 5 the water is clear, between 5 and 30 slightly cloudy, and above 50 the water is cloudy.

● Tooling tests

During the month of September 2020, Ailes Marines carried out offshore drilling on the site of the Saint-Brieuc bay wind farm.

Following the results of these tests, Ailes Marines decided to abandon the driving technique and use the drilling method – significantly less noisy for the environment – ​​for the installation of the piles, for all locations. foundations. The impacts on fish species and marine mammals will therefore be very significantly reduced.

● Ifremer's expertise on defining the reference state of the fishery resource

The authorizations issued by the Côtes d'Armor prefecture in April 2017 for the construction and operation of the wind farm provided for the creation of a reference state of the fishery resource, before the start of installation work at sea.

Following questions from the fisheries committees, the prefect of Côtes d'Armor requested the opinion of Ifremer in July 2020 on the protocols proposed by Ailes Marines and RTE, for the achievement of this reference state.

In its report submitted to the prefect of Côtes d'Armor, Ifremer considers that:

“The protocols for carrying out the reference state and monitoring (in the works and operation phase) of the fish populations proposed by Ailes Marines and RTE as part of the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind project and its electrical connection , and based on the collection of data through “experimental tides ”, are sufficiently robust to make it possible to detect a possible impact of the park and its connection on the targeted fish species .

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About Ailes Marines

Winner in April 2012 of a national call for projects with the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind farm project, AILES MARINES is in charge of the development, construction, installation and operation of the park. offshore wind farm. It is a simplified joint stock company (SAS), 100% owned by IBERDROLA.
The key figures of the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind project:

  • 75 km2 of area
  • 62 Siemens-Gamesa 8 MW wind turbines
  • 496 MW of installed power
  • 1,820 GWh/year of production, i.e. the annual electricity consumption of 835,000 inhabitants (heating included)

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