Artificial nests on wind farm provide home to endangered birds & produce electricity at once

Ørsted and Red7Marine find endangered kittiwakes a home

Offshore wind farm maker Ørsted and marine engineer Red7 Marine have teamed up and successfully installed three nearshore artificial nesting structures Along the East Coast of England to provide a home to endangered Kittiwakes and other flight species while producing clean and renewable electricity. Dubbed a first of their kind, the artificial bird nests on the nearshore windfarm aiming to support vulnerable species in decline while enabling the green and renewable energy jumpstarted by Ørsted for its Hornsea 3 project. Two of the artificial nesting structures are located approximately 1 kilometer from the shoreline of South Beach, Lowestoft, and the third is 1.4 kilometers from the shoreline of the Minsmere Nature Reserve, Suffolk.

The assigned tech team will monitor the artificial bird nests every year to count the number of birds seeking shelter in the nesting compartments found outside the floating structure, how many nests have been occupied, and how productive the kittiwakes – listed as vulnerable and at risk of extinction on the UK’s Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern – have been alongside the energy generated by the nearshore wind farm. Monitoring systems are also in place for the existing kittiwake colonies in Northeast England and East Suffolk, and the results from the studies will be shared with local groups such as the Lowestoft Kittiwake Partnership.

artificial bird nests nearshore wind farm orsted red7marine
images courtesy of Ørsted and Red7Marine

Installing artificial nests on the nearshore wind farm

To install the artificial bird nests on a nearshore wind farm, Red7Marine employed two floating barges from its fleet, Typhoon 3000, a semi-submersible jack-up barge, and its Haven SeaChallenger model. Together with Orsted, they sailed off the shore and transported the materials of the soon-to-be floating bird nests. The team lifted the monopile, pitched it through a piling gate, and used a vibratory hammer to plant it to tolerance. Then, the topside jackets were grouted into position and the topside structures were lifted and bolted onto the structures.

A team of ecologists, architects, and engineers constructed the artificial bird nests, tailored to appeal to kittiwakes while also fitting in with the terrain. They feature narrow ledges and steep sides to mimic the cliffs where kittiwakes would usually nest. There are eight sides to provide kittiwake with alternate alternatives if one side is too sunny or too windy. To blend seamlessly with the sky and water, the primary structure is off-white.

Seven of the eight vertical side walls have nesting chambers, while the remaining side of the structure has barn doors for emergency access. The yellow base and top light are for safe passage and have been requested by the local port authority, Trinity House, and the Maritime and Coastguard Service, in addition to other safety measures.

artificial bird nests nearshore wind farm orsted red7marine
the artificial bird nests on the nearshore wind farm aiming to support vulnerable species in decline

Ørsted and Red7Marine on powering up 3 million homes

Since August 2022, Red7Marine has been working with Ørsted on the production and installation process for the artificial bird nests and nearshore wind farm. The nearshore artificial nesting structure is dubbed the first of its type, allowing researchers to better understand kittiwakes and find solutions to avoid their extinction. The constructions are made up of a monopile foundation and an interior grouted jacket; Each monopile weighs more than 30 tons and is buried 30 meters below the seabed.

These artificial bird nests on a nearshore wind farm are regarded as required to support vulnerable flight species such as the kittiwakes and permit Hornsea 3 – an offshore wind farm project by Ørsted – to be developed and create clean, green electricity. It targets producing clean power to fulfill the average daily demands of 3 million UK homes and is expected to have an operational capacity of up to 2.85 GW. The company believes its technology will contribute to the UK’s net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which is critical in the battle against climate change.

artificial bird nests nearshore wind farm orsted red7marine
the wind farm is expected to have an operational capacity of up to 2.85 GW

artificial bird nests nearshore wind farm orsted red7marine
Ørsted and Red7Marine have successfully installed the structures along the East Coast of England

artificial bird nests nearshore wind farm orsted red7marine
the yellow base and top light are for safe passage and have been requested by the local port authority

project info:

name: Artificial nesting structures

companies: Orsted, Red7Marine

matthew burgos | designboom

Jul 24, 2023

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