Startup challenge: Introducing nature-inclusive solutions in offshore wind farm designs
Spoor wins our challenge to integrate nature into the design of offshore wind farms
PERSEO selects the solution presented by the Norwegian company Spoor, which specialises in monitoring the effect of wind farms on local wildlife through AI software, to integrate design solutions that include nature into offshore wind farm infrastructure and achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity.
The technology start-up SpoorExternal link, opens in new window. and its expertise in artificial intelligence technology for bird monitoring is selected as the winner of the Start-up Challenge: Introducing nature-inclusive solutions in offshore wind farm design.
Spoor thus starts working with the technical team at our Baltic Eagle offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea, where 5 cameras will be installed at the electrical substation. These cameras will be connected to one of their control rooms in order to document how seabirds interact with offshore wind turbines and gain knowledge about their flight patterns and behaviour, as well as to detect and prevent possible collisions.
Twenty years ago, the group was a pioneer in onshore wind generation, and now it is doing the same in the offshore wind market. At the end of 2022, Iberdrola has 1,258 MW offshore in operation and 5,500 MW under construction or secured with long-term contracts, which will come into operation before 2027 thanks to investments of around 30,000 million euros worldwide during this decade.
The significant expansion of the offshore wind pipeline puts Iberdrola in an optimal position when participating in auctions and tenders planned for the coming months in its new growth platforms for both projects in its existing pipeline and for new pipeline.
The preservation of the planet and the well-being of people are priorities for Iberdrola in determining its entire business strategy and its business model. Therefore, in a scenario characterised by strong growth in global energy demand, Iberdrola is working to build an energy model in harmony with nature and human beings as a source of sustainable development.
In particular, Iberdrola is committed to integrate biodiversity conservation into decision-making, minimise problems and establish programmes to reverse and offset impacts.
Description of the challenge
Iberdrola is looking to integrate nature-inclusive design solutions into the offshore wind farm infrastructure to deliver a net-positive impact on biodiversity. Iberdrola is now the third most innovative utility company in the world, and with a commitment to sustainable infrastructure we wish to further explore how offshore wind farms can be designed to minimise impacts on nature and enhance the diversity of marine life.
We invite high-quality innovative proposals that seek to develop, test, or monitor nature-inclusive solutions that could be implemented in an offshore wind farm environment. Our focus is on habitats and species of conservation importance; however, it is recognised that promoting wider biodiversity gain could also result in significant benefits.
As a starting point, innovations to the following technologies could be considered:
- Scour protection solutions for subsea infrastructure and cables, for example, use of sustainable materials, tailored design that promotes marine biodiversity, seaweed planting.
- Modifications to foundation design to include ‘space for nature’, such as seal haul-out platforms, artificial reef structures, shellfish cages.
- Reduction of collision risk from wind turbine generators.
- Blue carbon capture initiatives promoting ecosystem growth and healthy marine habitats alongside offshore wind developments.
- Sensing and monitoring techniques and equipment that allow tracking changes in biodiversity and environment.