September 25 (Renewables Now) - A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) will have to be completed before Denmark can accept final bids in the tender for the Thor offshore wind park, expected to have a capacity of 800 MW-1,000 MW.
The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) said Tuesday it is launching a new approach for completing environmental assessments for Thor as it seeks to ensure a legally appropriate process for environmental assessments and permitting. This includes a pre-bid SEA and a range of environmental assessments looking into the offshore wind farm’s impact on birds, navigation, radio links and radar, fisheries and marine archaeology, as well as assessment of noise and cumulative impacts.
The process for the Thor SEA is to be completed by the second quarter of 2021, DEA said. Transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet will be in charge of it at the operational level, and it will also carry out the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Thor’s onshore portion. The EIA-process for the onshore project is to be completed by the third quarter of 2021.
DEA noted that the concession winner will be responsible for completing an EIA of the project at sea, including the wind farm, offshore substation and export cables. The licence for construction, or the environmental permit for the project, will only be issued after such EIA has been approved.
"The chosen approach for environmental assessments is considered useful as the standard model for future calls for offshore wind farm tenders, since it is flexible and can be used for complex and less complex projects," DEA said.