An EIA assesses the potential impact of the proposed development on the physical, biological, and human environment during the construction, operation and decommissioning of the floating offshore wind farm.

What it costs

About £4.6 million for a 450 MW floating offshore wind farm.

Who supplies them

Atkins, ERM, GoBe, Mott MacDonald, Natural Power, Royal HaskoningDHV, RPS and Xodus.

Key facts

The most recent EIA regulations specify that the assessment must consider impacts on human health, climate change and biodiversity. To determine the impacts, a full suite of environmental surveys is undertaken.

After assessing the potential impacts, mitigation measures are defined and applied in order to determine the residual effects associated with the development. A core part of the EIA is the Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA) where the development’s impacts combined with those impacts from other foreseeable projects are assessed. The EIA is used to inform the Environmental Statement (ES) (or EIA Report), which forms the core evidence that is submitted to support a consent application.

Consultation with statutory consultees, special interest groups and the local community is performed throughout the EIA process and allows the consenting authority, as well as other stakeholders and the public, to voice their opinions and concerns.

The EIA process can take up to three years to complete, with the main driver being the length of time it takes to complete the required environmental surveys.

Under the Habitats Directive and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended), developers should consider the potential effects on protected habitats. If the development is likely to affect a designated European site, the developer must provide a report with the application showing the designated European site that may be affected together with sufficient information to enable the decision maker to make an assessment, if required. In the UK, a Habitat Regulations Appraisal (HRA) is performed as an integral part of an EIA to ensure that a project conforms to The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010).

What’s in it

Guide to a Floating Offshore Wind Farm