Aachen / Hamburg / Essen. The Trianel wind farm in Borkum, 60 kilometers off the East Frisian coast, is still on schedule and budget despite the difficult weather conditions in November and December last year. Five months after construction began, the Jack-Up-Barge Goliath has now rammed 26 of the 40 foundation structures into the seabed. For the first time in Germany, underwater noise protection was successfully used. The so-called “large bubble veil” is intended to protect the North Sea’s strictly protected harbor porpoises from hearing damage.
During a joint press conference in Essen, Trianel and the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU) presented the interim results of the accompanying research on noise protection today, February 9, 2012.
“The energy turnaround entails serious interventions in nature. NABU needs to reduce the impact on threatened and legally protected species to a minimum. That is only possible in a controversial, but also constructive, dialogue with investors, ”says NABU expert Elmar Große Ruse, describing the basic position of the German nature conservation organization with the largest number of members.
Trianel discussed the issue of protecting harbor porpoises in the North Sea even before construction began. The interim results on noise protection, according to Große Ruse, are auspicious: “It is not a matter of course that energy providers take the lead in environmental protection, here the municipal utilities involved in the Trianel wind farm in Borkum have acted in an exemplary manner for the industry.”
The managing director of Trianel Windpark Borkum, Klaus Horstick, explains: “The offshore permits stipulate compliance with a noise protection guide value of 160 decibels dB at a distance of 750m from the sound source. The explosiveness of this value lies in the fact that there is currently no technology on the market that ensures the value. With the large bubble curtain, our partners and we seem to have found a way to comply with noise protection. ”
According to current information, 50,000 porpoises live in the German North Sea: biologists estimate the population at 50-100 individuals on the 56 square kilometer area of the Trianel wind farm in Borkum. Every single animal is strictly protected, so the requirement is clear to NABU. Elmar Große Ruse: “As long as a more gentle method for founding wind turbines at sea has not yet been established, technical noise protection such as the large bubble curtain must be standard from now on.”