Blue Gem Wind, the joint venture between TotalEnergies, one of the world’s largest energy companies, and Simply Blue Energy, has begun offshore digital aerial surveys for a proposed 300MW floating wind project.

 APEM Ltd have been chosen by Blue Gem Wind to deliver 24 consecutive monthly bird and marine mammal surveys of the early-commercial scale Valorous site. The high resolution data obtained will support baseline environmental characterisation of the site and environmental impact assessments for key ecological receptors. The survey programme commenced in March 2021 and four of the 24 monthly surveys have been completed to date.

Sean Evans, Environmental Specialist at Blue Gem Wind said, It is important for us to begin long-lead in items such as bird and marine mammal surveys as early as possible. These surveys will provide crucial species specific data on the number, spatial distribution, and activity of individuals across the Valorous site. This enables us to undertake robust environmental impact assessments ahead of our planned consent application submission in 2023.”

 Matt Rohner, Senior Consultant at APEM, APEM Ltd are delighted to be able to support Blue Gem Wind’s proposed Valorous offshore wind farm with our best-in-class survey design approach. Imagery captured using state-of-the-art cameras is of ultra-high (1.6cm) resolution, providing industry leading image quality that is essential for species level identification.”

The Celtic Sea is poised to play a key role in Net Zero, the Committee on Climate Change’s 100GW offshore wind target, and crucially, the UK Government’s target of 1 GW of floating wind by 2030. The ORE Catapult also estimated that the first GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea could potentially deliver over 3,000 jobs and £682m in supply chain opportunities for Wales and Cornwall by 2030.