HUB Ocean and Ecowende pioneer open access to unprecedented amounts of ecology data from offshore wind farm

Thursday 21 March 2024

Our offshore wind farm aims to be the most ecological wind farm to date with numerous ecological innovations. Not only do these innovations mitigate negative and stimulate positive effects on nature, but they also generate data and fill knowledge gaps as much as possible. Future wind farms will have more knowledge regarding the ecology of the North Sea and the effectiveness of ecological innovations in offshore wind farms.

A deeper understanding of our complex ocean

The tender process for HKW lot VI was groundbreaking, as applications were assessed on their contribution to the ecology of the North Sea. Ecowende emerged as the winner of this tender by offering a bid that focuses on innovative ecology measures and has a strong emphasis on data sharing and transparency. That is why Ecowende included HUB Ocean in its winning bid for HKW.

Through sharing data on the Ocean Data Platform, Ecowende – the first offshore wind developer to do so – is contributing to a deeper understanding of the complexities inherent in our oceans – an ocean that is overexploited and largely unmapped.

"HUB Ocean is proud to be the trusted platform for Ecowende and its planned public data-sharing. The commitment to share offshore wind farm data on this scale is a significant step. It not only paves the way for others to follow and voluntarily embrace data sharing - as a lot of data is collected by the industry - it sets a benchmark for all offshore wind companies," said Johannes Berrum, Head of Growth in HUB Ocean.

Adhering to the FAIR standard

The data provided by Ecowende will come from numerous sensors in its offshore installations and stand-alone surveys. These sensors monitor a variety of species and other oceanic parameters, both above and below the water, such as bird observations, bat presence, underwater telemetry and acoustic data.

Data will be collected, shared and made available in a format that embraces the scientific FAIR standard (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). This adherence boosts research efficiency, transparency, and impact, aligning with trends towards openness and data-driven discovery.

Hermione van Zutphen, ecology project manager at Ecowende: “Transparency, efficiency, and data-driven sustainable operations is essential for Ecowende. The ultimate goal is to create a repeatable data sharing model that illustrates how industrial activities in the ocean can contribute to ocean science and effective environmental management around wind farm sites, by unlocking data for broader research via HUB Ocean’s Ocean Data Platform.”

Available to expert users

The collected data will be available to expert users from science, governments, wind farm and other industries through HUB Ocean’s Ocean Data Platform.

“The total amount of ocean data that will be made publicly available by Ecowende in the offshore wind sector is unprecedented. Combining their rich ecology data with other treasure troves of ocean data could amplify the impact of Ecowende’s valuable data contribution. With the Ocean Data Platform, we enable our users to do just that," concluded Johannes Berrum from HUB Ocean.

Baseline monitoring begins in 2024, with the offshore wind farm expected to commence energy production in 2026.