Windmills in the ocean
Wind farms in the waters of the Øresund

NIRAS is consultant for two unprecedented wind farms

HOFOR, the water utility company of the greater Copenhagen area, is planning on building two new wind farms in the Øresund, so the the city of Copenhagen can fulfill its goal of becoming a CO2-neutral capital in 2025. NIRAS was chosen as consultant and is to assess the environmental impact of the wind farms.

27. Sep 2019

HOFOR wants to build two new wind farms in the waters of the Øresund, as part of the overall strategy of making Copenhagen the world’s first CO2-neutral capital. NIRAS is to assess the environmental impact of each of the two wind farms, before the build of the farms can commence.

A part of NIRAS’ job description is to support a process that ensures HOFOR, Copenhagen Airport and other authorities are capable of identifying, solving and mitigate possible safety issues related to the wind farms, so they can coexist with Copenhagen Airport.

It needs as an example to be clarified to what extend the two wind farms will influence air traffic and bird migration patterns. The area is heavily trafficked with airplanes flying to and from Copenhagen Airport. At the same time, thousands of birds nest at the little island of Saltholm, right next to the airport. The new wind farms could potentially influence both air- and bird flying patterns and the Airport’s radar systems.

Sustainable wind farms

After completing this first phase, NIRAS will commence with the actual environmental impact assessment, to ensure that the wind farms have an acceptable impact on the environment.     

“It is a very exciting assignment involving a lot of aspects that require meticulous research. There will for example be many opinions about the visual identity of the wind farms. That is why we need to make sure that the farms will add character to the area,” says Bent Sømod, senior project lead at NIRAS.

Assessing 25 areas of expertise

The environmental impact assessment covers 25 different areas of expertise. It will document how the wind farms will impact all from sediment transport to effects on marine mammals, as well as geophysics, sailing and fishing conditions to name a few.

Other consultants involved in the project are the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (as part of the University of Aarhus), and PROFUS Nature Consultancy, which delivers radar equipment that tracks the distance to migrating birds between Denmark and Sweden, and GEUS, DNV GL, Krog Consult and Bio App.