The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency has issued guidance note MGN 543 to highlight issues that need to be taken into consideration when assessing the impact on navigational safety and emergency response (search and rescue, salvage and towing, and counter pollution) caused by offshore renewable energy installation developments. It applies to proposals in United Kingdom internal waters, Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone.
Offshore Renewable Energy Installations (OREI) include offshore wind farms, tidal energy converters (including tidal range devices), wave energy converters and any associated infrastructure with the potential to affect marine navigation and emergency response, proposed in United Kingdom (UK) internal waters, Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Guidance and recommendations are set out in the following annexes:
Annex 1: Considerations on site position, structures and safety zones.
Annex 2: Navigation, collision avoidance and communications
Annex 3: MCA shipping template, assessing wind farm boundary distances from shipping routes.
Annex 4: Safety and mitigation measures recommended for OREI during construction, operation and decommissioning.
Annex 5: Standards, procedures and operational requirements in the event of a search and rescue, counter pollution or salvage and/or towing incident in or around an OREI, including generator/installation shutdown.
A MGN checklist is available on the MCA website as an aid for developers when completing and submitting their Navigation Risk Assessment to ensure all guidance has been considered and addressed.
It is recognised that the OREI industry is constantly evolving and its associated technology and procedures are developing. This means that there is an increasing demand on the UK’s territorial seas and the EEZ and the MCA wishes to ensure that the increased use of those resources is managed in such a way that any risks that might impact on safety and pollution of the marine environment is kept to as low as is reasonably practicable.
Read the MGN in full: UK MCA Safety of Navigation Offshore Renewable Energy Installations MGN 543