Institute for Energy Transition
dedicated to Marine Renewable Energies

ECOSYSM-EOF

Prefiguration of an observatory of marine ecosystems in the Gulf of Lion in interaction with floating offshore wind farms

Duration: 2 years

Context

In 2021, three pilot floating offshore wind farms will be operational in the Gulf of Lion. In addition, the consultation organised by the Interregional Directorate for the Mediterranean Sea made it possible to define 4 macro-zones, covering a total area of 3,300 km², on which calls for tenders for commercial farms could be launched as part of the new multiannual energy programming.
 
The integration of infrastructure such as floating wind turbines into the complex, fragile and coveted marine coastal ecosystems is a challenge. Despite research carried out in various settings, including many scientific programmes, our understanding of marine ecosystems, integrating all their components (avifauna, plankton, ichthyofauna, mammals, etc.), is still insufficient. The development of observation series has often been suggested to overcome this lack of data and knowledge.
 
The establishment of a high frequency observatory would provide the necessary knowledge to better understand the interactions between floating wind turbines and marine ecosystems in order to optimize the environmental integration of commercial parks.

Objective

To propose a high-frequency observatory architecture that can rely on the underwater cable network of the Gulf of Lion to determine the state and evolution of marine ecosystems in interaction with high-power floating wind farms.

Expected results

  • Synthesis of available data, key issues regarding the potential effects of floating wind farms on marine ecosystems and existing observation networks in the Gulf of Lion.
  • Synthesis of existing tools/sensors to observe the different groups of living organisms that make up the Gulf of Lion ecosystems.
  • Design of the architecture of an innovative observatory for the acquisition of high frequency data on the marine ecosystems of the Gulf of Lion.

Scientific contents

  • State of the art of knowledge and available means of observation concerning the functioning of Mediterranean marine ecosystems (fish, cetaceans...).
  • Evaluation of the instrumentation currently used and/or developed by academic research and the private sector.
  • Synthesis of the measurement needs for the observation of marine ecosystems and the associated technical and environmental constraints.
  • Drafting of specifications for potential architectures of observation networks.

Partners

Leader: Pôle Mer Méditerranée

ECOSYSM-EOF project partners

This project benefits from a grant from ADEME as well as a financial contribution from RTE, ENGIE and EOLFI.

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