Story 3: Potential conflict between shipping and planned offshore renewable energy installations in Estonia
AIS-based visualization (Figure 4) reveals that planned offshore wind developments off Hiiumaa Island are crossed by intensive shipping traffic. This spatial overlap is creating a critical transnational and cross-sectoral planning issue that needs to be resolved before wind farms are built there. One reason for this conflict becoming acute is that hazard analysis is not integrated in the process of designing safety buffer zones for offshore wind farms from the very beginning. The possible practical solution to the planning issue presented in Figure 4 has been discussed in the BalticLINES project. One way of potentially solving this issue is based on the UK’s safety of navigation guidance requirements for offshore renewable energy installations. This sets out the following guidelines for estimating the safe distance of a turbine from a shipping route:
- If the distance of the turbine boundary to the shipping route is less than <0.5nm (<926m) this is deemed intolerable;
- If it is between 0.5nm – 3.5nm (926m – 6482m) this is deemed tolerable if the risk is being reduced to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) - additional risk assessment and proposed mitigation measures required;
- If it is more than >3.5nm (>6482m) this is deemed broadly acceptable.