Saildrone has been chosen to receive a significant award from the National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium.
The remote vessel company has been selected to work on enhancing the cohabitation of wildlife and offshore wind farms.
The award’s objective is to allow Saildrone to develop a line-of-sight system to detect, monitor, classify and localize marine mammals located in offshore wind production areas. Scientists recognize that while offshore wind is better for the environment, it can interfere with marine mammals due to noise pollution. The noise can interfere with the mammals’ ability to forage for food since many marine mammals use sound to locate their food.
Commenting on the award, Saildrone founder and CEO Richard Jenkins said:
“Saildrone is very excited to be working with NOWRDC to help accelerate offshore wind energy development…We have worked hard over recent years to integrate new payloads, such as seafloor mapping sonars, sub-bottom profilers, and passive acoustics, specifically to support the rapid growth of the offshore wind industry. Simultaneously protecting marine mammals while technically supporting offshore wind development with our low-carbon vehicles will be a key accelerator for the industry.”
While Kevin Knobloch, the Executive Director of NOWRDC, stated:
“NOWRDC is excited to award projects that directly respond to challenges in the offshore wind industry…As we approach the deployment of commercial-scale offshore wind in the US, these projects have the potential to provide real solutions to near-term industry challenges—ranging from stakeholder coordination to transmission resiliency. The projects thus offer the opportunity to improve the state of the art in offshore wind development.”
You can check out a video of a Saildrone in the Southern Ocean below.