Community Offshore Wind signs agreement with NOAA for marine monitoring & research

 Partnership will promote new offshore wind environmental principles

Community Offshore Wind, a joint venture between RWE and National Grid Ventures, recently announced a five-year partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to promote the exchange of data that will transform environmental monitoring for offshore wind projects.

For the first time, an offshore wind developer and NOAA will collaborate on how to study environmental impacts on the marine ecosystem to inform the responsible development of offshore wind projects. The partnership reflects Community Offshore Wind’s dedication to environmental stewardship and the protection of marine life.

The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement creates a framework for developers and federal experts to work together from the start to accurately assess and monitor potential impacts of offshore wind development on marine ecosystems, seeking to address two core areas: development of a responsible environmental monitoring program and improving the benefits of environmental data.

The long-term partnership is focused on continued collaboration over the lifetime of Community Offshore Wind’s project. This agreement will complement NOAA’s ongoing environmental monitoring research with additional data, as offshore wind development activity continues across the region.

“Through this initiative, Community Offshore Wind is taking a proactive lead in working with federal researchers to develop our project responsibly. The scientific data collected through our environmental monitoring program will be invaluable as we continue to study, and seek to mitigate, the impacts of offshore wind development on marine ecosystems,” Doug Perkins, president and project director of community offshore wind, said. “Community Offshore Wind looks forward to collaborating with NOAA to design marine wildlife monitoring programs that are thoughtfully informed and scientifically sound and support existing regional scientific assessments.”

“With help from a number of collaborators and the fishing industry, our agency maintains some of the world’s most comprehensive data sets on large marine ecosystems,” Jon Hare, director of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, said. “Our goal is to bring offshore wind energy monitoring activities into this partnership. This agreement is our first chance to make these partnerships a reality and show by example that effective scientific monitoring benefits everyone.”

Since acquiring its lease area in 2022, Community Offshore Wind has engaged thoroughly with regional fisheries to identify concerns and develop opportunities to achieve successful outcomes. This agreement is the latest proactive step taken by Community Offshore Wind to support regional fisheries and environmental science, and is responsive to feedback received through ongoing, direct engagement with the fishing industry, researchers and fishery managers.