Key Sectors | Renewable Energy

Peak Ecology has been working with the renewables industry since the company formed in 2006; initially on smaller wind turbine projects, but with intermediate and larger projects more recently.

Our largest renewables project to date is the terrestrial ecology for the landfall and onshore connections to the Dogger Bank Wind farm in Teesside and East Yorkshire (see case study below).

We have undertaken numerous surveys on wind farm projects including Extended Phase 1 Habitat and NVC level botanical surveys and various protected species surveys including: bats, badger, breeding birds, vantage point surveys, upland wader surveys, woodland point counts, great crested newts, water vole, otter and white-clawed crayfish. We can offer a complete ecological survey package for any size of wind development.

We are involved in other areas of the renewables industry including hydro-schemes and small solar installations. For example we have undertaken numerous surveys in relation to micro-hydro schemes in Scotland and England surveying for aquatic invertebrates, otters and water vole. We also work alongside fisheries consultants and undertake electro-fishing surveys on water courses as well as crayfish and brook lamprey surveys.

We also advise on the location of solar panels on domestic roofs with relation to their potential impact on roosting bats.
Stop Press: Using our network of approved subcontractors we can now offer offshore marine capability with fully qualified/trained surveyors in both boat-and shore-based seabird and marine mammal surveys.

If you are interested in any of our services, don’t hesitate to contact us >>

Renewable Energy | Case Studies

Case Study 1 >>

Dogger Bank Creyke Beck Onshore Electrical Connection

Peak Ecology has undertaken the ecological surveys for the onshore connections to the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, which will be potentially the largest of its kind in the world. We have undertaken ecological surveys along a 35km (1km wide) cable corridor from the proposed onshore transmission bay at landfall on the coast to the inland converter stations. This included desk study, extended phase 1, targeted NVC botanical survey, bat, badger, water vole, otter and great crested newt surveys. Surveys results were written up in a series of technical reports and finally an EcIA report. This project involved working very closely with project management and adhering to strict deadlines, budgets and land access protocols.

Case Study 2 >>

Post Construction Monitoring Single Turbine Project, Cambridgeshire

Peak Ecology was commissioned to undertake post-construction ornithological monitoring work on a single turbine on farmland in Cambridgeshire. This is an on-going project involving a series of vantage point surveys monitoring bird flight activity, carcass searching and predator scavenging rate monitoring. The carcass searching consists of searching a radius around the turbine using 10m transects with a north-south orientation, scanning 5m either side for bird carcasses that may have been in collision with the turbine blades. A trial plot of the same size was also set up where a number of fresh pheasant carcasses were placed out randomly by the farmer and the surveyor then searched for them using the same method as above. These were marked with canes and left in-situ, and then each carcass was checked periodically for scavenging activity. These results will be used in the final calculations that will take account of these observer-bias and scavenging rates.

Case Study 3 >>

Micro-Hydro Scheme, Dumfries & Galloway

We were commissioned to undertake an otter survey for a small hydro-electric scheme proposal on a burn near Moniaive in Dumfries and Galloway. The proposal had two water intake options. The survey was carried out using a standard protocol for otters. Numerous signs of otter were found including two holts, couches, hovers, trails and sprainting sites. The holts were considered to be high status. We recommended one of the options for use, which was far enough away from the holts to minimise any disturbance during construction and operation.