Understanding potential environmental impacts is a key issue in gaining acceptance of new technologies.

Tidal Stream Turbines:

Primary concerns relating to tidal stream turbine installations are interference with the local ecosystem during installation activities, the potential of the rotating blades to injure fish, diving birds and sea mammals during operation and the loss of amenity, fishing areas and navigation space for other users of the sea area.

As Evopod™ is a floating tethered device it imposes less disturbance on sensitive seabed ecosystems that bottom mounted structures and its unducted turbines coupled to a geared drive rotate at such low tip speeds that they are unlikely to be a threat to marine wild life. Oceanflow's has since its first deployment of an Evopod™ turbine in 2008 had no adverse impacts to report. The company works with academic partners in the UK and Portugal on pre and post installation environmental monitoring programmes in order to better add to the body of environmental impact knowledge and de-risk future projects.

Evopod™ semi-submerged tidal turbines have a similar visual impact to a navigation buoy and are marked by a navigation light. Vessels can pass Evopod™ just as they would pass a navigation buoy. Farms of Evopod™ units would involve creating an exclusion zone marked by four quadrant navigation buoys.

Floating Wind Turbines

Deep water floating wind turbines have less environmental impacts than nearshore bottom mounted wind turbines for the following reasons:

  • Deep water floating turbines are most likely to be sited far enough offshore to have zero visual impact from the shore.
  • Floating turbines do not involve noisy pile foundation installation operations.
  • Starfloat™ is close to 100% recyclable at the end of life and does not leave pile foundations in the seabed.

Starfloat™ has greater stability than some alternative floating solutions and therefore the turbine nacelle can be positioned higher above the waterline. This ensures that the blade tip maintains a good height above the sea surface to avoid striking seabirds transiting between nesting sites and fishing grounds.