Workshop: Collaboration for Marine Renewable Energy Environmental Monitoring Guidelines

Building Industry, Regulatory, and Policymaker Collaboration for Marine Renewable Energy Environmental Monitoring Guidelines – A Workshop with the Triton Field Trials Team

Monday, October 12

Presenters: Alicia Amerson, Joe Haxel, Garrett Staines, Cailene Gunn, Molly Grear, & Lenaig Hemery
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (USA)


The goal of this workshop is to engage with marine renewable energy (MRE) stakeholders, focusing on regulators, legislators, and developers to gather information toward creating MRE environmental monitoring guidelines. Monitoring guidelines will clarify regulatory requirements and provide essential data on MRE effects in marine and coastal environments to help streamline permitting and potentially reduce costs associated with environmental monitoring.

The Triton Initiative led by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) supports development of advanced and cost-effective environmental monitoring technologies for MRE applications through the Triton Field Trials (TFiT) research campaign. TFiT seeks to advance technologies and methodologies for environmental monitoring of MRE device deployments through the development of common guidelines and recommendations for standardized data collection and analysis. TFiT accomplishes this through field testing of environmental monitoring technologies and methods and sharing data, results and recommended best practices. TFiT promotes data transferability , allowing regulators to reference results and impacts on a broader scale, while providing developers with clear, repeatable methodologies for data collection and analysis that reduce costs and streamline permitting efforts.

This research campaign was built upon work by OES-Environmental, a group that regularly evaluates and publishes the state of the science around environmental impacts from MRE , to identify which environmental stressors to pursue. The team then determined the best methods and technologies used to monitor those stressors through discussions with subject matter experts and plan to test these techniques at field sites to evaluate performance and provide best practices recommendations. The aim of testing environmental monitoring methods at different field sites is to establish the most effective approaches for a variety of settings and scenarios and recommend techniques where possible.

This virtual workshop aims to gain a better understanding of the requirements and needs from key regulatory, legislative and industry stakeholders to develop effective and useful guidelines for MRE environmental monitoring. To do this we seek to build partnerships to guide the field trials, methods, and objectives that will aid in the development of industry guidelines. A survey will be sent ahead of the virtual workshop to solicit feedback from workshop participants and guide the discussion.

The workshop will begin with an overview of the motives for the TFiT research campaign identifying four of the primary focus areas for MRE related environmental stressors: collision risk, underwater noise, electromagnetic fields and changes in habitat. Following this overview, a panel of PNNL researchers, each a subject matter expert for a particular stressor, will present the results of the survey conducted before the workshop. This will be followed by a group discussion with the goal of gathering information from workshop participants leading toward the development of a next steps document for creating industry guidelines for environmental monitoring. The results of this workshop will be published in a report and made available to the MRE community. The information and partnerships will strategically guide the TFiT field research campaign and lead to the creation of MRE environmental monitoring guidelines for the community built by the community.


Topic Overview:

  • Developing guidelines for methods and technologies for environmental monitoring around marine renewable energy devices
  • These methods and technologies are swiftly applicable to current practices. The goal of the workshop is to understand how to create usable information that is collected as part of the TFiT operations for stakeholders, like marine renewable energy developers or regulators.

Target Audience:

Marine renewable energy (MRE) stakeholders, focused toward regulators, legislators, and developers

Topic Overview:

  1. Introduce Triton/TFiT team and the goals for the workshop. Each lead will introduce current research and stressors of interest (20 min)
    • Collision Risk
    • Changes in Habitat
    • Electromagnetic Fields
    • Underwater Noise
  2. Share results from the RFI sent out before the workshop (20 min)
  3. Pose questions/ scenarios and solicit participant feedback based on RFI responses toward expectations from Triton for stakeholder approved recommendations/ guidelines (60 min)
  4. Wrap up, future directions (10 min)