Offshore wind environmental impact monitoring - better measurement for better management of Noise, Microplastics and Biodiversity impacts

1 Submissions
Due:  26th Aug 2024

Challenge overview

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Nordvegen Vind, partnership between Corio Generation and Å Energi, presents a focused challenge through the NOW Accelerator program to develop innovative monitoring technologies for the environmental impacts of floating offshore wind farms. This challenge specifically targets the development of methods to precisely measure microplastic pollution, noise pollution, and the effects on biodiversity within marine environments within floating wind farms. The goal is to create solutions that provide detailed, real-time environmental data, helping to ensure the sustainability and regulatory compliance of offshore wind projects.


Nordvegen Vind brings extensive expertise in renewable energy to foster innovations that minimise the environmental footprint of offshore wind operations. This challenge invites global innovators, from emerging startups to large enterprises, to contribute scalable, effective solutions that enhance environmental monitoring in the offshore wind sector.



While floating offshore wind technologies promise access to vast new energy resources by operating in deeper waters, existing studies have highlighted significant gaps in understanding of interaction between these technologies and the environment, especially with the relatively nascent technology of floating turbines compared to traditional fixed-bottom turbines. For instance, the role of microplastics—both from broader ocean pollution and potentially from the wind farms themselves—in affecting marine life remains underexplored. Similarly, the specific noise profiles of floating wind farms and their impact on marine species. Lastly, the broader ecological footprint, including changes to habitat and species distribution caused by the presence and operations of wind farms, requires detailed and ongoing study to guide mitigation strategies.

This challenge seeks to address these knowledge gaps by developing technologies that can monitor these environmental factors with greater precision and in real-time. Such monitoring is crucial not only for advancing our understanding of these impacts but also for developing strategies to mitigate them effectively, ensuring the ecological compatibility of floating wind farms.

Impact on Business and Environment:

  • Business Impact: By providing more accurate and timely environmental impact data, the solutions developed from this challenge can reduce compliance risks and operational costs associated with environmental mitigation, ultimately speeding up project approval and deployment cycles.
  • Environmental Impact: Enhanced monitoring technologies will enable better protection of marine ecosystems by allowing more responsive and targeted mitigation of impacts from offshore wind farm operations.


Mandatory Requirements:

  1. Capability to measure at least one of the following: underwater noise, subsea biodiversity, or microplastic pollution.
  2. Suitable for deployment during the Operation & Maintenance (O&M) phase, with minimal maintenance needs.
  3. Designed to withstand the challenging conditions of the North Sea and applicable specifically to floating offshore wind farms.
  4. Offers a significant improvement or novel approach compared to existing solutions in the industry.

Optional Requirements:

  1. Ability to monitor multiple parameters (noise, biodiversity, microplastics) simultaneously.
  2. Applicability across different stages of offshore wind farm development, from site assessment to construction and operation.
  3. Usable in both floating and fixed offshore wind settings, and potentially adaptable to other marine industries.
  4. Capability to conduct differentiated measurements at various water depths and proximities to the source.
  5. Includes features for in-situ analysis and correlation of data, enhancing the real-time applicability of the information gathered.



  • Innovation and Creativity: Proposals will be judged based on their innovative approach, effectiveness in meeting mandatory requirements, and the potential to exceed these standards.
  • Feasibility and Impact: Solutions will be evaluated on their practical deployability, robustness in marine environments, and the scope of their potential impact on environmental monitoring practices.


Winners will be offered the opportunity to investigate further collaboration with Nordvegen Vind for potential integration of their solutions into ongoing and future offshore wind projects, playing a pivotal role in shaping the industry’s approach to environmental stewardship.


  • Confidentiality: Submissions and discussions will remain confidential, accessible only to challenge participants and organising teams.
  • Eligibility: Open to all global innovators with the capability to deliver effective, scalable solutions for the offshore wind sector.


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