The French Channel coast, which already has highly developed human activities, is particularly concerned by the deployment of offshore wind farms. However, qualifying the effects of commercial wind farms on a local scale, and the cumulative impacts of the various uses of the sea on the environment on a coastline scale, remains a major research challenge. This requires the long-term acquisition of field data, which is made possible using a measuring mast located off Fécamp and belonging to France Energies Marines. The mast is a genuine research platform at sea where state-of-the-art instrumentation is deployed, and innovative monitoring protocols are developed. This is a first in France to support the sector’s industrialists and the State with field studies, while encouraging their collaboration with the various research players.
- To improve understanding of the interactions between offshore wind and the environment
- To optimise the deisgn of wind turbines
- To co-construct a permanent observation network of the maritime seafronts
Six topics are studied in the framework of DRACCAR:
- The marine ecosystem as a whole, to study the cumulative impacts of anthropogenic activities at the local and seafront scales by developing robust numerical modelling approaches with a refined spatio-temporal resolution.
- The marine megafauna – mainly mammals, fish, and birds – to characterise the use of the area and assess the associated effects.
- The fishery resources, biofouling, and benthos species to characterise and better understand the reef effect generated by the installation of structures with foundations at sea.
- The wind and its physical parameters to develop new methods for measuring and modelling wind turbulence.
- The structure behaviour to gain a detailed understanding of the interactions between currents, sea states and the mast, like the phenomena present in a wind farm.
- The hydrosedimentary processes to qualify the way in which the measuring mast can influence the dynamics of the surrounding seabed, and vice versa.
Partners and funding
DRACCAR is led by France Energies Marines.
The initial budget for this programme is €8.2 million. It is financially supported by the Normandy Region and the European Union.
Photo credit: France Energies Marines