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Orsted is planning to grow corals on wind turbines

In addition to the beauty of nature, coral reefs play an important role in nature. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, about a quarter of sea fish depend on healthy coral reefs.

Reinhard Dirscherl | Ulstein Build | Getty Images

Danish energy company Orsted will try out corals that grow on the basis of offshore wind turbines to see if this method can be rolled out on a larger scale in the future.

Working with a Taiwanese partner, this concept will be tested in “Taiwan’s tropical waters”. This week’s news represents the latest step in the company’s ReCoral initiative, which it began working on in 2018.

Last year, ReCoral officials were able to grow young corals on the wharf. These were grown in what Orsted described as “underwater steel and concrete substrates.”

In the June 2022 proof-of-concept test, a bid will be placed to settle larvae and grow coral at the Greater Changfa 1 offshore wind farm, a major facility located 35-60 km from the coast of Taiwan. This project will use an area of ​​1 square meter on four foundations.

Orsted said in a statement Wednesday that the project’s goal is to “determine whether coral can be successfully grown on the basis of offshore wind turbines and assess the potential biodiversity impact of expanding the initiative. To do. “

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In addition to its vibrant beauty, coral reefs play an important role in nature.

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, about a quarter of sea fish depend on healthy coral reefs. “Fish and other organisms protect, find, breed and grow juveniles in the many corners and crevices formed by corals,” he adds.

Not only is NOAA a source of food and what it calls “new drugs,” coral reefs protect the coastline from erosion and storms and provide work to the community.

Despite their importance, planetary reefs face many challenges, including coral bleaching. In March, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which manages the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, confirmed its fourth mass bleaching event since 2016.

According to GBRMPA’s 2017 fact sheetBleaching occurs when the coral is under stress, removes very small photosynthetic algae (known as zooxanthellae) and begins to starve.

“As the zooxanthellae leave the coral, the coral becomes thinner and more transparent,” he says.

Authorities’ fact sheets state that the most common reason for bleaching is “persistent heat stress, which occurs more often as climate change and the warmer seas.”

Corals can recover from bleaching when conditions change, but can die if conditions do not improve.

Orsted states that the water temperature of wind farms far from the coast can be made more stable by preventing “extreme temperature rise” by what is called “vertical mixing in the water column”.

The comprehensive idea of ​​the ReCoral project is that this water temperature stability limits the potential for coral bleaching and enables healthy coral growth on the basis of turbines.

The interaction of wind turbines with the natural world (including marine life and birds), whether offshore or onshore, can be a major area of ​​debate and debate in the future.

In April, the US Department of Justice announced a company called ESI Energy Inc. He had “three fleas of MBTA violations” or the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

In a broader sense, the US Energy Information Administration states that some wind projects and turbines can lead to the death of bats and birds.

“These deaths can contribute to a reduction in the population of species that are also affected by other human-related effects,” he says.

Orsted is planning to grow corals on wind turbines

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