Renewables and Energy

Specialist Expertise

MESL have provided support to the offshore wind industry since its infancy and have played a central role in ensuring that some of the UK’s largest and most prestigious renewables projects received consent in a timely manner. MESL conduct first class benthic surveys on time and to budget, our range of skills and expertise include:

  • Offshore sampling
  • Identification of benthic and epibenthic fauna
  • Community analysis and data interpretation
  • Licensing assistance
  • Benthic characterisation and monitoring surveys
  • Preparation of survey Terms of Reference, Scoping and Environmental Statements


MESL also hold a place on the Marine Renewables Research Framework, established by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), to provide insight into the potential impacts of marine renewables projects.

Case Studies

Thanet and Thanet Extension Offshore Wind Farm

MESL has undertaken both baseline and monitoring surveys for the Thanet offshore wind farm. A detailed report examining the occurrence and distribution of sensitive biological resources such as Sabellaria spinulosa reefs and herring spawning grounds received  praise from industry regulators. MESL continues to monitor the post-construction phase of the project including an assessment of the monopile colonisation and scour pits. Additionally, MESL has undertaken intertidal assessments for potential cable route extension  to determine a suitable locationfor onshore connection infrastructure.

Brough Head Wave Farm

MESL have been contracted to complete the benthic survey work associated with the Brough Head Wave Farm on the  Orkney Islands on behalf of Aquamarine Power Ltd and SSE. As part of this project MESL have been commissioned to design and execute a benthic survey of the proposed development site, to undertake all associated sample and data analysis and to produce a technical benthic report and benthic chapter for incorporation within an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Torr Head Tidal Array Benthic Surveys

MESL were recently commissioned by Xodus Ltd (on behalf of Tidal Ventures Ltd) to conduct a benthic characterisation survey which was used to inform a marine benthic ecology chapter within the Environmental Impact Assessment for a potential tidal-power cable route location. As part of this project MESL conducted both intertidal and seabed imagery surveys and completed all consequential data analysis and reporting work. The survey team used an ROV to examine the diverse and rocky seabed in the survey region and made records of the biotopes present proving our ability to accurately identify seabed communities from images and video. The successful completion of this project on the northern coast of Ireland demonstrates our familiarity with and understanding of the benthic fauna in this region. 

Hinkley Point Sabellaria Assessment

MESL carried out a Sabellaria spinulosa investigation for EDF Energy’s nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

Sheringham Shoals Offshore Wind Farm

Scira Offshore Energy commissioned MESL to audit Scira’s current position with regards to compliance with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) Licence held by the company for the development of the Sherringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm. The project involved a review of the conditions relating to the construction phase, together with a review of the monitoring work that has been commissioned in order to ensure that all monitoring conditions have been appropriately fulfilled. In addition, MESL have handled all regulatory correspondence pertaining to the project and assisted with the developing of monitoring works-copes and procurement.

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