With the number of offshore renewable projects growing and data becoming increasingly sensitive in a competitive market, we have to ensure that our processes for managing and sharing data develops in tandem and continues to benefit the industry.
By ensuring that the survey data on the Marine Data Exchange (MDE) is shared in a timely manner, we can promote collaboration and innovation within the sector, reduce survey costs and ultimately de-risk investment offshore.
This is not possible without the support of our customers who we have worked with to develop a set of data policy standards; defining milestones in the development process when different types of survey data can generally be made publicly available.
Whilst there are variations between sectors, the below timeframes are when we would look to begin discussions with our offshore wind customers to publish their survey data on the MDE.
Consent decision: Environmental Survey Data
Once a consent decision has been awarded for a project, we would work with the developers to publish the environmental data. Whilst this is the general approach; all projects are different and some parts of the environmental data may still be sensitive. In these circumstances, we may extend the confidentiality period for a specific dataset/report.
For some of the projects whereby another project is in very close proximity, we will consider the potential impact that the release of the data may have on the neighbouring project. This is particular relevant for Round 3 projects which have developed from a Round 3 Zone. Not only are these projects within relative close proximity, but they would have also shared early survey work that was collected across the Zone. In these circumstances, environmental data may remain confidential until all projects from within the original zone have been awarded a consent decision.
If, for any reason, the project is cancelled; we will endeavour to release the survey data into the public domain as soon as the site is terminated.
Financial Investment Decision: Site Investigation, Metocean, Meterological
Once the project has reached a Financial Investment Decision (FID), we will work with the developers of the project to publish all other survey data.This largely includes all physical data that is collected to understand the site characteristics, such as geophysical and geotechnical data. It will also include any meteorological data, but wind data collected for an offshore wind farm project will be additionally subject to the conditions described below.
2 years after the date of collection: Wind Data
For an offshore wind farm, wind resource data can be commercially sensitive. For this reason, we do not release any wind data (such as that collected from LiDARs and Meteorological Masts) until 2 years after the date of data collection. For example, wind resource data collected in 2019 would not be published until 2022 at the earliest, unless the site is terminated.
Any wind data associated with a project that has not yet reached the FID milestone, will still be subject to the conditions set out in the FID milestone above, even if the wind data has surpassed 2 years since collection.