Based on migration speeds between 1 and 3 metres a year and a cable depth of 1.8m, Galagan et al (2005) estimate that cables could be exposed after 6 to 18 years.
When placing the gravity-based foundations, a method that was studied in the EIR but is not used by Belwind, large quantities of sediment are displaced. However, the sediment composition of the concession area is not drastically changed as a result of which the inherent quality of the habitat does not essentially change. We therefore expect that the same fauna elements will return during the operating phase and that this will also be the case when the wind farm is decommissioned.
Belwind uses steel monopile foundations, hollow pipes that are driven into the seabed. Pile driving (which takes 2 to 3 hours) does not displace the sediment.
The federal and shipping police bars third parties all access to the wind farm. Barring access to the area has a positive impact as a spawning, breeding and nursery area. Because there is no bottom fishing, certain epibenthos communities will be restored.
(Source: Environment Impact Evaluation Belwind, December 2007)