Screening stage
  1. An initial ‘long list’ of projects within a defined Zone of Influence (ZoI) will be developed based on the criteria listed in paragraph 201 to identify all potential projects to be considered in the CEA. The ZoI will encompass all regional study areas as defined in the technical assessments in the Array EIA Report.
  2. The following staged process will be used for each impact-receptor pathway to reduce the initial long list:
  • conceptual overlap – an impact-receptor pathway (in EIA terms) describes an impact which has the potential to directly or indirectly affect the receptor(s) in question. This is defined here as a conceptual overlap;
  • physical overlap – ability for impacts arising from the Array to overlap with those from other projects/plans on a receptor basis. An overlap of the physical extents of the impacts arising from the two (or more) projects/plans must be established for a cumulative effect to arise. There are exceptions to this for certain mobile receptors that may move between, and are subject to, two or more separate physical extents of impact from two or more projects; and
  • temporal overlap – for a cumulative effect to arise from two or more projects, a temporal overlap of impacts arising from each must be established. Some impacts are active only during certain phases of development (e.g. piling noise during construction). However, the absence of a strict overlap may not necessarily mean there is no potential for cumulative effect, as receptors may become further affected by additional, non-temporally overlapping projects.
  1. Experienced and knowledgeable technical specialists will carry out this screening stage based upon the current guidance and regulations. After review of the long list, the remaining projects or plans are taken forward to the assessment stage. This refined short list of projects will be agreed with stakeholders and Scottish Ministers via MS-LOT.
Assessment stage
  1. At the assessment stage, information is gathered on the projects, plans or activities, to be taken forward into the CEA. Where the likely significant effects (as defined by the EIA Regulations) for the Array alone are assessed as negligible, or where an impact is predicted to be highly localised, these will not be considered within the Array CEA, as it is considered that there would be no potential for cumulative effects with other plans, projects or activities.
  2. A tiered approach will be used when undertaking the CEA of the Array, which provides a framework for placing relative weight upon the potential for each project/plan to be included in the CEA, based upon the project/plan’s current stage of maturity and certainty in the projects’ parameters. Projects or plans will be assessed using the following tiers:
  • tier 1 assessment – Array with Proposed offshore export cable corridor(s), Proposed onshore export cable corridor(s), and Proposed landfall location(s) (NB: tiers will be assigned to these projects in the Array EIA Report based upon the information available prior to the cut-offs presented in paragraph 207);
  • tier 2 assessment – all plans/projects assessed under Tier 1, plus projects which are operational, under construction, those with consent and submitted but not yet determined;
  • tier 3 assessment – all plans/projects assessed under Tier 2, plus those projects with a Scoping Report and/or Scoping Opinion; and
  • tier 4 assessment – all plans/projects assessed under Tier 3, plus those projects likely to come forward where a CES Option to Lease Agreement or Crown Estate equivalent has been granted.
  1. The tiered approach above will be applied to all projects/plans that have been screened into the CEA via the screening process for assessment in the CEA. All other relevant plans, projects and activities that are publicly available six months prior to submission of the Array application will be considered in the CEA where quantitative assessment is required. A qualitative CEA will consider all other relevant plans, projects and activities that are publicly available three months prior to submission of the Array application.
  2. The CEA methodology will follow the methodology described in section 4.3.5, where possible, for consistency throughout the EIA.
  3. It is expected that the following activity types will be considered in the CEA of the Array based on maximum ZoIs identified from the relevant technical assessments detailed within this Scoping Report:
  • marine aggregates and disposal –200 km from the Array;
  • energy (including offshore wind, wave and tidal projects (including Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) projects), cables, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Underground Coal Gasification (UCG)) – proposed ZoI subject to further assessment of offshore ornithology aerial survey study area);
  • oil and gas infrastructure –200 km from the Array;
  • cables and pipelines –100 km from the Array;
  • ports and harbours, 200 km from the Array; and
  • military, aviation and radar –50 km from the Array.
  1. The Applicant will seek agreement on the list of projects and/or plans to be included in the CEA as part of the post-Scoping consultation (see Appendix 1).

4.3.8. Transboundary Effects

  1. Where impacts from the Array affects the environment of an EEA state(s), this is defined as a transboundary effect. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on EIA in a Transboundary Context (the ‘Espoo Convention’) presents the need to consider transboundary effects and requires assessments to be extended across borders between Parties of the Convention when a planned activity may cause significant adverse transboundary impacts.
  2. The EIA Regulations state that the Scottish Ministers are required to send information about the development to the Government of the affected country for any project that is likely to cause significant transboundary effects and invite them to participate in consultation procedures. Appendix 3 presents the screening of potential transboundary impacts to assist with this process.
  3. The following receptors may experience transboundary impacts from the Array as identified in Appendix 3:
  • offshore ornithology;
  • commercial fisheries;
  • shipping and navigation; and
  • offshore socio-economics.