Gannets Steer Clear of Offshore Wind Turbines

APEM has released a study suggesting that four times fewer Northern gannets collide with offshore wind turbines than previously thought.

The research, carried out on behalf of Vattenfall and Scottish Power Renewables, surveyed an offshore wind farm off the coast of England.

APEM used its Vulcanair Observer twin-engine aircraft to conduct four aerial surveys, with the aircraft flying at over 300m to avoid the risk of disturbing the birds.

The company’s Shearwater II camera system was utilized for high-resolution photographs during the autumn migratory season, a period when large numbers of Northern gannets are on passage off the East coast and in the southern North Sea, APEM said.

According to APEM, 336 gannets were recorded in the images in total, with only eight recorded within the wind farm area and 328 outside of it. The gannets had minimum recorded approach distances of 443m and 359m away from the nearest turbine within and outside the footprint, respectively, thus demonstrating that gannets avoid the close vicinity of wind farms.

Although it was previously believed that the avoidance factor for Northern gannets was 98%, APEM’s ornithologists believe that a more realistic factor is 99.5%. The number of gannets estimated to be at risk of collision has therefore changed from two birds per 100, to 0.5 per 100. This suggests that four times fewer Northern gannets would collide with wind turbines during the autumn passage than previously estimated.

“The findings of the survey have huge implications – not just for the population of Northern gannets, but for the future of renewable energy. The conclusions of the study, showing that fewer birds will collide with wind farms, means that earlier assessments have been overly precautionary,” Dr. Mark Rehfisch, Associate Director and Head of Ornithology at APEM, said.

“The lessened risk will mean more favourable outcomes for renewable energy firms seeking consent for wind farms, providing more opportunities for the creation of clean, renewable energy, and once again demonstrating the importance of good quality science.”

Share this article

Follow Offshore Wind

Events>

<< Nov 2018 >>
MTWTFSS
29 30 31 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 1 2

5th Asia Offshore Wind Day 2019

The event will bring together senior executives active in the offshore wind industry in Asia…

read more >

ACI’s Operating Specialist Wind Vessels 2018

Already on its 5th edition, ACI’s Operating Specialist Wind Vessels 2018 will bring together senior executives and experts from ship owners

read more >

Benelux Infrastructure Forum

This year’s highly-anticipated event will focus on exploring new financing mechanisms and alternative markets for future…

read more >

Offshore Wind Europe 2018

The Offshore Wind Europe speaker line-up is supported by executives who are leading the charge…

read more >

Jobs>

Senior Contract Manager

Here at Scottish Power Renewables we’re committed to remaining a UK leader in renewable energy. As well as investing in our technologies, we are committed to investing in the future of extraordinary people like you...

apply

Senior Operations & Maintenance Engineer

The Senior O&M Engineer (Structural) sits within the Asset Integrity Management Department team of Offshore O&M, reporting to a Lead O&M Engineer...

apply

O&M Lead Contract Manager

Here at Scottish Power Renewables we’re committed to remaining a UK leader in renewable energy. As well as investing in our technologies, we are committed to investing in the future of extraordinary people like you...

apply

Vessels>