Deep Wind Offshore to Use Spoor’s AI Bird-Tracking Tech in Sweden, South Korea

After completing the first full-year bird survey in Norway using the AI bird-tracking technology developed by the Norwegian start-up Spoor, Deep Wind Offshore will introduce the technology to the Swedish and South Korean offshore wind markets.

Deep Wind Offshore CEO, Knut Vassbotn, and Spoor CEO Ask Helseth at WindEurope in Bilbao; Photo source: Deep Wind Offshore

Spoor has been tracking birds at the Utsira Nord floating wind area in Norway on behalf of Deep Wind Offshore over the past year, with the camera fitted on a lighthouse at the island of Utsira, off whose coast the Norwegian government is tendering 1.5 GW of floating wind generation capacity.

Deep Wind Offshore, in partnership with EDF Renewables, has submitted a bid for the qualitative Utsira Nord tender. The government, which just announced the winner of the fixed-bottom tender for the Southern North Sea II area, is expected to also announce the selected developers for Utsira Nord this year.

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Norwegian start-up Spoor, whose technology Deep Wind Offshore used for bird surveys at the floating wind area, has developed software that enables the wind industry to measure and report on bird impact, operationalise analysis, and implement mitigation measures, the offshore wind developer said.

Spoor’s bird-tracking technology estimates a bird’s 3D flight path. This data provides insights on bird flight patterns, pre and post-construction. Based on a bird’s flight path, Spoor can detect possible collisions and other flight activity near turbines.

Now, Deep Wind Offshore has decided to use the technology in other markets it has offshore wind projects in development.

The company has a pipeline of more than than 10 GW, including 2 GW under exclusive development in South Korea. At the end of last year, Deep Wind Offshore also submitted a permit application for the construction and operation of a wind farm offshore Sweden.

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“Coexistence is crucial for succeeding with offshore wind development. After gaining valuable information from Spoor’s bird monitoring in Norway, we will now use the technology in Sweden and South Korea,” said Knut Vassbotn, CEO of Deep Wind Offshore.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to join Deep Wind Offshore in other markets. This is an important validation of our technology,” said Ask Helseth, CEO of Spoor.

Besides Deep Wind Offshore and the project in Norway, Spoor has also been working with other offshore wind developers as its AI tech moves on the commercialisation path.

In 2022, the company saw investments from Ørsted and venture capital firms Nysnø Climate Investments (Nysnø), Wiski Capital, Norrsken Foundation, and Antler via a seed funding round that was aimed at helping to test and commercialise the new technology.

Last year, Vattenfall and the British Trust for Ornithology teamed up with Spoor on a project to test the AI technology in tracking 3D flight paths of seabirds flying near the wind turbine blades at Vattenfall’s Aberdeen Bay Offshore Wind Farm in Scotland. The testing is expected to be completed in June 2024.

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