Advertisements

Robin Radar’s Floating Radar Systems Mitigate Threat to Bird and Bat Populations from Offshore Wind Farms

by Anna

As the demand for renewable energy surges, offshore wind farms have emerged as pivotal sources of clean power. However, their development in bird habitats and migratory routes has raised concerns about potential collisions between birds, bats, and turbine blades. Recognizing this challenge, Hague-based Robin Radar has devised innovative floating radar systems to enhance the safety of offshore wind farms for wildlife.

Advertisements

Wind turbines, instrumental in harnessing wind energy, have faced criticism for their impact on avian and bat populations. With global newly installed wind power capacity reaching approximately 116.6 GW in 2023, offshore wind farms have experienced rapid expansion, presenting significant opportunities for renewable energy production. Yet, the large size and movement of turbine blades pose risks to bird and bat populations, threatening their survival.

Advertisements

Estimating the extent of bird and bat collisions with turbine blades remains challenging. Studies conducted primarily at onshore wind farms in the U.S. suggest annual bird mortality ranging from 140,000 to 679,000 due to collisions, while other estimates indicate 4 to 18 bird fatalities per turbine per year. However, empirical evidence on seabird collisions offshore remains scarce, highlighting the need for enhanced monitoring efforts.

Robin Radar’s solution addresses this pressing issue by introducing a floating radar system designed to detect and track objects, including birds, bats, and ships, over the water’s surface. Mounted on a floating platform, the radar system automatically triggers turbine shutdown or slowdown when large numbers of birds are detected approaching the wind farm.

Combining Robin Radar’s MAX bird and bat radar systems with advanced alert systems, cameras, sensors, AI software, and MIDO’s FLORA 1 floating platform, the solution represents a significant advancement in wildlife protection within offshore wind farms. Studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of radar-assisted shutdowns in reducing bird mortality, with instances in Portugal reporting negligible bird fatalities during shutdown periods.

As offshore wind farms continue to proliferate, the urgency to mitigate their impact on bird and bat populations intensifies. With the Dutch North Sea alone hosting 4.7 gigawatts of operational offshore wind farms by late 2023, the deployment of radar-assisted shutdown systems becomes increasingly vital. The forthcoming Ecowende wind farm, scheduled for operation by 2026, underscores the industry’s commitment to balancing renewable energy expansion with wildlife conservation.

Robin Radar’s floating platform equipped with bird and bat monitoring technology is poised to commence operations by the end of this year, marking a significant milestone in safeguarding wildlife in offshore wind farm environments. This pioneering initiative sets a precedent for integrating innovative radar solutions to protect biodiversity while advancing renewable energy infrastructure.

Advertisements
Advertisements

You may also like

Copyright © 2023 ourmechanicalcenter.com