NIRAS and DHI win ORJIP Bird Collision Avoidance Study

Published: 08-04-2014

Managed by Carbon Trust, the aim of this project is to quantify and interpret avoidance behaviours of key marine bird species at offshore wind farms.

NIRAS, in partnership with DHI and BirdLife Denmark, is delighted to announce the success of its bid for the Bird Collision Avoidance Study as part of the Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP). Managed by Carbon Trust, the aim of this project is to quantify and interpret avoidance behaviours of key marine bird species at offshore wind farms.

Potentially one of the most significant predicted environmental impacts from offshore wind farms is that of birds colliding with turbine blades. There is considerable uncertainty over the scale of any impact from collision mortality due to the relatively few detailed monitoring studies so far undertaken. Existing evidence indicates a very high level of avoidance behaviour and it is these results on which current assessments are based. It is widely recognised that in order to minimise the future risk of offshore wind farm developments failing to gain consent, further robust evidence on the level of avoidance behaviour is required.

In order to achieve this, a study is required that will provide a suitable level of data needed to ensure that future applications and Environmental Impact Assessments are based on scientifically robust, evidence-based conclusions. From summer 2014, the Bird Collision Avoidance Study will be monitoring avoidance behaviour and collision impacts using a series of Target Acquisition and Designation (TADS) cameras in digital communication with surveillance radar systems. These will be combined with laser rangefinders, trained bird observers and high performance radars at the periphery of the wind farm. These detection systems will collect data on avoidance and record collision events automatically, with specific understanding of species distribution being collected by observers. The principal study site will be at the fully operational Thanet offshore wind farm, off the East Kent coast with supplementary data collection planned at other sites.

This innovative research exceeds the scale of previous UK projects; data collection will be conducted over a two year period. The results will help refine and inform the assumptions used to estimate bird collisions and avoidance behaviour. NIRAS and DHI are delighted to be involved with this pioneering project and are looking forward to sharing the results with the wider scientific community.

Contact info

Ian EllisPrincipal EcologistCambridgeT: +44 1223 803750E: Send E-mail
Further contact info
© NIRAS Consulting Ltd. - St Giles Court, 24 Castle Street. Cambridge. CB3 0AJ UK. - T: +44 (0)1223 803750 - E: info-uk@niras.com - Sitemap

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