AWEA’s Wind Project O&M and Safety Conference was held in San Diego at the end of February, and AWWI’s Senior Manager of Technology Innovation and Research Stu Webster joined consultant Kaj Skov Nielsen to present recent work on the integration of wildlife detection and deterrence systems at wind energy facilities.
Nielsen’s presentation discussed some of the challenges associated with integrating wildlife detection and deterrence systems into wind farms. Summarizing the findings of a recent AWWI white paper on this topic, he stressed the importance of addressing and overcoming these challenges and ensuring that these systems are commercially viable.
“It’s essential that detection and deterrent systems become easy and inexpensive to integrate into existing wind projects,” Nielsen remarked. “If not, deployment on a large scale may be delayed, prolonging the risk to bird and bat species that need protection, and resulting in increased renewable energy costs to consumers.”
AWWI’s Technology Innovation program has played a key role in helping to evaluate these technologies, and produced the white paper as part of its commitment to bringing stakeholders together to share technical details and operational considerations.
One of the key concerns identified as a result of research in this area is that the use of these technology solutions may result in a broader set of operational challenges than previously understood. While it is generally recognized that excessive wear and tear on equipment and loss of renewable energy production may result, the breadth and depth of these impacts have yet to be quantified.
“These findings underscore the need for more data and further dialogue among relevant stakeholders to facilitate robust analysis of the operational impacts,” AWWI’s Webster explained. “Providing feedback about these impacts to technology vendors and innovators will enable them to create solutions that can better meet their customers’ needs. AWWI is committed to advancing understanding of the quantitative impacts on wind farm productivity.”