To evaluate and minimize the expectable environmental impacts of the Rotor Blade Extension installation, EnergieKontor company has developed a mortality monitoring plan directed to birds and bats.
The aim of the Annual Bird and Bat Survey Report, conducted by the company NOCTULA – Environmental Consultants and carried out under the rotor blade extension project of the Wind Farm of Penedo Ruivo, was to quantify estimated chiropteran and bird mortality as a result of collision with windmills where blade extensions have been placed, and compare it with what has occurred around windmills where no change took place.
The results of the new monitoring report show us that, the installation of a rotor blade extension at the Penedo Ruivo wind farm, did not have any impact on chiropteran or bird mortality in the last two years of monitoring. The previous report results had already shown good results in the monitoring of these animal species. The conclusions show us that, so far, there has not been evidence of any relation of cause and effect between blade extension and the occurrence of mortality in these groups of animals.
Penedo Ruivo’s Wind Farm, is located, in Serra do Marão, in the county of Amarante (Portugal). The exploration began in 2005 and it has an extension about 3 km. This park currently has 10 wind turbines with a unit capacity of 1.3 MW, 1.3 MW of BONUS / 62 model.
Penedo Ruivo’s Wind Farm is integrated in an area with an existence of a large biological diversity, covering a huge list of species of the various groups – fauna, flora and microorganisms. So, the implementation of these monitoring plans is very important, because it minimizes the impact and damage to the biodiversity.
Whereas it has been recognized that the use of wind energy does not give rise to impacts comparable with other energy sources (in terms of water and air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions), bird and bat (chiropterans) mortality has been regularly reported widely.
The extension of wind turbine blades, developed by Energiekontor, allows output to increase with no need to replace or disassemble any structure. Because it lets already existing structures to be used, this type of facility causes less impact on the environment and the surrounding territory, compared to the installation of new wind turbines.
Nevertheless, Rotor Blade Extension may raise some important questions regarding chiropteran and bird mortality, which may occur as a result of the collision with structures that, although already established, will occupy a larger diameter when windmills are operational.
At the Wind Farm of Penedo Ruivo, bird and chiropteran death surveys, as a result of the collision with structures that make up windmills, which took place on a weekly basis, between June and October 2015 and in the period between March and May 2016, in order to simultaneously reflect the period of activity of chiropteran species and the main bird phonological phases (prenuptial migration, reproduction, juvenile dispersal and post-nuptial migration).
As regards the assessment of direct impact on windmill blade extension and its relationship with potential bird and chiropteran mortality, results have shown that, so far, there has not been any relation of cause and effect between blade placement and the occurrence of mortality in these groups of animals.
If you would like to improve the energy production of your wind farm using a cost efficient solution, consider the Rotor Blade Extension of Energiekontor. Contact us for more information.