Aberdeen Bay wind farm to use radar technology for ‘world first’ bird research

The Aberdeen Bay Windfarm
The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) off the coast of Aberdeen

An offshore wind deployment centre off the coast of Aberdeen has announced it will employ radar technology to observe how seabirds interact with wind turbines.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay is understood to be the site for the delivery of a “world first” as part of a £2.6 million scientific research programme.

Swedish wind developer Vattenfall said it has hired a Scottish specialist group to carry out the studies.

Edinburgh-based RPS and Danish-based DHI Group will deploy state of the art radar-camera based digital technology at the Aberdeen site.

The study will monitor the flight patterns and responses of gannet, kittiwake and large gulls flying during the summer breeding season through and close to the EOWDC.

Chris Jackson, senior environmental specialist at Vattenfall, said: “Vattenfall encourages and enables research and development to support the continued growth of the offshore wind industry.

“The EOWDC, with its focus on innovation and research, is the perfect place to do it.

“The evidence gathered by this research will help decision makers to support the sustainable growth of the offshore wind industry, which is particularly important at a time when the sector is readying itself for rapid expansion.”

The research work will see the collaboration of key stakeholders including RSPB Scotland, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Mike Armitage, technical director with RPS, added: “This cutting edge technology ensures that specific species, flight height as well as their individual and group behaviour can be identified, throughout the wind farm during its operation.”