Vattenfall has announced a new partnership with Spoor, a Norwegian AI start-up, to bring its technology to the Aberdeen Bay offshore wind farm.
The renewables firm says the technology will be used to gain insight into bird flight patterns and behaviour, as well as potentially detecting collisions.
By being able to document avoidance behaviour, the information and data can then be used as a basis for establishing collision rates more directly, which will help in the planning of new offshore wind farms.
Jesper Kyed Larsen, a bioscience expert at Vattenfall, said: “This exciting, collaborative project is the first of its kind to validate camera technologies for 3D tracking of seabirds in the immediate vicinity of offshore wind turbines.
“Having well-understood high-quality data is key to providing the evidence base we need to protect seabirds and plan the offshore wind farms of the future which are vital in the fight against climate change.”
Andrew Watts, vice president of partnerships and innovation at Spoor, added: “We’re delighted to partner with Vattenfall and the British Trust for Ornithology on this project.
“As a DeepTech Biodiversity company, it is essential to work closely with renewable energy developers, scientists, government agencies and ENGOs to speed up technology adoption and deployment, so we can make the biggest impact on protecting wildlife populations and accelerating the rollout of clean energy.”
Vattenfall’s previous research in Aberdeen
This new trial follows on from Vattenfall’s previous research project using a combination of radar and camera technology, documenting seabird flight behaviour at a larger scale around the turbines.
Earlier this year, Vattenfall’s £2.6 million research project found there were zero seabird collisions with turbines during two years of monitoring Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm.
Avoidance behaviour among different seabird species varies from just 33ft to nearly 500ft from wind turbine rotor blades, the study found.
The wind farm also known as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), comprises 11 turbines just off the coast of Aberdeen.
Vattenfall said its seabird study was one of the largest programmes of its kind in the world.