"As Tasmania enters a new phase of wind farm development that will test the
bounds of social licence and environmental stewardship, one of the state’s
largest wind farms has been making key progress on one of the industry’s most
divisive issues: turbine-related bird deaths.
The 144MW Cattle Hill wind farm, owned by Power China Group and Goldwind
Capital Australia, was formally launched in Tasmania’s Central Highlands in
late 2019, and started sending power to the grid in early 2020.
The project is also nearly a year into an 18-month Australia-first trial of an
aerial monitoring and detection system, called IndentiFlight, designed to
mitigate the wind farm’s impact on the endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.
It is already winning awards, including the Clean Energy Council’s Innovation
Award for 2021.
The technology uses tower-mounted optical units – 16 of them are spread out
across the wind farm – to detect flying objects, and then algorithms to
identify them as eagles.
If an eagle’s speed and flight trajectory puts it on a collision path with a
turbine, the system then sends a signal to shut that turbine down.
So far, the technology has proven highly successful in protecting the local
population of “Wedgies,” with just one mortality due to a turbine collision
identified during the initial commissioning of the IdentiFlight system."
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics