This guidance provides an up-to-date catalogue of available monitoring technologies for flying birds and bats at offshore wind farms (OWF) in operation, with a focus on managing the risk of collision. Although monitoring requirements across regions seem similar, the focus of regulators varies depending on national conservation priorities and legislation.
This guidance aims at supporting consenting processes in the early phases of a development project with choosing appropriate technologies for the particular region. To assist in the planning process for the Wind Farm monitoring campaign, decision trees have been included in section 5.2 depending on the concern or regulatory landscape.
The current approaches and technologies available across the globe have been reviewed and assessed in terms of performance and compliance in relation to current monitoring and mitigation requirements, primarily during the post-construction phase. The assessment includes the following technologies:
- Radar (2D and 3D)
- Acoustic equipment
- Large-scale survey platform and large-scale telemetry
These technologies are covering all relevant spatial and temporal scales for assessment of bird and bat behaviour and collision risk. As collision mitigation is quickly becoming a central issue globally, the interfacing capacity of monitoring equipment with SCADA is included in this review, for the sake of integrating the possibility for smart curtailment where needed.
The assessments undertaken in this guidance consider monitoring technologies as approaches to monitoring rather than individual products. This has been judged as necessary to avoid reliance on commercial material in terms of web sites and flyers from technology vendors. The performance of each technology has been rated in relation to the following features:
- Its monitoring performance
- Installation complexity
- Retrofitting potential
- Cost/quality ratio
The results have been summarized in the assessment matrix, Table 2. For each method or technology, the performance strengths and weaknesses are discussed in relation to various parameters such as
- The species or species groups
- The scale over which it may operate (e.g. micro, meso, macro) and
- The phases of offshore wind farm development during which it is applicable
A key part of the review has aimed to determine the performance of the different technologies as reflected by the statistical power1 of monitoring data achievable at the species level.