This ORJIP study has been carried out in order to provide information on current and planned monitoring technologies/systems that allow for collision and avoidance behaviour within the vicinity of turbines to be recorded. Data on seabirds and how they react to the presence of a wind farm is required to help address evidence gaps around empirical collision rates and reduce consenting risks for the offshore wind industry.
Within our review we looked at monitoring devices currently deployed at offshore wind farms globally, but also reviewed devices installed at onshore wind farms which have the potential to be deployed offshore following modifications. Our review involved a literature search while also holding interviews with eight different suppliers and wind farm developers utilising monitoring technology/systems, obtaining more information than available in published literature. Including planned monitoring technology/systems, 25 monitoring devices were reviewed (three additional systems were reviewed during report updates and added within Appendix 4). Monitoring technology can be radar, cameras and acoustic, with combined systems (combination of cameras, radar and acoustic) also existing.
Information on each technology/system has been provided under six different subheadings:
- System design: Information relating to the objective of the monitoring system (what was/is it aiming to monitor); scale of deployment if it has been deployed offshore or onshore, and details on how the system worked such as calibration or validation.
- System functioning: Information relating to the spatial coverage - monitoring capacity relative to turbine structure(s) and beyond of the technology/system, its temporal coverage and what parts of the structure were visibly monitored beyond the turbine blades/rotor swept area, if it can monitor collisions, its species identification capability and the amount of false negative and false positive rates.
- Hosting/logistical requirements: Information relating to the type and format of data recorded/stored and retrieved, the equipment and turbine requirements for hosting the technology/system and the logistical requirements – e.g., power, communications, maintenance frequency.
- Data collection: Information relating to the rate of bird movement – e.g., flux/ density, data on bird flight reactive behaviour and bird flight parameters – e.g., height, speed, direction.
- Data processing and data analysis: Information on data extraction and format, the processing methods, automation and analytical approaches applied to the data, if the system can derive empirical collision rate estimates, CRM parameters (e.g., flight heights and flight speed etc.), if the system can obtain data on within-wind farm avoidance rates, Macro-avoidance rates, if the technology/system can categorise bird flight behaviour preceding collision/avoidance, if the technology/system can obtain data to allow estimation of flux rates through individual turbines and/or wind farm, and if any additional analyses can be envisaged for the processed data.
- Recommendations: The final subheading aims to put forth any recommendations that could be undertaken to improve the technology/system to allow for more data to be recorded.
From this review, it was revealed that no one system can monitor all seabird behaviours (macro, meso and micro) as well as collisions. Additionally, from reviewing monitoring campaigns at offshore wind farms to date, no current study is being undertaken with the sole purpose to utilise monitoring technology/systems to obtain empirical collision rates, with majority of monitoring campaigns focusing on avoidance behaviour.
The contents of this document will be used to help inform a power analysis and will be used to help outline a scope of works for a future development project at an offshore wind farm. This report forms part two out of four work packages.