Radar study into wind farm impact on sea birds off Aberdeen coast

Turbine radar unit
Image caption Radar guided cameras will track birds as they approach the turbines

A two-year study has begun off the coast of Aberdeen into how sea birds interact with wind farms.

Radar equipment has been installed on two of the 11 turbines which make up the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

The wind farm was at the centre of a row with Donald Trump who has claimed turbines “kill all the birds”.

The new equipment detects a bird passing through the area and prompts cameras to track and film them.

The hope is that it can fill a gap in understanding of the impact wind farms have on birds.

Chris Jackson, environmental specialist at Vattenfall, told BBC Scotland: “There’s currently a very precautionary approach when it comes to undertaking environmental impact assessments.

“By undertaking this particular research we’re able to fill the knowledge gap, that understanding, and create greater clarity and certainty when undertaking future assessments.”

Image caption Donald Trump complained that the wind farm would spoil the view from his golf resort

The wind farm sits alongside Donald Trump’s golf course at Menie in Aberdeenshire.

The now-US president objected to the turbines being installed claiming they would spoil the view.

He gave evidence to a Scottish Parliament inquiry in 2012 and has claimed turbines create “bird cemeteries.”

But experts say there is very little evidence to properly assess the level of impact they have on birds.

Liz Humphreys, from the British Trust for Ornithology, explained: “When a bird strikes a turbine at sea it will just drop into the sea and it’s gone forever, the corpse is gone.

“Nobody has been able to collect the corpses and work out at a turbine, or even a wind farm level, the scale of mortality incurred by collision risk. So this particular project is really exciting.”

The research is part of a £2.7m (€3m) investment in scientific research at the site.



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