RGI report on bird data collected by TSOs


Collisions of birds with power lines and lethal electric shocks pose a threat to certain bird species. European transmission system operators (TSOs) are aware of this and in order to minimise bird mortality from planned or existing infrastructure, TSOs collect significant amounts of data on birds. However, these data are often limited to specific projects or regions and are not collated. To better utilise the potential of this dispersed data for the benefit of birds, the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), an association of non-governmental organisations and transmission system operators (TSOs) from all over Europe, has initiated a collective data project.

Together with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union, RGI has compiled the report “Better utilisation and transparency of bird data collected by TSOs”, which has now been published. The aim of the joint effort is to provide the actors in the energy sector with the necessary information to reduce the negative impact of power lines on bird populations in the long term.

The data were collected through a questionnaire and a workshop session. The BTO and the RSPB have translated their findings into a comprehensive document which contains specific recommendations for market participants. The project partners intend to build on this work and contribute to the development of a tool to better understand the determinants of bird mortality and the effectiveness of mitigation measures.

RGI has published a report on the use of bird data from TSOs for species protection (picture: Pete Linforth, Pixabay)

> See RGI topic site (html)
> Open Bird data report (pdf, 1.02MB)

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Underground cables for bird’s habitat in Germany


The Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) and TSC member TenneT has revealed details for the construction of the “Ostküstenleitung” (“East-Coast-Line”) after an an intensive dialog with the affected public and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Energy, Agriculture, the Environment and Rural Areas of Schleswig-Holstein. This 380kV transmission line is going to connect the region of Oldenburg and Göhl in the eastern part of Schleswig-Holstein – an excellent location for wind turbines – to Hamburg, from where the electricity is to be transported further to the industrially highly developed south of Germany.

The “Ostküstenleitung” is of special importance for the grid expansion in Germany, since the German federal government has declared it a pilot project for partial underground cabling. TenneT has checked all possible options thoroughly to find out, for which parts of the power line underground cables are feasible. The section from Göhl to Sebent leads through the environmentally protected area of the Oldenburger Graben. This important natural habitat for plants and animals is going to be underpassed with earth cables at a length of 4,5 km.

Lex Hartmann, managing director of TenneT assured that the company is working intensively on the realisation of the cable project and emphasises on the communication with the public helping “to increase the acceptance of the ‘Ostküstenleitung’ in Schleswig-Holstein”. Robert Habeck, the state’s competent Minister, explained that an underground cable would relieve the local residents from further infrastructure. Furthermore an underground cable would be beneficial for the protection of birds in a sensisitive area.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: Little Bittern

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Bird’s-eye view of protection


Transmission system operators (TSOs) seek to avoid harm and minimise impacts to habitats of animals. Now the Austrian TSO APG has placed 17 nest boxes for hoopoes in cooperation with BirdLife, an international organisation to conserve birds and their habitats. Hoopoes are afforded protection under the law in many countries.

> See APG press release (html, in German)

The image used is the work of Luc Viatour (www.Lucnix.be)

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Bird protection in Southern Germany


The Southwestern German TSO, TransnetBW today rolled out an additional initiative to step up efforts for the long-term protection of birds. Specially designed marking devices, some of them installed from a helicopter shall help to mitigate bird collisions. The measures had been developed in collaboration with biologists and ornithologists.

> Open TransnetBW press release (pdf, in German)

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