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DHI to monitor birds and bats in pioneering new Dutch offshore wind farm

Ecowende teams up with Robin Radar, MIDO and DHI to implement most advanced framework for monitoring birds and bats at offshore wind farms to date. Robin Radar Systems, MIDO and DHI, three companies on the forefront of detection systems for and data collection on various birds and bats, are joining forces with Ecowende. Their technologies, which include Robin Radar’s MAX® bird and bat radar systems, DHI’s sensor integration and artificial intelligence (AI) species recognition solution MUSE and MIDO’s power-generating floating platform FLORA 1 will be deployed in Ecowende's future offshore wind farm. By combining these technologies, Ecowende will implement the most advanced framework for monitoring of flying birds and bats at offshore wind farms to date. This will help in assessing the impact of the wind farm on ecology and the effectiveness of Ecowende’s ecological innovations.

 

A new ecological standard with innovative monitoring and research programmes

Together with partners, Ecowende intends to set a new ecological standard for building and operating offshore wind farms, with a minimal impact on the natural habitat of birds, bats and marine mammals, and with a thriving underwater world. To do so, the wind farm developer – a joint venture of Shell, Chubu and Eneco – puts state-of-the-art monitoring and mitigation technologies and innovations at the core. This is where the technologies from Robin Radar, MIDO and DHI come in.

 

First ever MAX® Radar System on a floating platform

‘Ecowende is the perfect example of the sheer passion for innovation in this industry’, said Sibylle Giraud, VP Wind and Environmental Practice at Robin Radar. ‘There’s a real determination to keep finding new ways to protect wildlife while helping the green transition. We share that passion, and like us, Ecowende will break ground and take risks to make essential technologies scalable and sustainable. We're delighted to accompany them on this fantastic project, we'll deploy no less than four flagship radars, including our first-ever MAX® on a floating platform.’

 

To enhance Ecowende’s data collection, the three-dimensional (3D) MAX® Radar Systems operate every day of the year and in all weather conditions, simultaneously tracking and organising data into one informative and intuitive interface. Insight and awareness like this, provide a foundation for real-time and strategic analysis. Mitigating the risk of collision, or even implementing shut-down-on-demand (SDOD) when necessary, depends on an extensive understanding of bird behaviour.

 

A match made in Holland

The FLORA 1 floating platform has been especially designed for offshore installation and is equipped for autonomous operation because of its power-generating nature, by using a complementary mix of wave and solar power and battery storage, allowing for uninterrupted data collection by the MAX® Radar System on the platform.

 

‘The project’s innovation challenges have brought the very best out of the partners, including MIDO. In our case we’ve had to continually question the possible problems and constantly iterate, learn and optimise the design to achieve system unanimity. We’re building something almost dream-like together by combining energy and sensor technologies. We call it “A match made in Holland"', said Francisco Garcia, CEO of MIDO.

 

Pairing with MUSE for data integration

Even more data can be gathered automatically, such as a count of the actual bird species being observed, by integrating the MAX® with robotic cameras using DHI’s MUSE solution. Robin Radar and DHI have paired their radars and MUSE systems before, ensuring that the compatibility of the sensors will improve the quality of data collection.

 

MUSE helps ensure protection of birds and bats with maximum uptime of the wind turbines. DHI’s AI-based algorithms automatically identify the species of birds of concern and locate bats in the wind farm zone and can automatically send signals to advise on slowing down individual wind turbines if a priority species of bird or bat is in danger of collision. DHI will also be responsible for integrating the project’s different data sources and their experts will help identify the most efficient approaches to bird and bat protection.

 

A pioneering lighthouse for eco-innovations

Mikael Kamp Sørensen, Executive Vice President for Energy & Ports, DHI, said, ‘Ecowende will be a pioneering lighthouse for eco-innovations in offshore wind. DHI is ready to support the mission of truly integrating sustainability into the design and operation of offshore wind farms. With MUSE, authorities and wind farm developers can protect birds and bats from collision and still achieve the most ambitious goals for renewable energy production.’

 

Filling knowledge gaps to help future wind farms

To ensure that the collected data really turns into knowledge, we will work together with scientists who will focus on researching and filling existing knowledge gaps. Marin van Regteren, Marine Ecologist at Ecowende explains, ‘Bird ecologists will work on accurately mapping seabird behaviour around our innovations, patterns of migratory birds and improving existing collision models. Based on these insights, we can continuously improve our own approach by finetuning innovations, and we can help future wind farms.’

 

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Robin Radar Systems
Robin Radar is developing cutting-edge radar technologies, with 30 years of built-up expertise of applied radar science. They strive to create greater safety for humans and wildlife alike, helping the aviation, security and on- and offshore ecology industries to set the pace for a better world. The MAX®, their flagship 3D avian radar, is a full 3D (360 degrees) radar providing size, speed, height, location and flight path data for each bird or bat it detects.

 

MIDO
As an arm of Wedge Global, MIDO started designing their wave energy technology back in 2007 in partnership with Spain’s National Center for Energy and Environmental Technology (CIEMAT). Combining their floating energy systems with state-of-the-art sensor technology, they design next generation ocean energy systems for niche applications including ocean observations. MIDO’s technology facilitates autonomous, in-situ and uninterrupted observation of marine life and biodiversity in harsh or hard-to-reach environments, like offshore wind farms.

 

DHI A/S
DHI has been committed to advancing and sharing knowledge of water environments for over half a century. Headquartered in Denmark, DHI has offices in 26 countries. Every day, 1,100 engineers and other specialists work within the entire water cycle to innovate new ways to use, manage and live with water and protect water-related ecosystems. DHI leverages their domain expertise, advanced technologies and unique modelling software to support decision-makers in the global water industry. Together with clients and partners, they enable a sustainable future for water.

 

Ecowende and Hollandse Kust West
A sustainable future for offshore wind that positively contributes to the North Sea’s ecology. An ambition that Ecowende hopes to bring to life through collaboration with partners, research, and progressive innovations. The Ecowende wind farm (Hollandse Kust (west) lot VI) will be located about 53 kilometres off the Dutch coast, near IJmuiden. The wind farm will have an operational capacity of approximately 760 MW, making 3% of the current Dutch electricity demand greener. Ecowende plans to have the wind farm fully operational and commissioned in 2026.

 

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