Scotland, UK: Atmos Consulting developed a computer modelling system to help wind farm developers comply with long-term post-construction bird monitoring. The tool uses ESRI’s ArcGIS technology platform, within Atmos’ bespoke GI solution spatial information delivery and analysis.
The model can be adjusted for species and time periods as required, and aims to show a clearer picture of the actual bird activity levels across a site.
The company began monitoring bird activities at the 10-turbine Ben Aketil wind farm in 2007 where post construction monitoring was a planning condition.
Atmos said the new tool will enable developers and operators to fulfil planning requirements for bird monitoring more cost effectively.
Atmos senior ecologist Stephanie Kiel said, “In an ideal world, developers should undertake post construction monitoring as a matter of course, not just to comply with planning conditions, and models like this can make the data analysis much more economic and faster.”
She added, “The results of the post construction monitoring (at Ben Aketil) need to be seen against two years of baseline surveys which showed high levels of fluctuations for both eagle species. We are currently completing another year of post construction monitoring at the site which will add another piece to the puzzle.”