Danish wind turbine giant Vestas has inked a turnkey deal with NRG Systems to roll out an innovative bat deterrent system developed by the US smart technologies outfit on the OEM’s entire global fleet.
The strategic agreement will see installation of the kit, which “jams” the bats echolocation frequency and so prompts the creatures to forage in airspace outside a wind farm site, first in the US and Canada, with with other countries to follow.
“Introducing this innovative solution to our Vestas portfolio, is part of our ongoing commitment to provide customized solutions to meet customer needs and it also expands our solutions to combine efficient production with protection of wildlife,” said Mariel Garrido, Vestas’ head of fleet optimization.
NRG Systems president Evan Vogel said Vestas had made “a major statement” in adopting the technology.
“This commitment illustrates its dedication to offering customers solutions that help projects co-exist with the natural environment … [by] providing a cost-effective means to conserve bat populations,” he said.
The technology, which saw a breakthrough order earlier this year on the Kawailoa Wind project on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, had recently completed final precommecial tests at EDF Renewables’ 175MW Pilot Hill development in the US state of in Illinois.
Tests of the NRG concept demonstrated it can boost the annual energy production from wind farms in bat-infested regions by greatly reducing the number of wind farm shut-downs linked to avoiding turbine-rotor collisions with the creatures.
Retrofit installations take “around half-of-a-day” per turbine and integrate into the wind plant’s SCADA System.