NL Times reports that wind turbines were shut down for four hours last weekend to protect migratory birds. It is planned that wind turbines will be shut down more often from this autumn, so that migratory birds can safely travel.
Wind turbines at sea shut down for the first time to protect migratory birds
Turbines that make up part of the offshore wind farms near Borssele and Egmond aan Zee were shut down for four hours on Saturday to prevent migratory birds from flying into the wind turbine blades. A massive bird migration over the North Sea was predicted to take place last weekend.
Energy Minister Rob Jetten said it was an “international first.” The idea is that wind farms in the North Sea will be shut down more often from this autumn, so that migratory birds can safely travel.
Bird migration has been easier to predict since the end of last year, when a PhD student from the University of Amsterdam came up with an accurate model to better predict migration periods about two days in advance. It was already known last month that the migration would cause wind turbines to rotate more slowly, or to be almost completely stopped at some point.
The shutdown was part of a pilot phase. This will likely become standard from this autumn, including for wind farms that are still being built or will be constructed in the future. “We want to keep the impact of wind farms on nature as small as possible and we are doing that with this measure, among other things,” said Jetten.
“With the growth of the number of wind farms in the North Sea, it is extremely important that we do this in the most ecologically responsible way possible with minimal impact on the North Sea,” said Tim van Oijen of bird protection group Vogelbescherming Nederland. This measure will help with that, he said.
Jetten added, “This is an international first, nowhere in the world are offshore wind farms being shut down to protect birds during massive bird migration. All parties involved have worked closely together and set this up in a relatively short time, so it is a great initiative of which I am very proud.”
The reduction in energy generated as a result of the measure depends on numerous factors, according to the ministry. The owners of the wind farms themselves are responsible for the lost income.
2 thoughts on “An international first: Dutch wind turbines shut down to prevent migratory birds from flying into the wind turbine blades”
This potential problem of course was one that ex President Trump always used to deploy, in order to argue against wind power. No doubt he and his acolytes will be seeking to maximise publicity for this move by the Dutch government.
I hope critics don’t get too excited by this. What the Dutch are doing seems quite reasonable.