Wind power uses a radar for protection of migratory birds

The Gulf Wind energy plant is located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, an area of passage for migratory birds. A new technology has been adopted here for the first time, using a radar to detect the approach of bird flocks.

Based on their route, a computer evaluates the mortality risk and, if necessary, enacts measures for their protection, reducing the speed of the blades and even stopping them altogether, if required.

"This technology is an excellent example of scientific innovation applied to environmental protection", said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy, the California-based company which recently purchased the plant.

Gulf Wind, which consists of 118 wind turbines, 2.4 MW each, has a capacity of over 283 MW, and has been operational for about a year, providing energy to 80,000 homes.

This is a highly efficient system – Pattern Energy points out – considering specific local wind conditions because !it is situated in a unique coastal position, where winds blow strongest at the seasons of the year and hours of the day when electricity demand is highest".