In order to protect birds from collisions into electrical power lines and preventing collisions we organise specialized monitoring. Research has been carried out on nearly eight thousand overhead electrical lines type 22kV and 110kV, in order to identify the most dangerous sections from a collisions point of view. Thereafter, ecologisation of these sections will be done through the installation of bird flight diverters. We expect that within a range of about 80km, birds will be protected against collisions due to monitoring. It is important that through the monitoring, high risk power lines will be identified. Targeted, systematic monitoring ensures effective use of funds for ecologisation and conservation of birds. Energy companies will provide financial contribution for the purpose of co-financing the project.
In addition, at least 500 trees will be planted for the purpose of revitalizing the existing wind breaks, or creating new ones, since such vegetation can increase the visibility of electric lines for birds and limit such collisions. Environmental aspect convenient vegetation follows that the closer the vegetation is situated to the potentially risky power lines, the greater the chance that the birds over flight not only vegetation, but also power lines in neighborhood. Trees will be planted corresponding to species composition and conditions of the local environment.
The creation of the conception of solving the problem of dangerous power lines vs. birds will be in cooperation with Slovak Energy companies, Nature Conservancy organisations and the Ministry of Environment. They will be supporting the project and will contribute to the goal.
Project results covering the period from 1st September 2014 to 31st December 2016
Distribution network of power lines has various forms of negative impact on different bird species. The network of power lines in Slovakia is about 35 thousand kilometers. Under the LIFE Energy project we trained 81 field assistants who carried out a survey of almost 7 thousand kilometers of power lines in 13 Special Protected areas. During this survey the field assistants have walked 30 thousand kilometers in 15 months.
In total, 4364 bird carcasses (determined to 86 species) have been recorded. Only 2,6 % of all power lines inspected represent the highest risk of collisions. In these days, three electric companies are installing over 8 thousand pieces of four types of insulators on the most dangerous parts in the length of 82 kilometers. By these measures we protect over 600 birds in the social value 1,5 million euro from collisions each year. For installation of the diverters those parts of power lines were selected evaluated as most dangerous based on methodology and based on field survey. As a basic document for Electric Companies Mitigation plans were prepared, consulted and used for each of the 13 project SPAs. We collect data about how the birds react and if or where the collisions persist.
With the use of a special methodology for evaluation of power lines we are able to specify the most dangerous parts of electric power lines. This methodology enables to carry out the first level of evaluation "from the office". The methodology was a baseline material for the field survey carried out. Based on results of the field survey the methodology was improved and modified to ensure the universal use of this document.
1st batch of power lines was treated since the beginning of the project - 11,3 km of 22 kV in Western Slovakia and 7,4 km in Eastern Slovakia. Another measure to protect birds from collisions is the planting of trees. 350 trees were already planted to increase the visibility of power lines for birds.