As the wind industry awaits new and more stringent guidelines from the Bat Conservation Trust, Stirling-based Natural Power has launched its own way of working to reduce fatalities whilst minimising impact on energy yield
Natural Power’s 15 in-house bat experts collaborate closely with the wind technical team to assess the effect of bat mitigation measures on wind energy yield, to the point of putting a value on curtailment methods in place, and planning the most effective strategies for maintaining and maximising turbine uptime.
Natural Power’s Ecology and Hydrology department is one of the largest specialist teams in the UK
The team has delivered bat services to Keirs Hill Wind Farm, East Ayrshire, where a full baseline assessment was completed including the use of bat detectors at height, and preparation of the impact assessment as part of the environmental survey.
Also, at Twin Rivers Wind Farm in Yorkshire, the team ensured that bat issues are properly dealt with during construction.
Chris Pendlebury, Director of Ecology and Hydrology at Natural Power, said: “Our ability to collaborate with our own in-house wind technical team is a huge advantage to us as ecologists.
“Not only do we have the ability to reduce bat fatalities through deploying effective curtailment measures, but we can continue to maximise energy output for our clients’ assets.
“This is a unique proposition, and enables us to add real value to our full-service offering at planning, construction and operational stages on wind farms here in the UK, and internationally across Europe and North America, where there are much greater bat populations.”