SNH raises wind farm avoidance rate for red-throated diver

15.12.15

In the face of mounting evidence, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is updating the avoidance rate to use in collision risk modelling to 99.5% for this key species

RPS has been working with SNH on improving its avoidance rate for red-throated divers. This rate is central to industry-standard collision risk modelling and has a major influence on the model’s prediction of bird strikes with wind turbines. Setting the rate too low produces inflated estimates of collision mortality, which can unnecessarily inhibit wind farm consents. Raising it to 99.5% creates a more appropriate basis from which to predict turbine collision rates.

Backed up by a range of data, including RPS’ monitoring results at a number of wind farms, the evidence is overwhelming which SNH is now acting upon. RPS has also presented SNH with evidence that divers can nest in proximity to operational turbines, demonstrating that projects can be constructed and operated without disturbance to this protected species.

Our Ornithology team can advise on resolution of diver or any other bird issues. With over 15 years’ renewable energy experience, we provide clients with cost-effective consent and construction solutions for all renewable energy projects