Trial to save ea­gles

Shepparton News - Country News - - EUROA SHOW 2018 -

High-tech sen­sors de­signed to stop en­dan­gered wedge-tailed ea­gles be­ing killed by wind farms will be tri­alled in re­mote Tas­ma­nia.

Be­lieved to be an Aus­tralian first, the aerial de­tec­tion tech­nol­ogy will be in­stalled at the $300 mil­lion Cat­tle Hill Wind Farm, cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.

The tower-mounted sen­sors snap pho­tos of fly­ing ob­jects and use al­go­rithms to iden­tify them as ea­gles.

If there’s a col­li­sion risk, any one of the farm’s 48 tur­bines will be shut down within sec­onds.

‘‘We look for­ward to shar­ing the re­sults of this first Aus­tralian trial fol­low­ing in­stal­la­tion,’’ John Titchen, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the wind farm’s pro­po­nent Gold­wind, said last Tues­day.

The adult pop­u­la­tion of wedge-tailed ea­gles in Tas­ma­nia is es­ti­mated at less than 1000.

A recent re­port from the state’s en­ergy provider re­vealed 29 of the preda­tory birds died af­ter fly­ing into power in­fra­struc­ture in 2017-18.

Con­struc­tion on the wind farm near Lake Echo in Tas­ma­nia’s Cen­tral High­lands be­gan ear­lier this year.

Once op­er­a­tional, it will gen­er­ate enough power to sup­ply about 63 500 homes.

It is ex­pected to boost Tas­ma­nia’s re­new­able power by five per cent and help the island state be­come self-suf­fi­cient by 2022.

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