Birds and electricity transmission lines: mapping of flight paths

Organisation

Red Eléctrica de España

Country

Spain

Year

2015

Description

The Spanish TSO Red Eléctrica is developing a tool integrating data about bird flight paths in Spain in order to adopt minimum impact solutions during the planning and construction of power lines and to prioritise mitigation actions on existing lines.


Objectives of the practice:

  • Improve the compatibility of electricity facilities and infrastructure with birds and reduce the accident rate due to collision with power linesƒ
  • Have a positive effect on the state of conservation of endangered bird species, especially those potentially affected by high-voltage power line installationsƒ
  • Facilitate the adoption of solutions with the least environmental impact in the development of projects, as well as the introduction of preventive and mitigation measuresƒ
  • Minimise the impacts on natural capital and generate a benefit for society as a whole


The purpose of the project is to have a tool based on geographic information systems (GIS), which integrates information on the areas of presence and main flight paths of 45 species of birds listed in the Birds Directive and the Spanish Catalogue of Endangered Species, who are potentially affected by risk of collision with power lines.

The system integrates information about the areas of presence, routes and flight paths, and also includes geographical and additional environmental information.

The information generated is shared with the regional ministries and departments with competence in biodiversity conservation of the 17 Spanish autonomous communities, as well as with research entities and environmental organisations. In this sense, it is meant to act as a common benchmark framework for the environmental assessment of projects, and favour transparency in the processes of public information and stakeholder consultations in the administrative permitting processes for electrical installations.


Additional information:

  • Red Eléctrica de España (REE) is the sole transmission agent and operator of the Spanish electricity system. REE connects 45 million people with the electricity that they use, aided by a workforce of 1,700 people. It‘s mission is to guarantee the correct functioning of the electricity system at all time.ƒ
  • More information: www.ree.es/en/sustainability/noteworthy-projects/mapping-bird-flight-paths-project

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