Birds on Electrogrid

Installation of bird collision mitigation measures in bird staging areas (C1)

ACTION C.1: Installation of bird collision mitigation measures on the transmission powerlines in the important bird staging areas in Lithuania

The action aims reduce bird mortality rate because of collisions with the high voltage electricity lines wires. Although there are no precise statistics on the bird mortality rate within high voltage overhead electricity transmission grid in Lithuania, desultory mortality facts of local or wintering and migratory swans, geese and ducks under high voltage electricity lines in the areas of their concentrations in Lithuania show us that a problem of bird collisions with high voltage electric wires is of the same importance like in other European countries, where such cases are well documented. The information gap in Lithuania will be filled during implementation of the ex-ante and post-ante monitoring action (D.2).
In many countries bird mortality because of collision with high voltage electricity lines is recognize as serious threat for staging waterbirds as well as large raptors, cranes and smaller passengers in the areas of their migration paths. Thus, basing on the practice from other countries, special measures are planned in order to reduce number of bird collisions with electric wires and, at the same time, ensure reduction of bird mortality total rate The only possibility to reduce number of bird collisions with electricity wires is increasing their visibility. For this purpose, basing on the best practices in other countries, special bird flight diverters will be installed on wires in areas with high bird concentrations. We selected “spiral” type installations (see attached picture “Spiral” type bird flight diverters”), which are the most cost-efficient and, according to the studies in other countries, should reduce bird collisions rate on the range of 60-90% what is perfect result to improve favourable conservation status of some bird species at least on local level.
Installation of bird flight diverterers is planned, firstly, for the least segment of the high voltage overhead electricity line, i.e. space between two neighbouring pylons. For high voltage overhead electricity lines, the average distance between neighbouring pylons is about 300 meters (if there are no any additional circumstances, like areas of the open water, urban zones, etc.). Basing on the best practices from other countries as well as scientific research and their recommendations, the most cost-efficiency, but quite effective scenario is to install bird flight diverters on the 40% of the electric wires length, i.e. to leave up to 60% of the wires without installations of the bird flight diverters (see attached picture „Installation of „spiral“ type bird flight diverters“), splitting them to 30 and 30 percent of the total length of each least segment, measuring those “empty” lines from each pylon. The most effective distance between two installed “spiral” type bird flight diverters are 5 metres, however, it could be increased up to 10 meters, at the same time keeping almost the same efficiency. Having in mind those recommendations, which are based on practically implemented and conscientiously tested/monitored measures in several countries, for our planned 15 segments of the high voltage electricity overhead lines with a total length of around 80 km (see attached picture), at least 7,100 “spiral” type bird flight diverters will be installed on the selected fragments of the certain high voltage overhead electricity lines. Such volume of the planned bird collisions mitigation measures covers all known bird staging sites, which are crossed by the high voltage overhead transmission lines or having such lines in close vicinity. The precise framework for installation of the “spiral” type bird flight diverter measures (definitive boundaries with concrete pylon numbers) will be specified during implementation of the project action A.1 – Elaboration of the measures for wires marking and bird protection on the utility poles of the high voltage overhead powerlines. This information will be used for planning of the installation of the “spiral” type wires visualization measures – the sequence and pattern of the installation on the concrete segments, their accessibility, cost-effective logistics for installation and etc.

The “spiral” type bird flight diverters will be installed on the “zero” leg electricity wires only. Installation on the voltage wires is complicated because of corona effects with makes negative impact on the electricity transmission. Because the segments of high voltage overhead electricity lines for installation of the common bird collision mitigation measures have been selected over the land surface only, the “spiral” type bird flight diverters will be installed from the specially equipped car with uplift facilities. This is much cheaper way comparing with a practice of the installation from the helicopter (see attached picture “Installation of “spiral” type bird flight diverters on the transmission powerlines”) and don’t require special training and equipment to get people directly moving on wires.
The action is planned to start at the end of the first project year already, i.e. as soon as procurement procedures on the installation services and purchasing or manufacture of the “spiral” type wires visualization measures will be completed, and will be continued during next two years project implementation period. The effectiveness of the installed protection measures will be verified during the implementation of the ex-ante and post-ante monitoring scheme (Action D.2).

Projektą „Paukščių apsaugos priemonių įdiegimas Lietuvos aukštos įtampos elektros energijos perdavimo tinkluose“ (LIFE13 BIO/LT/001303) finansuoja Europos Sąjungos aplinkos finansinis mechanizmas „LIFE+“, LR Aplinkos ministerija ir projekto partneriai. Projekto pradžia – 2014 m. birželis, planuojama pabaiga – 2018 m. liepa.