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Aberdeen Bay Wind Farm Uses Radar in ‘World First’ Bird Study

Sinead Donnelly


The evidence gathered by this research will aid decision makers in supporting the sustainable growth of the offshore wind industry.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay plans to utilise radar technology to monitor how seabirds interact with wind turbines.

Swedish wind developer Vattenfall has hired a Scottish specialist group to carry out the study, which is part of a £2.6 million scientific research programme and thought to be the first of its kind in the world.

State of the art radar-camera based digital technology will be deployed by Edinburgh-based RPS and Danish-based DHI Group at the Aberdeen site.

The study will monitor and evaluate the flight patterns and responses of gannet, kittiwake and large gulls flying during the summer breeding season through and close to the EOWDC.

Senior environmental specialist at Vattenfall, Chris Jackson, highlighted that EOWDC is the “perfect” location with “its focus on innovation and research”.

He said: “Vattenfall encourages and enables research and development to support the continued growth of the offshore wind industry.

“The evidence gathered by this research will help decision makers to support the sustainable growth of the offshore wind industry, which is particularly important at a time when the sector is readying itself for rapid expansion.”


The research work undertaken will see the collaboration of key stakeholders including RSPB Scotland, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Commenting on the research, technical director with RPS, Mike Armitage, added: “This cutting-edge technology ensures that specific species, flight height as well as their individual and group behaviour can be identified, throughout the wind farm during its operation.”

sinead photo

Sinead Donnelly


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