"Since the beginning of our activity, 35 years ago, our priority has always been to make the development of the transmission grid facilities, which are essential to guarantee the electricity supply to the population, compatible with the protection of biodiversity, reducing their potential impact as much as possible". This is how Fernando Crespo, Manager of the Environmental Department of Red Eléctrica, defines the company's commitment to biodiversity and, specifically, to birdlife.
Red Eléctrica always takes into account the areas of least impact, trying to avoid crossing protected areas when developing its infrastructures. It applies the findings of researchers and scientists in the design and construction of these infrastructures. Among its actions, the 'Birds and power lines. Mapping of bird flight paths project'
, which was completed in 2016, was a major achievement that obtained international recognition.
The study consisted of identifying, characterising and mapping the flight paths and corridors of the birds that interact with the power lines. The technicians applied a tool based on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that has since provided baseline information to ensure that the planning and execution of new power lines have the least impact on the species flying over those areas.
This is just one of the projects that the company carries out for the preservation and conservation of the environment. To this end, in 2019, the company invested €19.5 million in biodiversity initiatives.
The efforts undertaken by Red Eléctrica in the area of biodiversity and, specifically, in protecting the country's birdlife, are reflected in the more than 15 projects for preserving natural capital that the company has in its portfolio and which have resulted in real milestones in the conservation of the natural habitat, also demonstrating that high-voltage infrastructures are not an obstacle for birds.