Red Eléctrica has installed 277 bird-flight diverter devices along a 1,285 metre stretch of the 220 kilovolt (kV) line connecting the Tirajana Ravine and Jinámar thermal power stations in the southeast of the island of Gran Canaria, after identifying a section of line that was prone to bird collisions. These are the first to be installed in the transmission grid of the island of Gran Canaria.
The marking of the electricity lines with bird-flight diverter increases their visibility and significantly reduces the number of birds colliding with them. These devices are brightly coloured polypropylene (PVC) spirals that wrap around the grounding cable and allow the devices to be seen over long distances.
The electricity line that birds collide into is the grounding cable, which is used as the lightning arrestor and has a smaller diameter than the conductor cables and is therefore less visible to birds.
The area where bird-flight diverters were installed has two marked characteristics that increase the risk of bird collisions: the existence of three irrigation ponds that birds use as a drinking source and the strong winds in the area that blow perpendicular to the electricity line. This was confirmed during research studies on Red Eléctrica lines performed in five stages after the acquisition of the transmission assets.
Red Eléctrica has over 20 years’ experience of research applied to the protection of birdlife, identifying routes and flight paths of birds that interact with electricity transmission lines. In addition to installing the bird-flight diverters, the Company carries out field monitoring of the installed measures using a bespoke methodology that has been verified by experts.