Red Eléctrica de España has installed a total of 420 bird-flight diverters on the 30 kV overland stretch of electricity line on the island of Formentera, which forms part of the electricity interconnection with the Ibiza. The diverters have been installed along the 2,100-metre the overhead line running between the coastal arrival point of the electricity interconnection and the Formentera substation.
The installation of bird-flight diverter devices was carried out once the Balearic Island Administration and the Species Protection Service had been informed and reflects the commitment of Red Eléctrica to the protection of biodiversity and, in this case, to the conservation of areas of high ecological value given that part of the route of the line runs through the Ses Salines Natural Park in Ibiza and Formentera. With this action, all lines of the Natural Park, both in Ibiza and Formentera, now have bird-flight diverter devices.
The spiral-type bird-flight diverters installed help prevent bird collisions with electricity lines. These devices are formed by spirals made of polypropylene (PVC) and are wound around the grounding cable. They are brightly coloured to provide ease of visibility and allow them to be detected by birds at a great distance. Once the installation is completed, Red Eléctrica will perform field monitoring to assess their effectiveness.
The installation of these devices is one of the actions outlined in Red Eléctrica’s project "Birds and Power Lines: mapping of bird flight paths" which was awarded the 2014 European Business Award for the Environment in the special category ‘Business and Biodiversity’. The project provides a georeferenced information system (GIS) that integrates data from bird flight paths (routes and areas of presence) with the aim to minimise the impact of new electricity lines on birds and prioritise mitigating actions on existing lines.
This tool has been developed thanks to a major data collection and analysis effort which, in the case of the Balearic Islands, counted on the essential collaboration of the Regional Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries and the Species Protection Service. The tool integrates information on the areas of presence and main flight paths of 45 species listed in the Birds Directive and in the Spanish Catalogue of Endangered Species and, once the most sensitive areas have been identified, allows mitigating actions to be carried out on grid transmission lines such as those carried out on Formentera in the Balearic Islands.
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