Protecting Eagles While Generating Carbon-Free Energy
Duke Energy is installing new eagle protection technology at its Top of the World Windpower Project in Wyoming to detect in-flight eagles and prevent their collision with rotating wind turbine blades.
Duke Energy is the first windpower operator in the U.S. to commercially deploy the new system, called IdentiFlight, which uses artificial intelligence and high-precision optical technology to ensure the successful coexistence of wind energy and eagles.
The system, designed by IdentiFlight International, LLC, will quickly detect an eagle flying within a onekilometer hemisphere of any one of 24 IdentiFlight monitoring units being installed at the site.
If an eagle’s speed and flight path indicate a potential risk of collision with a wind turbine, the monitoring unit will send an automatic alert to the facility’s operators. The operators then can immediately shut down the specific wind turbine in the eagle’s flight path, reducing the risk of collision.
“Duke Energy understands the importance of balancing the need to generate clean, carbon-free, renewable energy with the equally important need to protect wildlife, including the iconic bald and golden eagles,” says Tim Hayes, Duke Energy Renewables environmental director.
Adds IdentiFlight president Tom Hiester: “Duke Energy has been an amazing partner throughout the testing and development of the IdentiFlight technology, and has proven to be at the forefront of the industry in addressing this critical issue.”
More information and photos – https://illumination.duke-energy.com/articles/wind-farm-tests-technology-to-protect-eagles