Leading renewable energy consultancy and service provider Natural Power has been selected to receive substantial funding to develop and test a smart curtailment system to protect bats while minimising power loss during wind farm operations.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected ten projects to receive funding totalling $6.8 million that will reduce environmental compliance costs and the environmental impacts of land-based and offshore wind energy.
Christine Sutter, Global Head of Wildlife Technology at Natural Power in North America, said: "The decision to consider funding our bat smart curtailment project demonstrates a real vote of confidence in our approach to supporting clients to maximise energy production, and in our expertise and ability to develop new technology at the forefront of our industry. Technologies that reduce the impact to bats, birds and other wildlife can lead to less curtailment when wind turbines need to be shut down. In turn, this will lead to greater annual energy production and lower wind energy costs - a goal we are all working towards."
Building upon a current portfolio of smart curtailment research funded by the DOE Wind Office, Natural Power is one of four organisations that will receive $2.8 million collectively to further the advancement of smart curtailment strategies to minimise energy loss from curtailment and wind farm environmental impacts to bats.
Natural Power had submitted two scopes for consideration and both were successful. The first will be to develop a novel technology to reduce bat fatalities using real-time data on bat presence and wind speed, which can easily integrate with any wind turbine control system. Additionally the team will work with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) to test and improve the SCADA interface to ensure that it meets NERC cyber security and compliance.
To find out more about the environmental services available at Natural Power, please visit https://www.naturalpower.com/environmental/