Protecting The Local Griffon Vulture Population In The Golan Heights

Israel is located along one of the world's most significant and busiest bird migration flyways and is also home to many local species of birds and bats. Some of them, such as the griffon vulture, are endangered. As a result, a key aspect (and challenge) of the development process of wind energy in Israel is how to apply the most effective existing environmental protection practices to minimize any potential negative environmental impact on the local and migrating bird and bat populations, particularly species for conservation.

On our Genesis Wind Farm, Israel's largest renewable energy project to date, we have planned and applied such practices:

1. Zero risk for bird collision and electrification from overhead power lines – all power lines, including a precented 27 km ultra-high voltage line, were constructed underground thus completely mitigating mortality of birds from collision and electrification.

2. Integration of a bat protection system into our wind turbines that enables us to minimize risk for local bat populations.

3. Mitigating risk for local endangered griffon vulture population - we have developed and integrated a Radar-Assisted Shut Down On Demand (RASOD) solution, developed and operated successfully on wind farms by STRIX, an environmental company from Portugal.

4. The RASOD solution that is applied on our Genesis Wind Farm is the most robust and extensive ever applied in the world. It consists of two radar systems for early detection of birds, four vantage points situated in strategic locations and manned by trained bird observers, and a control room on the wind farm itself that enables a turbine shutdown in collision risk situations. The RASOD solution is designed to operate all year round (365 days) and was deployed a year before the expected operation date in order to calibrate and integrate all of its technological and human components.