Protection of species with state-of-the-art technology at the Woelfling wind farm
Since 2012, Iqony has been operating the Woelfling wind farm in the French department of Moselle. Bringing renewable energy and species protection together was the focus of the project from the very beginning.
The wind farm in Woelfling consists of five Senvion MM 92 wind turbines, and the energy yield is approx. 19,000 MWh – enough to supply around 4,500 four-person households. Even more important to all those involved than these figures, however, is something else: using new, sustainable energy – and enabling maximum environmental and species protection in the process.
Together with the locals
Consequently, in the first three years of operation, a detailed environmental study was carried out together with the local authority, forestry office, farmers, local residents and ornithologists familiar with the area, co-financed by Iqony. The goal was to protect the population of red kites on site – and at best even to increase it.
Nevertheless, there were subsequently individual red kites found dead. After we, as the operator, had implemented measures such as reducing the attractiveness of natural habitats immediately below the turbines, moving the mowing time back and stopping the rotor blades while mowing was in progress, a bird detection system was additionally installed in 2023.
The system uses a total of eight 4K cameras to detect kites from a distance of around 800 meters. If a kite is within a defined danger zone, the plant is automatically switched off. As a result, the wind farm can be operated without predefined shutdown times and the population of red kites in the region is increasing – a very decisive contribution to the interaction of species conservation and energy from renewables.