Eagle-identifying tech installed at Cattle Hill Wind Farm

eagle

Installation of IdentiFlight technology to detect eagles at Goldwind’s Cattle Hill Wind Farm in Tasmania is complete and ready for the learning period.

IdentiFlight’s tower-mounted optical units are designed to detect flying objects and then use algorithms to identify them as eagles. If an eagle’s speed and flight path indicate a risk of collision with a wind turbine, a signal is sent to shut down the specific wind turbine.

Sixteen IdentiFlight towers and the IdentiFlight base station have been installed at the project site. Once the wind farm is operational, the location of the IdentiFlight towers will allow them to shut down any of the 48 Goldwind turbines as necessary. Thirteen of the 48 Goldwind turbines have been installed at the project site to date.

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IdentiFlight International president Tom Hiester explained, “The IdentiFlight team recently completed installation, testing and calibration of the IdentiFlight units covering the Cattle Hill Wind Farm site. Through artificial intelligence and machine learning during the turbine commissioning period, the IdentiFlight technology will learn to become highly proficient at identifying Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles.

“Goldwind and IdentiFlight have forged the working relationship needed to successfully implement such a sophisticated machine vision system over 10,000 kilometres away. As with all artificial intelligence systems, the more we see around the world, the better the system gets.”

Goldwind managing director John Titchen said this is the first installation of its kind in Australia. 

“We’re very pleased to partner with the IdentiFlight team as the first wind farm in Australia to trial this newly available innovative eagle monitoring and detection technology,” he said.

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“The system is one of the project’s key initiatives to mitigate Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle impacts and we look forward to sharing the results of this Australian trial following the wind farm becoming operational.” 

Construction of the project is progressing on many work fronts, with approximately 150 staff working on site. Installations of Goldwind turbines are ongoing with two main cranes currently on site. Commissioning of turbines will commence shortly. Construction of the wind farm is planned for completion by the end of 2019. Once operational, Cattle Hill Wind Farm will produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes.