The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a circular for retrofitting of transmission lines and wind turbines to avoid bird collision in Great Indian Bustard (GIB) habitats of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The circular was addressed to several wind developers such as Greenko, Suzlon Energy among others.
Earlier, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Changes (MoEF&CC) had reported that electrocution from the transmission lines and collision with wind turbines of wind energy farms are a leading cause of death of the Great Indian Bustard birds in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Many steps have been taken to ensure the safety of Great Indian Bustard and other migratory birds.
A Great Indian Bustard Species Recovery Program is initiated in collaboration with Wild Life Institute of India and states like Rajasthan and Gujarat to identify the critical power transmission lines and wind energy farms in GIB habitats and make them GIB friendly.
Standing Committee of National Board of Wild Life has suggested guidelines to install bird diverters on the conductors of the power transmission lines. Forest Advisory Committee has made it mandatory for power transmission line agencies to deploy bird diverters on conductors and paint the vane tips of the wind turbine with an orange color to avoid bird hits.
The circular says –
“In this regard, power transmission line agencies and wind energy farm developers may identify critical power transmission lines and wind energy firms passing through the GIB in Rajasthan and Gujarat in consultation with the Wild Life Institute of India and concerned States Governments and accordingly take up risk mitigation measures against bird hits like putting up bird diverters on the conductors, painting of vane tips of the wind turbines, among others.”
MNRE is also planning beyond land-based wind projects and has recently, issued draft offshore wind energy lease rules which are aimed at spurring activity in offshore wind, which has until now remained dormant.
This set of rules has been framed to regulate the award of leases that belong to the central government over to the developers to build offshore wind energy projects. The offshore wind projects will be set up along the coastline of India up to 200 nautical miles within the exclusive economic zone.
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