T&D World Magazine

TenneT to Install ‘Bird Diverters’ on Power Lines

TenneT is planning to install FireFly Bird Diverters at several locations in the north of the Netherlands. By using these bird flight diverters, TenneT is aiming to improve the quality of the high‑voltage grid. Sudden drops in voltage have occurred on 110-kV connections in several areas, including in the municipality of Steenwijkerland. This has caused nuisance to local residents and businesses. The drops in voltage are caused by crows that use wire and other conductive materials to build their nests, thus causing a short circuit between the pylon and the conductors.

Earlier this year, TenneT installed trial bird flight diverters on an existing high‑voltage line in the ‘Green Heart’ region in the west of the country, near a protected nature reserve. Here, too, the aim was to reduce the number of birds flying into high‑voltage wires. This method is already being used extensively and with success in Germany, where the number of bird deaths has decreased by 90 percent.

The FireFly™ Bird Diverters will be installed by way of trial in several electricity pylons along the 110-kV line sections Zwartsluis – Meppel – Steenwijk and Hoogeveen – Hardenberg. The aim is to discourage crows from nesting in these high‑voltage pylons. The diverters consist of plastic sheets of 11 by 15 cm that twist and flap in the wind; special light-emitting reflectors on the diverters scare off birds when they are still high in the sky. The diverters will be installed on the crossbeams of the high‑voltage pylons. The local community and municipal authorities are closely involved in the trial.

Near Kampereiland, the diverters will be installed on electricity wires to prevent birds (particularly swans) from flying into the conductors. TenneT expects that this measure will reduce the number of circuit failures.

TenneT will install the diverters manually along the entire Meppel – Steenwijk line section, which comprises 66 pylons. This work is scheduled to be carried out in the second half of November through to early December. Half of the line will be taken out of operation for a brief period each time work is carried out. This will not have any noticeable impact on the local power supply.

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