PILLAR #1 – CONSOLIDATION OF KEY SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION
TASK 1.1 – CHARACTERIZATION AND EVALUATION OF IMPACT MONITORING, MITIGATION, AND COMPENSATION PRACTICES
Consisted of a characterization and evaluation of environmental impact and monitoring practices, including the suggestion of improvement procedures to increase cost-effectiveness, as well as the analyses of the methodological changes meanwhile promoted by REN.
TASK 1.2 – BIRD SPECIES SUSCEPTIBILITY TO COLLISION
After data collection and gathering in the scope of Task 1.2 of the first triennium of the Chair, we continued to explore these data to: (i) analyse the susceptibility of different species to power lines collision; (ii) understand what factors increase the fatality risk (environmental, line features, existence of mitigation measures, etc.) for different species, as well as the occurrence of mortality hotspots. This info allowed to predict with higher accuracy the potential impacts of new infrastructures and helped to define the spatial planning of new lines with less impact on biodiversity.
TASK 1.3 – IMPROVEMENT OF MORTALITY ESTIMATES CAUSED BY COLLISION
This task had two distinct phases: (i) data analysis of carcass removal experiments performed during the first triennium of the Chair, at “Companhia das Lezírias” and “Alentejo”, followed by the preparation of a scientific paper; (ii) Exploring the use of information available in studies promoted by REN for scientific analyses focused on detectability and removal rates by predators, and optimization of respectively field tests. This investigation allowed the increase of our knowledge about which factors (habitat, line distance, seasons) influence the carcass removal rates, contributing to improve the estimation of power line impact on bird fatality.
TASK 1.4 – EVALUATION OF THE EFFICIENCY OF ANTI-COLLISION DEVICES
This task aimed to evaluate the efficiency of anti-collision devices to mitigate bird mortality. It analysed information gathered during the first triennium in the scope of studies promoted by REN and others, together with data collected from the CIGRE group. Results were presented at the CIGRE session in Paris (2018). This task allowed us to clarify what are the best options (type of devices, spatial contexts increasing their efficiency, bird species that respond better) for anti-collision devices installation to mitigate power line impacts on avifauna.
TASK 1.5 – GOOD PRACTICES MANUAL
We finished the first draft of the manual “Evaluation of transmission power lines impacts on avifauna and implementation of monitoring plans” nowadays in preparation, in collaboration with REN, ICNF, and APA, and with contributions from consultants and ONGs.
PILLAR #2 – APPLIED ECOLOGY
TASK 2.1 – CHARACTERIZATION OF MOVEMENTS AND DEMOGRAPHIC PARAMETERS OF LITTLE BUSTARD AND WHITE STORK
This task included the following activities: (i) studies on migratory movements, in particular on interactions with power lines, and the evaluation of natural and unnatural mortality causes through tracking individuals; (ii) data collection (historical records and fieldwork) on white stork productivity, and modelling the factors that influence this parameter.
TASK 2.2 – WHITE STORKS AND OUTAGES
We gathered information (from REN) about bird-related outage frequency and location modelled the drivers of these outages, including the number of nests of white storks, surrounding land-use and technical characteristics of infrastructures. This activity contributed to quantify and to model the drivers that determinate power transmission outages and how to mitigate this management issue on the grid.
TASK 2.3 – POTENTIATION OF REN INFRASTRUCTURES FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
The aim was to explore the possibilities of potentiating positive impacts of the company activities on biodiversity. The following activities were carried out: (i) development of the LIFE “Green Connect” concept, through the participation on applications, coordinated by other entities, to the LIFE program; (ii) participation in LIFE “Lines”: follow-up of the Action C.10: Promotion of biodiversity “islands” under transmission power lines, in the scope of the LIFE “Lines” project – Linear infrastructures grid with ecological solutions.
TASK 2.4 – AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT AND BIODIVERSITY
Activities mainly relating to contract IF/010573/2015 by the Chair holder, which can be useful in the context of the definition of mitigation and compensatory measures, as well as potentiation projects on biodiversity. These investigation activities focused on the responses of biodiversity and ecosystem services to climate and land use changes, and involved several elements of Chair team within the scope of their doctoral and post-doctoral programs.
PILLAR #3 – KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND INTERACTION WITH REN AND OTHER TSO
TASK 3.1 – SCIENTIFIC CONSULTING TO REN
It consisted of scientific support to REN, within the scope of the evaluation, mitigation, monitoring, and compensation programs of biodiversity impacts of power transmission infrastructures.
TASK 3.2 – PARTICIPATION IN CIGRE AND RGI ACTIVITIES
This task potentiated the interaction between the Chair and other TSO and organizations. There as a strong focus on the participation in CIGRE (https://www.cigre.org/) activities, following the nomination of the Chair holder as the Portuguese representative on the committee C3 (Power system environmental performance) and the participation on groups C3.16 - Interactions between Electrical Infrastructure and Wildlife and C3.20 - Sustainable Development Goals in the Electric Power Sector. Additionally, the collaboration with Renewables Grid Initiative (https://renewables-grid.eu/) was continued. These participations contribute to the Chair (and for REN) benchmarking and potentiate new collaboration and research projects.
TASK 3.3 – KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER TO REN
Aimed to potentiate the interaction with the company, in order to (i) report and transfer relevant information obtained from the scientific activity of the Chair; (ii) identify key thematic areas for research and technological development; (iii) define outputs, resulting from the Chair activity, to deliver to the company. This task was implemented through workshops or sectorial meetings with relevant subgroups within the company.
TASK 3.4 – REN CHAIR ACTIVITIES DISSEMINATION
This task included the following activities: (i) collaboration with REN on the organization of Chair symposiums (2019 and 2020); (ii) REN Chair website preparation.
TASK 3.5 – SUPPORT ON THE PREPARATION OF REN BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY
This task aimed to support the company developing a biodiversity strategy. A base line document was produced highlighting: the principles to be implemented in the scope of mitigation and compensating negative impacts; the potentiation principles for positive impacts, dissemination approaches; corporate science approaches; identification of research areas that correspond to company requirements.
TASK 3.6 – ROAD-MAP FOR APPLIED TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT TO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT OF TRANSMISSION POWER LINES
Task focused on the development of new technologies for the evaluation, mitigation of negative impacts, and the potentiation of positive impacts of power transmission lines on biodiversity. In collaboration with INESC-TEC (and including relevant groups into CIBIO), we characterized the possibilities of technological development on the following areas: (i) movement sensors – application on bird collision with power lines, (ii) Image treatment and analysis – application on white stork nests counting on pylons, (iii) robotic autonomy – application on drone flights over power lines and rights-of-way, (iv) eco-design for biodiversity – application on eco-friendly pylon design. This task included a pilot-project proposal where several technologies were simultaneously tested.