STARTUP CHALLENGE: BIRD PROTECTION ON ELECTRICITY GRIDS

How can the coexistence of overhead lines with fauna and flora be improved?

In its effort to minimise the impact of power lines on the environment, especially on birdlife, Iberdrola has launching a new Startup Challenge in search of innovative solutions to improve their coexistence.

Iberdrola has more than 1.1 million km of electricity transmission and distribution power lines, distributed throughout the United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, Spain. More than 4,400 high to medium voltage substations and more than 1.5 million medium to low voltage distribution transformers make up this grid, all built and operated to supply a high quality and reliable service to a total of 31 million electricity supply points.

The group is also a pioneer in the digitisation of its networks through the development of smart grids, the integration of storage solutions and the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations.

All this work is being carried out in parallel to a major effort to minimise the impact of these installations on the environment. In this respect, the challenge launching by Iberdrola, through its International Startup Program - PERSEO, is focused on finding new innovative solutions that help to reduce that impact.

THE PROBLEM

 Due to their structure and location, electricity pylons — essential elements for the transmission and distribution of electrical power — are perfect vantage points for birds in search of rest and food. By perching on them though, they run the risk of electrocution.

 What's more, overhead cables are sometimes in their flight path. All this can lead to a loss of biodiversity and occasionally a fire risk.

 In addition, vegetation close to the easement areas is removed to avoid it getting close to the lines thus preventing incidents with third parties and on the network.

For this reason, Iberdrola is working on improving the existing solutions to make the bird protections and the felling and pruning work more efficient and durable.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

 Technical solutions that prevent bird electrocution and collisions, made with durable materials that facilitate the operation and maintenance of the lines.

 Solutions that allow a more sustainable management of vegetation.
 

The registration period ended on 27 July and proposals are currently being evaluated. Bids will be analysed by experts in the MV networks and sustainability from the different regions, based on scalability criteria, a design compatible with electrical installations and the suitability of the materials. The project will be implemented in collaboration with specialist technicians from the Iberdrola network area.
 

TIMELINE

JUNE 2020
Public launch
of the
challenge
07/27/2020
Deadline for the
submission of
proposals
JUL - SEPT 2020
Analysis of
proposals

OCT - MAR 2021
Start of the
pilot project