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Migratory soaring birds, Gabal el Zayt Wind Farm, Egypt

Migratory soaring birds, Gabal el Zayt Wind Farm, Egypt

Additional Info

  • Date 2015-actual
  • Client GAMESA and NREA
  • Location Gabal El-Zeyt, Egypt
  • Published in


This 200 MW wind farm is operating since 2015. It is located in the western coast of the Gulf of Suez, a region with some of the best wind regimes in the world. Gabal el Zayt region is also part of the Red Sea/ Rift Valey flyway, hundreds of thousands of soaring birds are funnelled through this stretch of coast on both spring and autumn migration periods.
In 2016 STRIX started the to operate a Radar Assisted Turbine Shutdown on Demand and bird migration monitoring program at Gabal al Zayt Wind Farm for GAMESA and NREA (New and Renewable Energy Authority, from the Egyptian government), in order to mitigate migratory soaring bird mortality at the site. Additionally, the program aims to provide post-construction monitoring of spring soaring bird migration.
This bird monitoring and mortality mitigation program comprises radar and visual surveillance from vantage points around the wind farm by experienced observers
During the first two years of the program, nearly 400,000 birds from 41 species were recorded in the study area, and 20 of the species, including Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus, Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis, Crested Honey Buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus, White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes, Black Stork Ciconia nigra and Black Kite Milvus migrans, were recorded in internationally important numbers (> 1 % of their flyway population), further emphasizing the global importance of this site.
Since its implementation, shut down on demand program is beeing very successful. Shutdown operations, namely the response time, performed generally well and the total equivalent shutdown period for the whole Spring season in 2016 was only residual (less than four hours).
The successful implementation of temporary shutdown of turbines to mitigate bird mortality due to collision at the Gabal el Zayt Wind Farm is a project of unparalleled importance in the context of the conflict between wind energy and birds, due to the size and extension of the wind farm but particularly to the number of birds that migrate through the area.

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