Leading offshore wind developer Ørsted (CPH:ORSTED) has invested in Spoor AI, a Norwegian start-up that has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system to monitor birds at offshore wind farms.
The Danish energy group participated in a seed funding round by the Norwegian firm alongside several venture capital firms. Ørsted will also partner with Spoor to test and demonstrate the Spoor technology at several of its offshore wind farms around the world.
The energy company stressed the importance of better understanding bird behaviour as wind power development needs to move at a pace sufficient to mitigate climate change. This kind of monitoring technology will help the offshore renewables industry refine wind farm project design, while improving efficiency, it said.
The investment is consistent with Ørsted’s objective of delivering net-positive biodiversity impact for all projects going live from 2030. It describes Spoor’s AI technology, which has been designed to accurately identify and track birds specifically, as highly scalable and cheaper than alternatives such as the combination of high-specification cameras, radars and human observers.
“As governments around the world ramp up ambitious plans to grow offshore wind energy capacity, and to curb climate change, it’s imperative that we continually improve our understanding of bird behaviour, so we can design and build wind farms that actively deliver net-positive biodiversity outcomes,” said Benjamin Sykes, vice president and Head of Ørsted’s global centre of environmental expertise.
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