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4101 CK Culemborg
the Netherlands
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Project Randstad380

Project Randstad380

TenneT TSO bv (TenneT), the power grid administrator for the Netherlands, is contructing a new 380 kV high-tension power line in the Randstad in the west of the Netherlands.

The route and type of line, above-ground or below-ground, has been determined by the Ministries of Economic Affairs, Land use & Innovation and Infrastructure & Environment. The constructed for the line will be carried out in two phases: the South Ring and the North Ring. Work on the South Ring is expected to begin in 2011 and for the North Ring in 2012.

EIA procedure

On behalf of TenneT, we have provided ecological input into the EIA procedure. This involved both describing and assessing any impacts on wildlife and nature, and also assessing the aspects protected under legislation. As well as using existing data, we undertook field surveys to collect information on species present, flight movements of birds in the area, numbers of collisions at an existing 150 kV line and the presence of protected species.

Outline of research

During the spring and summer of 2007 we studies the flight movements of spoonbills, cormorants and grey herons in the area of the planned power line. The research revealed that spoonbills travelled some 30 km, from a colony near Delft, to forage along the ditches of the polder. Cormorants and grey herons also made regular flights between their colonies to the south of Delft and the area. Additional fieldwork was carried out along an existing 150 kV line near Delft. We looked at how these three species behaved around the line and also carried out searches for collision victims. This information was used as part of the EIA for the South Ring.

Radar research into the nocturnal movements of birds around the 150 kV line

In winter 2007/2008, we studied the movements of Bewick's swan and wigeon around the De Wilck nature reserve; an area designated as a Natura 2000 site for these species. We studies both the roost flights of the Bewick's swan and nocturnal foraging movements of wigeon using radar. This research resulted in quantitative spatial and temporal information on the flight movements of these species around the existing 150 kV line. During the same period, we also conducted collision victim searches along the line east of De Wilck. This information was combined to make an assessment of the possible effects of the North Ring on the Natura 2000 site De Wilck. The collision probabilities calculated for wigeon can also be used in similar studies.

Monitoring collision victims

As part of the study into collision victims, we developed a standardised search protocol. This involves recording the locations of collision victims with the aid of dGPS. The disappearance of these victims, such as by predation, can then be monitored and a correction rate calculated. We also used an automatic infrared camera to study predators along an area of the 150 kV line. During the study tests into disappearance and search efficiency were carried out using corpses of similar species found in the area.

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