Research focusing on the effect from wind energy on birds has been carried out in the Smøla wind-power plant for more than a decade. Norwegian institute for nature research has led two research programs, BirdWind and INTACT, focusing on the Smøla power plant. 

Extensive research focusing on the conflict between birds and wind turbines has been carried out at Smøla. On the image a golden eagle can be seen in front of one of the turbines at Smøla. Photo: Espen Lie Dahl


BIRDWIND (Pre- and post-construction studies of conflicts between birds and wind turbines in coastal Norway)

During the period 2007-2010 the research program BirdWind conducted extensive studies in the Smøla Wind Farm. The operating institution behind the program has been Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, NINA. The main objectives of the program has been to study species-, site- and seasonal-specific bird mortality; and to identify vulnerable species and site-specific factors that should be considered to improve the basis for future pre- and post construction EIAs in connection with wind power-plant constructions. To reach these goals work packages and sub-projects have focused on behavioral and response studies at individual and population levels, for selected bird species. The white-tailed eagle has been a focal species during the studies, as several fatalities recorded in connection with the Smøla Wind-Power Plant (SWPP), even before the project started; the SWPP has been the main arena for project fieldwork. Modeling the WTE collision risk and developing a WTE population model were important elements of the project activities. The development of methodologies and technical tools for data collection and mitigating measures has also been an important part of the project. For practical convenience the project was divided into eight subprojects focusing on 1) bird mortality, 2) willow ptarmigan, 3) breeding waders and smaller passerines, 4) white-tailed eagle, 5) bird radar, 6) mitigating technology, 7) data flow and storage systems and 8) GIS, visualization and terrain modeling.

Further information and results from the research program can be found in the BirdWind final report here.

INTACT (INnovative Tools to reduce Avian Collisions with wind Turbines)

INTACT (INnovative Tools to reduce Avian Collisions with wind Turbines)

The objective of the INTACT program is to develop methods and mitigation measures to reduce the risk of collision between birds and wind turbines. The main activities are connected to:

  • Development of micro-siting tools to be used in pre- and post-construction studies and surveilance
  • Testing og mitigation measures to reduce the risk of bird strikes (in-situ)
  • Development of a model to adjust “cut-in speeds” of turbines

The focus in the studies will be testing of a range of mitigation measures, either to make turbines more visible to birds or to keep birds away from rotating turbine blades. Existing literature and relevant experiments and tests already conducted has been reviewed as a part of the program. During the research program the most promising of already conducted experiments will be tested full-scale in the Smøla Wind-Power Plant, all testing done at Smøla will also be possible to use


  • Duration: 4 years, 2013-2016
  • Total budget: ca 9 mill NOK
  • Project owner: Energy Norway
  • Project coordinator: Statkraft, Bjørn Iuell
  • Research conducted by: Norwegian institute for nature research (NINA)
  • Partners: Statkraft, Vattenfall, Statoil, TrønderEnergi Kraft, Energy Norway, NINA, NVE, (DN)
  • The Research Council of Norway supports the program with 3,9 mill NOK
  • Research site: Smøla Vindpark
  • Tools: Radar, GPS, DTBird (video surveillance of turbines)