In March 2012, a three-year study on birds and bats was started in the Łukaszów Wind Farm. The farm area is flat and the open landscape is dominated by arable land. The entire site covered by the turbines is used for large-area crops. On the outskirts of the farm and between the turbines there are landscape elements which typically enrich agricultural areas. These include: fragments of woods, field tree clusters, tree avenues and bushes along roads and bogs (no longer active) and small patches of barren land and kettle lakes (increasingly drying out).
During post-execution monitoring, the guidelines of the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA) (Guidelines on assessment of the impact of wind power plants on birds, Warsaw 2011) were followed with regard to the number of inspections in individual phenological periods, location of points and transcets and the timing of individual inspections in the sites.
The observations were conducted by two people. The area where birds were observed in all phenological periods covered approx. 25 km2. The survey was carried out in the same way as during pre-execution monitoring, i.e. from 3 observations points (P1-P3), covering as large areas of the wind farm as possible and on 4 transects (T1-T4) running between the observation points. Each year monitoring was conducted according to the rules established in 2012, i.e. with slight variations of the observation points and the course and length of the transects. Post-execution monitoring was carried out by the Łukaszów Wind Farm and the Modlikowice Wind Farm jointly due to the cumulative effect of the two projects. The cumulative effect was reflected both in the post-execution ornithological and chiropterological reports and in the post-execution noise analysis report. The results presented below pertain to both wind farms.
The total number of birds in the spring was decisively higher during pre-execution monitoring (2007 – 46,391 birds, 2008 – 50,547 birds) than in post-execution monitoring (2012 – 11,579 birds, 2013 – 5,434 birds, 2014 – 2,620 birds). Post-execution monitoring conducted in 2012-2015 did not identify any negative impact on birds. Annual close-out reports for each stage of the survey were sent to competent authorities, in accordance with the requirements of the decision on environmental conditions.
In 2014 ornithologists observing birds as part of post-construction monitoring found nests of the Montagu’s harrier on the wind farm, consequently Polenergia launched an active protection program of this rare species from the Accipitridae family. As part of the protection measures taken in the following years, the work system adopted for this area was maintained. Fences were put up around the nests to prevent agricultural vehicles from harming them during the harvest period and other agronomic processes. In addition, the birds were provided with protection against predators by spreading a certified fragrance repellent, completely safe for humans, animals and the environment. Observations have proven that young harriers from successive broods (in 2014-2020) left the nest safely. From 2014 to 2020, 60 chicks were saved and ringed. These practices were aimed at protecting Montagu’s harriers at an early stage of life to considerably increase the chances that the population of this species will grow. By taking these actions, Amon joined the efforts intended to ensure active protection of this bird in Poland, supported by the patronage of the Ministry of Climate and the General Directorate for Environmental Protection. This is one of Polenergia Group’s activities towards increasing biodiversity.
After completion of the Łukaszów Wind Farm in March 2012, a three-year bat study was launched to assess the impact of the Wind Farm on bats in this area. During the operation of the Modlikowice Wind Farm in 2012/2013, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, it was identified that the species composition of bats corresponded to the period from pre-execution surveys. In total, in the first, second and third year of the operation of the Łukaszów Wind Farm, the presence of 7 bat species was detected, including 5 species, i.e. long-eared bat, serotine bat, Nathusius’ pipistrelle and common pipistrelle, and Noctule bat, common for the pre-execution and post-execution period. In addition, in 2012 new species were detected – parti-coloured bat and Natterer’s bat, but the barbastelle bat seen once in 2007 was not detected. Both of the aforementioned species were present in the following years (2013-2015).
The Łukaszów Wind Farm was put into operation in Q1 2012. In accordance with decision no. 73/2011 of 20 December 2011 (occupancy permit) an obligation to perform noise measurements and submit results the authorities by 10 October 2012 was imposed. In connection with the above, the post-execution measurements of noise levels were performed in March 2012. The measurements were performed by a certified subcontractor BMT. On the basis of the results, no breaches were identified, neither in the daytime nor in the nighttime. The results of the above acoustic analysis were presented to competent authorities, i.e.:
- Voivodship Environment Protection Inspectorate (WIOŚ),
- County Sanitary Inspectorate in Złotoryja (SANEPID),
- County Administrator in Złotoryja,
- Commune Hall in Zagrodno.