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Construction of Dębsk Wind Farm – measures to increase biodiversity

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Construction of Dębsk Wind Farm – measures to increase biodiversity

The Group's idea is to actively implement measures in order to mitigate the negative environmental impact generated during the project construction phase.

The Group’s idea is to actively implement measures in order to mitigate the negative environmental impact generated during the project construction phase.

From August 2020, Polenergia Group has been constructing Dębsk Wind Farm in Żuromin and Kuczbork-Osada Municipalities. Dębsk WF consists of 55 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 121 MW. The Wind Farm was put into operation in January 2023.

Caring for the environment is a shared responsibility of both the Group and all subcontractors carrying out construction works, which is why it is so important for the Group to provide all subcontractors with nature conservation training before construction begins and to clearly communicate the requirements that must be met during the construction phase. In order to ensure the best possible protection of local species, construction works are carried out under strict environmental supervision.

As the Group puts great emphasis on ensuring that the environment benefits from the developed projects, it implements many initiatives to support biodiversity in a given area.

Installation of birdhouses in the wind farm area

At the construction site of Dębsk WF and in the surrounding area, the occurrence of the little owl (Athene noctua, a bird from the true owl family) has been determined. As it is a very rare breeding bird (in 2008-2012, only 500 to 1,000 pairs were estimated to live in Poland), Polenergia decided to hang nest boxes in the area to help increase the local population. In order to identify the best places to hang the nest boxes, residents and the Municipality Office of Żuromin were involved who, in consultation with the company carrying out the environmental supervision, found suitable locations. Field work for the project supporting conservation of the diversity of local avifauna was carried out in January 2021. During the activity, a total of eight boxes were hung for little owls. Most of them were located in trees, as well as on farm buildings. Two boxes were installed on school grounds in Chamsk and Kliczewo Duże. The nest boxes for this rare owl are located in the villages of Olszewo, Kosewo, Chamsk, Dębsk, Sadowo, Cierpigórz and Kliczewo Duże. In addition, a long-eared owl wintering site was found near the school in Chamsk during field work relating to installation of boxes for little owls.

At the beginning of April 2021, 13 bird nest boxes were installed near the park on Lidzbarska street in Żuromin. The locations for the boxes were selected by naturalists supervising the construction works at Dębsk WF and agreed upon with representatives of Żuromin Town and Municipality Office. Such activities contribute to increasing local population of bird species, including house sparrow, Eurasian tree sparrow, great tit, Eurasian blue tit, black redstart, spotted flycatcher and white wagtail.

Planting in public spaces

Increasing the number of trees is an important part of the Green Deal, the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030 announced in May 2020, as well as a measure to counteract climate change.

The first stage of the programme was implemented in Żuromin Municipality. On 21 April 2021, 135 trees and shrubs were planted in a park on Lidzbarska street in Żuromin Municipality. The exact planting location had been agreed with representatives of Żuromin Town and Municipality Office, while the trees and shrubs had been selected by a naturalist to best suit the local bird species and to provide them with suitable food. In order to ensure the highest possible quality, planting was carried out by a qualified company specialising in comprehensive landscaping and supervised by a naturalist. The selected plants are native species, which were ordered and purchased from a local supplier from Żuromin. When implementing such initiatives, Polenergia Group always tries to support local entrepreneurs.

The second stage of the planting programme took place in autumn 2021.  It included the planting of privet, firethorn and snowberry shrubs. Small cherry and hawthorn trees were also planted. All plantings were selected so as to enhance the beauty of the urban park and to support the environment. The shrub species were chosen to attract insect pollinators and butterflies, and to look pretty in bloom.

The third stage of planting was carried out in 2022. At the time, five large European horse-chestnut trees were planted on request of Dębsk Wind Farm. The park where the first planting was carried out in 2021 includes a playground. The planted horse-chestnut trees, which are over 5 metres high, will soon provide plenty of shade for the children playing there.

In addition to the long-term planting programme, which was implemented in the area of all wind farm projects under construction, a number of other biodiversity measures were carried out. The measures were proposed by the experts performing the environmental supervision and approved by representatives of Żuromin Town and Municipality Office. As a result of implementation of these activities and extensive communication with the authorities and residents, Polenergia Group not only has a positive impact on local biodiversity, but also builds close relations with local communities and educates in the area of locally occurring protected species.

Examples of such measures are soil piles for amphibians and reptiles. Stones, trunks and branches are waste material generated during road construction, which can be used to create secondary biotopes and serve as shelter, wintering grounds for amphibians and reptiles, and a breeding habitat e.g. for wheatear. In cooperation with subcontractors, i.e. ONDE and Electrum, two biotopes have been created in the area of Dębsk WF, one of which being located in the direct vicinity of the main substation, while the other being located near wind turbine No. 7.

Sand martin habitats

The sand martin is a species of small migratory bird from the swallow family (Hirundinidae). Its average dimensions are as follows: body length approx. 13 cm, wingspan approx. 28 cm, and body mass approx. 14 g. In Poland, the species is under strict species protection.

Sand martins dig 50-60 cm long burrows, with oval entrance holes widening at the end into a small ball-shaped nesting chamber. The burrows are usually located in vertical earth cliffs on the high river bank, in gravel pits, clay pits or field slopes, which can serve the birds for many years. Sand martins usually nest in colonies, with concentrations often including a dozen or several dozen pairs.

During one of the inspections carried out in spring 2021, naturalists supervising the construction of Dębsk Wind Farm identified the presence of this species in the vicinity and on Dębsk WF construction site. Therefore, secondary habitats were created for the birds to provide them with comfortable breeding conditions, i.e. to allow them to nest in a quiet place away from the construction site.

The locations for the secondary habitats were selected by naturalists supervising the construction of Dębsk WF and agreed upon with Żuromin Town and Municipality Office.

The habitats were created in cooperation with our subcontractor ONDE. The process was successful, as colonisation of the habitats by sand martins could already be observed in early June 2021, which meant that the slope was constructed properly. During subsequent visits in July 2021, more than 30 colonised burrows could be identified.

Dedicated sand martin nesting signs have been erected by ONDE (the contractor) at the populated sites to ensure that habitats are not destroyed or disturbed.


Another aspect of nature conservation during the development of the wind farm was the specific provisions in the conditions for construction.

In accordance with the provisions of the decisions on environmental  conditions with regard to nature conservation, installation works were carried out outside the nesting period during the construction works.

During earthworks, the developer stockpiled fertile soil separately to be reused during post-construction reclamation. Habitat protection measures were also implemented. During the construction of Dębsk WF, a high-voltage line was laid to Płock main electrical substation.

On the route of the HV line, directional drilling was carried out under valuable Natura 2000 habitats. Thanks to the applied modern technology, the works were carried out without interfering with the natural environment and without disturbing the water systems. Directional drilling was carried out along the section of over 2 kilometres.

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