The wind farm, with AES as majority owner, is at the core of the Integrated Early Warning System for Bird Protection
The largest wind farm in Bulgaria – ‘Saint Nikola’ near Kavarna, owned by AES GeoEnergy – generated 318 069 MWh of clean and reliable energy for Bulgaria. Thanks to its operation last year, the 156-megawatt power capacity has contributed to achieving Bulgaria’s targets for reducing the carbon footprint of the energy sector by saving our country 251 593 tons of CO2. This is according to the production data for 2018 of AES GeoEnergy, owner of the wind farm.
In 2018, in order to minimize the risk of bird collisions, the 52 turbines of Saint Nikola Wind Farm stopped working for a total of 59 hours.
Saint Nikola Wind Farm is at the core of the Integrated Early Warning System for Bird Protection, which complies with the European requirements for the conservation of wild birds. The integrated system minimizes the risk of bird collisions with the rotating parts of the wind turbines by stopping single turbines or entire wind farms, and implements a monitoring program during the risk periods for species of conservation significance. The system integrates information from several radar systems, as well as direct on-site monitoring by ornithologists, who regularly monitor birds in the area, assess potential hazards and, where necessary, issue turbine shutdown orders. Each of the 52 wind turbines of Saint Nikola Wind Farm has active propeller angle control and rotor position depending on wind speed and direction and remote monitoring and control from the central control room. The height of the tower is 105 meters and the diameter of the rotor 90 meters. Despite its impressive size, in the presence of flying birds, each of the generators can stop to let birds pass.
The total investment in the Saint Nikola Wind Farm project is BGN 540 million and it provides about 22% of the installed wind power capacity in Bulgaria.