A Northumberland businessman is tackling one of the natural world’s great challenges – bird poo.
Terry Christie, from Haltwhistle, is the inventor of ‘Scaretech’ – an innovative scarecrow system designed to prevent highly-damaging seabird droppings affecting the turbines on offshore windfarms.
“I and my team were heading home on a vessel after a visit to a wind turbine when someone noticed a familiar high visibility PPE colour on the turbine they’d been working on,” Terry said.
“We thought that someone had been left behind so the vessel returned to find it was only a forgotten high-vis jacket. But the area around it was the only place seagulls weren’t landing.
“Using this intelligence and the age-old scarecrow concept I decided to develop the Scaretech device along with offshore engineer Paddy Armstrong.”
Guano is a huge problem for the global offshore wind industry as it poses a serious health risk, due to its highly carcinogenic qualities, and is extremely expensive and unpleasant to remove.
In July 2019, a ‘Scaretech’ system was installed on the substation at Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, 27km off the Suffolk coast, which in the last 12 months has reduced guano on the structure by approximately 50-60 per cent.
Kieron Drew, interim operations and maintenance manager at Galloper, said: “There is an abundance of seabass around our Galloper site which attracts large numbers of seabirds which generate significant quantities of guano.
“We were looking for a solution and, after considering more expensive options, decided to trial Scaretech.
“Once we installed, we saw dramatic reductions and the problem is now almost non-existent.
“It’s been a fantastic asset and has saved us a considerable amount in clean-up costs and technician time.”
Mr Christie added: “Scaretech works beyond everyone’s expectations and we now plan to launch a low-cost monthly rental option to enable the offshore sector to benefit.”
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