Hawaii utility tops transmission towers with lasers to protect birds

Sponsored by

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — An electric utility in Hawaii is experimenting with using lasers to protect migrating seabirds.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said Tuesday it's attaching 30 lasers to transmission poles. The lasers will shine beams across six spans next to coffee fields.

Threatened species, including the Newell's Shearwater and the Hawaiian Petrel, are being injured and killed when they fly into lines and poles while migrating to sea at night.

Researchers hope the birds will avoid these collisions when they see the lights.

The lasers are similar to laser pointers but they won't threaten aircraft because the beams are parallel to the ground. They're also not being used in designated air space.

The utility may install the lasers elsewhere on Kauai if the experiment is successful.

Sponsored by

Get All the Electric Light & Power and POWERGRID International to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Electric Light & Power or POWERGRID International and the email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

Related Articles

NRECA, SEPA launch new regulatory innovation initiative

03/18/2019

The initiative’s vision is to enable the evolution of state regulatory processes and practices in order to address the sca...

EnerNex modernize Public Utilities Commission of Ohio power grid

03/14/2019

These two workgroups will address specific tasks articulated in the PowerForward Roadmap and will build upon the collabora...

NYPA grid lab studies how to integrate renewables onto transmission grid

03/13/2019

The New York Power Authority’s new Advanced Grid Innovation Laboratory for Energy is driving cost reductions and operation...

Judge eases wildfire plan for Pacific Gas and Electric

03/07/2019

Judge William Alsup said in an order late Tuesday that he's now considering making PG&E comply with targets in a wildf...