Transmission Towers Safeguarding Biodiversity

Published on Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The transmission towers of electrical grids can become hospitable nests for migratory birds. A little falcon has chosen this particular location along the banks of the Danube to build its home, having nested on the infrastructure of Enel's power grid in the Banat region in the western part of Romania.

Enel Distributie Banat's technicians and managers have immediately taken action to protect the nest, with the support of an environmental association, in order to safeguard the bird's “privacy” and offer it an adequate environment to take care of its chicks, until the need to migrate to new horizons arises. “According to experts – said  Head of Safety, Environment and Quality of Enel's distribution activities in Romania Stefano Di Pietro – this species of falcons returns to the place where it was born. Therefore, when the chicks become adults next year, they will most likely return to the same transmission tower to nest once again”.

“Immediately after having discovered the nest on Enel's transmission tower – Di Pietro added – a plan was launched to monitor the nest via a solar power camera to protect the surrounding area”. In fact, like many other species, the Danube falcons are very sensitive to human presence, and must be observed from a distance and with discretion. The fact that they have chosen this area to nest indicates a possible synergy and integration between biodiversity and network infrastructures.

In fact, Romania's Danubian falcon is not the first bird to have chosen electric transmission towers to nest on. In the various countries in which it operates with network infrastructures, from Italy to Spain and South America, Enel has repeatedly intervened and launched specific programmes to protect the species that nests on electricity pilons. Last May, during the International Day for Biological Diversity, the Group once again demonstrated its commitment to the protection of biodiversity by presenting a new policy on the issue, which was integrated into the Group's environmental strategy.

Various projects have been launched, from Europe to Latin America, to protect endangered species and entire diverse ecosystems. The numerous projects cover 13 countries involving many areas of the energy supply chain - from production to distribution - and interacting in different ways with the environment. “On the Danube's delta in Romania – Di Pietro concluded – there is an area with a unique biodiversity where storks nest”. Enel has developed specific intervention programmes to protect species in this area as well.