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The sponsors of the Tafila Wind Farm have undertaken a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), in accordance with applicable Jordanian Environmental permitting guidelines, and international best practice. 

 

The purpose of this ESIA was to identify environmental and social impacts at an early stage in the project development, and scope the appropriate studies to assess, and where necessary, mitigate those impacts. The final ESIA report is a comprehensive document describing the project attributes the results of component studies which were performed, and measures to be used to minimize the project's impact on environmental and social issues. 

 

As a first step to the preparation of the ESIA, a scoping meeting was held on December 5, 2011 in Amman, at which governmental and non-governmental stakeholders were invited to submit comments on the possible impacts of the proposed project. Beyond several individual engagements of project stakeholders, a public consultation took place at the 12th of November 2012. The ESIA and supporting documents received approval from the Jordan Ministry of Environment in June 2013. 

 

As part of the ESIA an avifauna assessment for the Tafila Wind Farm was conducted by multiple international expert consultants in cooperation with BirdLife International and the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. Experts from Jordan, Romania, the UK and Germany were involved in the monitoring and assessment process, which was approved as part of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) by the Jordan Ministry of Environment on the May 28, 2013 and renewed on October 2, 2013 following minor changes of the wind farm layout.

 

The Tafila Wind Farm is financed by a lending syndicate arranged by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), with participation from the European Investment Bank (EIB), Europe Arab Bank (EAB), the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

 

The avifauna assessment includes a baseline study with 34 days of field monitoring, lasting from October 2011 till the end of September 2012. The field monitoring days were spread equally on the year to display the avifauna movements of the whole year.

 

To support the baseline data with more detailed information, an extensive bird monitoring program was started in late February 2013 and is still on-going. This comprehensive monitoring is conducted with emphasis on the migration periods. During the summer and winter months the monitoring program includes twelve hours per month on each of the three different vantage points spread over the wind farm site form the base of the monitoring program. During the migration periods the observation time is enlarged to twelve observation man-days per week. The monitoring is conducted by local avifauna experts from Jordan and by experts from the UK. 

 

During the monitoring the observed bird species, the amount of observed species, the time of observation, the duration of observation, the flight height and the weather conditions are recorded. The analysis of the monitoring data was conducted by experts from Germany and Romania, in continuous discussion with experts from the UK, from BirdLife International and from the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature.

 

The analysis included the assessment of the flight behaviour of each observed species, a collision risk assessment and an impact assessment leading to the establishment of appropriate mitigation measures to secure the best possible safety of the avifauna. The main potential impacts of the Tafila Wind Farm on the avifauna were identified to be electrocution from high voltage transmission lines, and the risk of bird collision with the moving rotors. It was decided to monitor the wind farm site during operation continuously on an ongoing basis for the occurrence of birds and their potential collision with the turbines. In case of a possible collision the wind turbines will be shut down immediately.

 

To minimize the risk of electrocution the wind farm internal power lines will be installed below ground surface. The existing high voltage transmission line which is owned and operated by the National Electric Power Company will continue to exist in the project area.

 

For more detailed information on the avifauna program, potential impacts and mitigation measures please refer to the 1st supplement of the ESIA. The document will be updated throughout the monitoring program.

 

The following documents are made publicly available by Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) for the purpose of public dissemination and comment. 

 

 

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