Why is wind and solar farm security an issue? Surely no one is interested in vandalism or theft from these kinds of facilities? With the geographical scale of wind & solar farms and their remoteness most would consider them a low-level security risk. However, assets within these facilities can be prime targets for theft including copper and other valuable assets. And while the remoteness of these locations can be a positive deterrent that same remoteness makes them extremely vulnerable.
‘’Recent police and media reports show that general copper theft continues to be a big issue. With that in mind, wind farm operators would be well advised to invest in making their plants secure.
From a business perspective, the installation or retrofitting of security technology results in one-time costs for equipment and installation and ongoing costs for maintenance, communication and security services. This can be off-putting to some utilities. However, despite these costs, the necessary investment is significantly lower than the damage caused by theft.’’NewEnergyUpdate – 24th March 2020
With more and more of these energy assets coming online they are becoming more of a target. There are various options when it comes to implementing a better security system. Although the best solution for any individual facilities should be decided on a case-by-case basis, a few basic considerations will indicate which solution makes best sense. Below are our suggestions for a more secure facility.
Prevention beats protection – it’s far better to deter potential criminal activity than apprehend or prosecute successful ones. By shouting about the security measures in place at your windfarm, you can make criminals think twice. A cost-effective first-step is to place boards at all access points, which informs intruders in no uncertain terms that your premises are protected and that you are willing to prosecute trespassers and thieves. If you use mobile security guards, intruder alarms, or have CCTV deployed on site, make sure that your signage highlights this.
Large-scale windfarms will ideally have manned security guards on site. These will keep a close eye on your assets 24/7 and can act as an effective first response to any security threats. If you do not want a permanent security presence, mobile security guards will perform regular checks on your windfarm to ensure that any suspicious people hanging around are properly deterred and that any security breaches are appropriately dealt with. As well as acting as an effective deterrent, CCTV can help you prosecute thieves and locate any assets that are taken from the site in the case of theft.
Some of these also help with staff protection – For example, if an employee remains in a plant for an unusually long time, guards or camera operators can conduct a visual check and, if necessary, call or send assistance.
With comprehensive security in place, your solar farm or windfarm will be a difficult target for thieves. By maintaining proper security measures, it will ensure that your site is not targeted by criminals now or in the future. In order to properly secure your assets, it’s important that you keep existing security solutions in place and that you update your security measures in line with any new threats. A industry leading provider like Churchill Security can keep your security policy up to date, keeping it compliant with existing and incoming legislation.
‘’Using an integrated security system that combines intruder and video surveillance, individual wind turbines and wind farms in remote locations away from residential areas can be effectively protected. Apart from protection against break-ins, these integrated solutions also allow additional warning systems to be implemented to provide notification of fire, flooding or the need for maintenance’’
‘’The use of the electronic security technology outlined above on wind farms – not to mention other renewable energy sites such as solar panel installations – has many advantages. Apart from deterring copper thieves, further useful warning systems can also be deployed based on the intruder alarm system. Once the initial investment has been made in a security system, ongoing efficiencies and savings can be made by reducing trips to the plant to essential ones only. There’s no doubt that as wind power, and copper, grow in popularity, the case for enhanced security becomes increasingly compelling’’NewEnergyUpdate – 24th March 2020
Churchill Security is a leading UK security company. We provide a comprehensive range of security services for businesses and organisations operating in the energy and natural resources space