Study shows how to reduce bat fatalities
From an article posted on RochesterHomepage.net:
Bird and bat deaths from wind farms have been among the few environmental negatives of this growing source of alternative energy. But a new study offers hope that a solution can be found.
A new study of the interaction between bats and wind turbines at the Casselman Wind Power Project found that turning off the turbines during low wind periods reduced bat mortality by more than 70 percent.
Iberdrola Renewables, owner of the Casselman wind farm in southwestern Pennsylvania, partnered with independent conservation group Bat Conservation International (BCI) to collect the data. From late July to mid-October 2008, Iberdrola Renewables and BCI researchers conducted a controlled experiment in which selected wind turbines at the Casselman project were stopped during relatively low wind-speed nights in the late summer and early fall.
“Shutting down turbines at certain wind speeds during periods when bats appear most vulnerable at this Northeastern U.S. wind farm may have the potential to be a cost-effective way to reduce the impact on bats during their late summer migration season,” Andy Linehan, wind permitting director for Iberdrola Renewables, said in a statement. He said Iberdrola Renewables “looks forward to a second year of the study to confirm what appears to be very good results with modest (power) generation lost.”