Study shows how to reduce bat fatalities

Posted on May 19, 2009. Filed under: Wind |


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.”

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One Response to “Study shows how to reduce bat fatalities”

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As a rural dweller who is probably going to be surrounded by 35 or more four-hundred ft windtowers I have a problem with the setback distance. It’s way too close and will make my home unlivable. I would like to be bought out and move out of the area. I don’t want to wait to find out if the health hazards and the dangers like flying chunks of ice are real. Being surrounded by 450 ft high industrial monsters is not what anyone wants. Therefore the utilities and/or the state should provide something in SB 185 for landowners in the area who cannot have a giant turbine on their property. The energy industry is using the age old tactic – divied and conquer. One landowner gets the tax breaks, the remuneration for siting a 2.7 million dollar windtower, etc. Another neighbor gets nothing but the downside. The wind energy industry should be forced to buy the land they will site these on – condemn an entire area through eminent domain. Since in my instance our town officials and representatives alledgely stand to personally benefit from this I will have little or no recourse except through the courts. It is already too late to go slow on this and gather the facts. Our national leaders have procrastinated and accommodated the interests of big oil and now we’re scrambling at the local level to deal with their malfaeasance. We were on the right track when Carter installed solar panels on the White House over 30 years ago. I have a feeling my neighbors were probably laughing at Carter back then and likely supported Cheney’s energy approach, so social altruism is not the motivation. It’s all about the MONEY. Communities with past experience know the energy industry will flat-out lie. Exxon promised a lot of safeguards and emergency response capabilities around Valdez. There was little to none. The fishing industry lost millions there. The coal companies have irreverably damaged the Appalachican area. People living in those areas have never been compensated. Our government should be watching out for the little guy. If our society needs wind power now I am not volunteering to sacrifice my health and home. I want compensation. Everything is about the dollar now. The NIMBY syndrome is not understood until you are the victim. For-profit undertakings use the NIMBY syndrome to avoid paying out to those they should be compensating.


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