facts, analysis, exposure of wind energy's real impacts
Impact on Landscape
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Impact on Landscape
Game Commission withdraws its proposal to extend protections to some bat species
In January, the wildlife service updated its bat mortality estimate, claiming that at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats have been lost to white nose syndrome, prompting agency director Daniel Ashe to call it an "unprecedented wildlife crisis."
Songbird elevated on 'watch' list
The Bicknell's thrush - a medium-sized migrating songbird - has cleared the first stage of a long route that could lead to it being declared a threatened or endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday.
Biodiversity Research Institute studies wind turbine dangers to wildlife
"Wind developers and wildlife managers in both the U.S. and Europe have called for the collection of pre-construction monitoring data to minimize the potential impacts of facilities on wildlife," says Kate Williams, director of BRI's wildlife and renewable energy program. "This can be a hot-button issue, but BRI's main goal is to provide sound scientific data to decision makers.
National agency questions how many birds die near Vinalhaven turbines
A recently released study that concluded fewer than 10 birds die yearly from the three wind turbines on this Maine island paints too rosey a picture, according to biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ...The study was shoddily done, the letter implies.
Lemming, mayfly may halt wind project
The presence of the furry creature and two-tailed invertebrate, among other forms of wildlife, are threatening to topple a proposed industrial-scale wind energy project in Highland Plantation.
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife recently expressed its concern for the planned wind farm's impact on certain species.
Can wing power thrive amid wind power growth?
Holberton said a huge swath of the Maine coastline remains uncharted territory as far as understanding bird migrations ...when visibility is poor, the birds fly at much lower altitudes, under 500 feet.
"Most of the birds are island hopping and that is why wind development in shallow water and right along the coast in my opinion poses big issues," said Holberton.
Bird migration study could impact windpower siting off Maine coast
Scientists from the BioDiversity Research Institute in Gorham have documented what they say is a significant migratory pathway for several species of falcons and northern saw-whet owls. The new study could have a bearing on where and how off-shore wind projects are sited in the future.
Will birds and wind farms compete?
Researchers have begun the first electronic tracking studies ever done in Maine to determine whether migrating birds might be disturbed by floating wind turbines off the coast.
They've implanted satellite transmitters inside four common eiders in Casco Bay and are keeping tabs on their movements.
Stantec to conduct landmark ecological study for offshore wind siting
Over the next several months Stantec will operate a number of radar units and arrays of digital acoustic bat detector systems at select sites located 6 to 20 miles off of the coast of Maine, covering a transect of nearly 150 miles from Casco Bay north to Machias Seal Island. Stantec scientists will be monitoring the data for information on the offshore presence or absence, timing, flight heights, and passage rates of bats and birds moving south during the late summer and fall migration season.
DEP answers people's issues
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has released its answers to questions and concerns raised earlier this year about a proposed wind-power project in Roxbury.
As part of its review process, the department convened its public meeting on Feb. 18 to gather information and questions people had about the Record Hill Wind project. It proposes to site 22 wind turbines on Roxbury ridges running from Partridge Peak to Record Hill on the west side of Route 17.
Biologist: Planning can help birds, wind farms co-exist
As planners and developers zero in on locations for offshore wind turbines along the Maine coast, researchers such as Wing Goodale are trying to follow the birds.
Goodale, a biologist with the BioDiversity Research Institute in Gorham, is about to release a report and a preliminary map of bird populations along the Maine coast. It's one of several efforts to prevent, or at least reduce, conflicts between offshore turbines and the animals that live in or pass through coastal Maine.
Wind farm plan clears â€˜major hurdle'; DEP OKs $130M Rollins Mountain wind farm
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued First Wind of Massachusetts a permit Tuesday to build a 40-turbine industrial wind site for $130 million on Rollins Mountain in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn.
"The Department finds that the applicant has demonstrated that the proposed project will provide significant tangible benefits to the host community and surrounding area,".
Corps, DEP seek views on $130M wind project
First Wind of Massachusetts' proposed $130 million wind farm and an associated 115-kilovolt power line might affect an Essential Fish Habitat for Atlantic salmon, but its impact will be minimal if precautions are taken, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday.
Concerns on the line
More than 30 people expressed their concerns about a massive power line upgrade project proposed by Central Maine Power at Lewiston City Hall Monday night during a public hearing before Maine's Public Utilities Commission. About 70 people were present. ...Nearly all of those who spoke before Commissioners Jack Cashman, Sharon Reishus and Vendean Vafiades were apprehensive about the project, anticipating noise pollution, loss of property value and health risks.
Maine eyed for hydro project
Wiscasset is being considered for the largest energy development proposal - and potentially the largest development project of any kind - in the history of the state.
A Toronto entrepreneur who has developed Canadian wind farms has floated the idea of building a massive $2 billion underground hydropower station at the old Maine Yankee nuclear power station site.
The project would be one of the first of its kind anywhere.
The proposal raises questions about impacts on the Back River and groundwater, and it would use as much energy as it creates.
Bird rehabilitation center operators fear impact of wind turbine project
Diane Winn doesn't dispute the need for clean, renewable energy -- the kind provided by wind turbines and hydroelectric dams.
But Winn and Marc Payne, her partner at Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center, are all about saving injured or abandoned wild birds.
Wind turbines provide clean energy, but birds often die when they fly into turbines, and the noise the machines make can disrupt bird and human alike.
For those reasons, Winn and Payne say they would close their North Palermo Road facility if Beaver Ridge Wind, an affiliate of Competitive Energy Service, builds three electricity-generating wind turbines on nearby Beaver Ridge.
"No one argues with the basic fact that turbines kill birds," Winn said. "The only issue is how many are killed, and whether those numbers impact species populations."
Green projects generate splits in activist groups
On Capitol Hill, the Audubon Society is leading the fight to increase production of climate-friendly power. So why are Audubon enthusiasts battling a wind farm that could help meet that goal?
For one thing, there are trout in nearby streams, which activists say are at risk from chemical and sediment runoff from construction of 30 turbines, each soaring about 400 feet -- taller than the Statue of Liberty. Then there are the bats and hawks, which might be purÃ©ed by the giant blades that would catch the wind gusting along the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania.
"They're enormous," says Tom Dick, a retired veterinarian who founded the local Audubon chapter. "When you start looking at this, it's like, 'hell, this is not right.'"
Wind power project faces LURC
The Black Nubble Wind Farm, which calls for 18 turbines on the western Maine mountain, will go before the public Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Sugarloaf Grand Summit Conference Center in Carrabassett Valley. ...
The Black Nubble proposal is a smaller version of the Redington wind farm proposal, which was rejected by Land Use Regulation Commission members in an unusual 6-1 vote in January that went against the recommendation of its own staff.