Impact on Birds
How power-generating wind turbines affect birds and bats figured prominently in testimony Thursday as a county hearing on the proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center entered its third day.
Paul Kerlinger, a bird migration and ecology expert from Cape May Point, N.J., spoke before the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals. About 160 people attended the hearing at Heartland Community College.
On Monday night, the Hamlin town board voted to extend a moratorium on wind development until June, unless leaders adopt a wind turbine law sooner.
Some animal advocates say the town is a migration stop and wind turbines could have deadly consequences for birds and bats. ...Town leaders are requesting extra provisions in Hamlin’s upcoming wind turbine law that would require environmental experts conducting pre- and post- studies to follow protocols endorsed by the Audubon Society, New York state, and the US Department of the Interior.
"This is a tragic situation and is likely to have had an impact on the local breeding success of this vulnerable species. Sustained persecution has placed the hen harrier under significant pressure, with the raptor teetering on the brink of extinction in England.
Planners have recommended councillors do not oppose a proposed wind farm which has sparked concerns for wild geese and archaeological sites.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has objected to the 21-turbine scheme at Shebster, near Thurso.
Historic Scotland said it would have an "unacceptable adverse impact" on ancient sites including cairns.
The Scottish Government is consulting local Highland councillors, who will hold a hearing on Tuesday.
The safety (for birds) of the Altamont wind turbine farm is at issue during a meeting today.
A judge will meet today with environmental groups, wind energy businesses and Alameda County officials to determine what must happen next to protect birds of prey from wind turbines in the Altamont Pass.
Californians for Renewable Energy claims that wind power companies have not complied with the conditions of permits that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors approved in September 2005. ...Peter Weiner, an attorney who represents some of the power companies, said the companies' position is that they have complied.
The protected hen harrier has put paid to plans for a two-turbine extension to the existing 13-turbine wind farm at Booltiagh townland near Connolly in mid-Clare.
This follows An Bord Pleanála refusing planning permission to Booltiagh Wind Ltd to construct the turbines at Booltiagh.
The High Court today cleared the way for a controversial wind farm which opponents say will present a hazard to birds, especially swans.
Farmer and award-winning environmental campaigner Philip Merricks attempted to block plans to construct the 26-turbine wind farm at Little Cheyne Court, Walland Marsh, Kent.
The site is close to a special protection area for birds.
Mr Merricks challenged last October’s decision by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling, to approve the scheme.
He argued there had been a failure to take proper account of the danger of birds flying into turbine blades.
Today Deputy High Court Judge Hamilton rejected the argument and ruled Mr Darling had been entitled on the evidence before him to give his approval.
The controversial Bald Hills wind farm that catapulted the endangered parrot to fame in 2006 is under renewed scrutiny, after it was quietly granted permission to make its turbines more than 20 per cent taller. ...''This is a significant change and there's no environment effects statement. All the modelling that's been done for approvals was done on a previous arrangement,'' he said.
Horizon Wind Energy has suspended development of the Simpson Ridge wind farm in Carbon County because of Wyoming's rigid position on protecting key sage grouse habitat.
Houston-based Horizon is not scrapping the project, but is placing it on hold indefinitely, project manager Nate Sandvig said Friday.
Wind project developer, owner, and operator Horizon Wind Energy will offset the effects of its new wind farm in north central Kansas by investing in a 20,000 acres of offsite habitat restoration to benefit grassland birds, especially the greater prairie-chicken.
Horizon Wind Energy signed the conservation investment agreement Wednesday with the Ranchland Trust of Kansas and The Nature Conservancy of Kansas.
Birds and bats have a powerful advocate in the new Congress.
It's making people in the wind energy industry nervous.
Representative Nick Rahall is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. Rahall is pushing legislation that would more strictly regulate wind energy to protect the birds and bats that are killed when they fly into wind turbines.
Paul Cryan was surprised and curious. Cryan had been studying bats since 1990, but only in 2003 did he learn that bats were being killed at wind energy farms. Cryan wanted to know why the bats, whose visual and echolocation abilities allow them to find and catch flying insects at night and avoid obstacles in the dark, run into or otherwise are killed by rotating turbine blades. Why would bats be around wind turbines in the first place? And which species were most at risk?
The available data, science and policy haven't caught up with the pace of wind energy development. Still, wind energy development is apparently killing golden eagles, which seem especially susceptible to collisions with the turbines.
Bird kills reinforce the need for "mandatory federal operational standards, as opposed to the optional, voluntary guidelines that are currently under discussion."
According to the American Bird Conservancy, the West Virginia bird kill numbers fly in the face of industry assertions that wind turbines kill, on average, two birds per year.