Impact on Wildlife or Impact on Landscape
Alameda County supervisors approved the initial phase of a monitoring system that will study the impact the Altamont windmills have on scores of birds — including golden eagles, red tail hawks, burrowing owls and other protected species.
The board unanimously approved the $610,000, six-month program after hesitating in July to support a $3 million, three-year plan to monitor bird deaths in the Altamont. At that July meeting, supervisors agreed to cap the program — to be paid for by the turbine operators in the Altamont — at $2 million, saying costs for the monitoring had spiraled out of control.
The monitoring program will be a collaborative operation of UC Santa Cruz, WEST Inc. and Jones & Stokes, the top three bidders for the project. The group will monitor avian deaths at the 5,400 windmills east of Livermore.
Large swathes of scenic countryside are being ruined by massive wind turbines which damage people’s lives and the environment.
That was the blunt message yesterday at the launch of a new nationwide alliance of communities fighting wind farms.
Believing the answer to Ireland’s energy needs is not blowing in the wind, the Irish Wind Energy Truth Alliance (IWETA) insisted that the turbines damage the environment and, because of their inefficiency, do nothing to tackle the energy crisis.
A wind-farm proposal has been abandoned because the area where it was to be built is used by golden eagles and red kites.
Perth-based Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has confirmed it will not proceed with its proposal to build 20 turbines at Glen Tarken, near Comrie.
The presence of golden eagles and red kites in a Perthshire glen has convinced an energy company to pull the plug on plans for a windfarm.
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) said last night it has axed plans for 20 wind turbines in Glen Tarken, near Comrie, after analysing bird data gathered there over the past few years.
The surveys showed the site’s northern area was used by golden eagles and the southern area by red kites - both rare species. After consulting with local RSPB officers, SSE concluded the 30MW windfarm could pose a risk to the birds.
TWO RIVERS – A guest speaker will outline his research results on bird and bat mortality at wind farms in Kewaunee County at a meeting of the Aegolius Bird Club at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Woodland Dunes Nature Center.
Two Chautauqua County residents are the first dual recipients of the Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York’s ‘‘Conservationist of the Year Award.’’
The presentation to Leonard DeFrancisco of Falconer and Gil Randell of Mayville was made at the society’s annual banquet in recognition of their work in preventing construction of a wind energy project across a major North American bird migration route.
The two men are principals in the Ripley Hawk Watch project that has gathered considerable information for more than 20 years regarding the northward migration of birds, bats and some insect species along the ridges bordering the Lake Erie shore.
The first utility-grade wind farm proposed in Virginia is hailed by its supporters as clean energy that can help stem global warming and rising fuel prices. But mountaintop residents near the Highland County site worry about what the blades of 18 towers taller than the Statue of Liberty would do to their environment.
That would include rare or endangered birds, bats, and a few other species, as well as a wild trout stream.
Eleven state agencies have reviewed the Highland New Wind Development proposal and come up with a lengthy list of suggested studies, including an analysis of the cumulative impact of wind farms on the four-state Allegheny Mountain region.
The State Corporation Commission, which has final say, will conduct a public hearing Oct. 30 in Richmond on the proposal by retired poultry processor Henry McBride of Harrisonburg. His attorney, John Flora, hopes the project can benefit from a federal tax credit that expires in 2007.
Labour Neath AM Gwenda Thomas today welcomed the decision by the Planning Inspectorate to uphold Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council's decision to refuse planning permission.
The planning application, lodged by community group Awel Aman Tawe, was opposed by many residents in Tai'rgwaith and Rhiwfawr, including Gwenda Thomas on the basis of an overbearing visual impact on both communities and the fact that the wind farm would have been outside the TAN 8 strategic search area.
In many ways, the atmosphere is like a gold rush.
With the backing of an enthusiastic Rendell administration, wind-energy companies have quietly but aggressively been negotiating leases for land on mountaintops, especially in Bedford and Somerset counties.
Several developers hope to build hundreds, if not thousands, of windmills on the ridge lines of west-central Pennsylvania. Typical wind turbines stand nearly 375 feet tall -- about 70 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty -- and can be seen from 15 to 20 miles away.
Some people question whether development of wind energy on this scale is appropriate for Pennsylvania, even though wind often is touted as a renewable, nonpolluting way to generate electricity.
Longtime residents of Somerset County, where the building is more advanced, say the construction and operation of turbines have damaged the environment. They say the development offers little in return from jobs or taxes.
"It's not quite what they tell you in the brochure," Todd Hutzell of Rockwood said.
Bird watchers might be the single group of people most worried about the environmental impact of wind farms.
The Appalachian Mountain ridges in Bedford and Somerset counties, where developers hope to build many wind turbines, are prime migration routes for scores of raptor, songbird and insect species, said nature writer and birder Scott Weidensaul, who lives in western Schuylkill County.
"They are one of the world's great migratory bird pathways," Weidensaul said. "It's not just hawks. Everything flies down those ridges -- butterflies, dragonflies, owls."
Tens of millions of songbirds fly down the mountain ridges of Pennsylvania at night during migrations, he said. They are drawn to tall, lighted objects, whether communication towers or wind turbines. Some hit the towers; some hit the spinning blades.
Protesters are celebrating after winning a two-and-a-half-year battle against a controversial wind farm above Edgworth.
An appeal against the decision to refuse planning permission for two wind turbines at Uglow Farm, Broadhead Road has been dismissed.
The appellants had argued the wind turbines should be allowed because they would benefit the environment.
But a report from the planning inspectorate following a four-day public inquiry in May said the proposal “would not be likely to have a significant environmental effect”.
It concluded: “I find that the proposal would have an unacceptably adverse impact on a key characteristic of the landscape here.”
Opposition to two Perthshire wind farms has gained the support of MSP Murdo Fraser.
The Tory politician, who represents Mid-Scotland and Fife, yesterday told a public inquiry at Amulree village hall he backs Perth and Kinross Council’s rejection of the application by GreenPower to build 68 turbines at Griffin Forest, near Dunkeld, and also a plan to build 27 turbines at Calliacher, near Aberfeldy.
He said, “The tourism industry throughout Perthshire accounts for about 15% of all employment in the area. When tourism comprises such a large proportion of employment, it can be deemed as not only very important, but essential.
“Whilst the contractors are to be commended for reducing the proposed total number of turbines from 128…this is still 95 too many on our rural landscape.
Plans to build a massive windfarm in Shetland are unlikely to be opposed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), it emerged this week.
Wildlife lobby group Proact is organising a petition calling on the RSPB to step up its opposition to wind farm developments in the UK. So far the petition has been signed by over 3,000 people.
However, RSPB Scotland has responded by saying that it considers applications to develop wind farms on a case-by-case basis.
Protesters are celebrating after winning a two-and-a-half-year battle against a controversial wind farm.
Plans for two wind turbines at Uglow Farm, Broadhead Road. Edgworth, have been rejected by a Government inspector.
He dismissed an appeal against Blackburn with Darwen Council’s refusal of planning permission because of the turbines’ effect on the landscape.
The foundations of a new source of electricity are being laid at White Hill, near Mossburn, that by May will transform the landscape into a towering army of marching windmills, each stretching more than 100m into the sky.
The wind turbine project, a first for Southland, is being built for electricity generator Meridian Energy at a projected cost of $110 million and, when all 29 turbines are commissioned – scheduled for late next year – their combined output would be capable of powering most of Southland, including Invercargill City. Meridian expects that the first of the turbines will be running by May.
Plans to build three 266-feet-high wind turbines on the edge of Dartmoor would be an “unjustified intrusion” into the life of local communities, opponents of the plan told a public inquiry.The turbines, which would be built on land at Yelland Farm, Bowerland Cross, near Okehampton, would be close to the boundary of the Dartmoor National Park and would stand more than one-and-a-half times the height of Nelson’s Column.
Geoffrey Sinclair, representing Okehampton and District Against Turbines (ODAT), told the inquiry: “ODAT’s point is simply that when sites like Yelland are proposed for the largest turbines in the South West of England, this represents one of the most serious long-term threats ever to face the landscape and countryside of Devon.
Migratory birds and bats bludgeoned to death in flight. The movement of ungulates such as elk and threatened caribou disrupted. Wild wind-swept mountain tops -- the 'Beautiful' in B.C. -- despoiled by massive industrial infrastructure.
Sound like green energy? These are among the concerns being raised over wind energy, even as the province's Environmental Assessment Office gives the green light to Dokie Wind Energy Inc. to build B.C.'s first wind farm near Chetwynd.
"We still have concerns," confirmed Linda Sullivan, senior program officer for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, which has been working with B.C. officials.
"Where there is wind, there are birds. There is a greater number of migratory birds in that particular area."
Under pressure from environmental activist groups such as Defenders of Wildlife and the Los Angeles Audubon Society, the California Energy Commission on August 10 released bird and bat protection guidelines for local wind power permitting agencies.
Although the guidelines are neither mandatory nor enforceable, the move represents growing concern that industrial wind farms are taking an unacceptable toll on bird and bat populations.
The most recent avian mortality studies show between 1,750 and 4,700 birds are killed every year at California's Altamont Pass wind farm alone. Similar mortality numbers are reported at industrial wind farms in Solano County and other parts of the state.
The Los Angeles Audubon Society says there is a lack of research into how industrial wind farms, many of which are located in migratory flyways, affect songbird flight patterns. The group is seeking a moratorium on turbine operation for several hours each day during the spring and autumn migration seasons.
A Law lord has lost his fight to stop a windfarm being built next to his Perthshire holiday home.
Lord Hope of Craighead, a respected ornithologist, had argued 16 turbines planned for the hillside of Drumderg, near Bridge of Cally, would pose a threat to a rare and protected group of ospreys.
Yesterday, a Scottish Executive reporter dismissed his claims and allowed the £30m development to go ahead.
Lord Hope - who took his name Craighead from his cottage near Drumderg - had used 35 years of observations, all carefully documented, to show the planned windfarm would be on the flightpath between the nesting and feeding sites of ospreys, putting the birds at risk.......
His records were never disputed. But scientists employed by Scottish and Southern, the electricity giant behind the windfarm plans, said they did not endanger the birds.
The independent reporter, Malcolm Malony, agreed. "I'm satisfied," he said in his report, "that the osprey collision risk is low and is not such as to justify refusal of the proposal."
Plans to build 16 wind turbines across a historic bridleway could decimate a local stables business.
Up to 120 horses and ponies use Three Shires Way at Nun Wood, near Lavendon, Bozeat and Harrold but, if approved, the 125m high turbines would surround the animals.
Milton Keynes Council is currently listening to objections to Npower’s application, including the concerns of the family-run Lower Farm Stables, on Castle Road.
There are fears that horse riders would no longer be able to use the bridleway as the noise and light disturbance from the 90m blades would create a potential safety hazard.
The British Horse Society recommend that turbines should be no nearer than 375m from bridleways but at Nun Wood some would be as close as 215m.