Impact on Wildlife
Note: counts do not include items in sub-categories
All the posturing by wind industry big mouths cannot change the fact that the tips of the propellers of wind turbines (when the wind is blowing) spin at more than 200 miles per hour! If you were an eagle or an owl hunting for a meal-or any bird trying to fly over the hill along the Columbia River where wind farms are being built at a terrifying clip-imagine having to navigate these spinning blades every day.
Endless Energy's effort to put a wind farm on top of Redington Mountain near Carrabassett Valley is a bad idea that won't die the death it sorely needs. In fact, the idea seems to get worse all the time. Knocked down four times, twice by the Land Use Regulation Commission, once by the Governor's Wind Power Task Force, and once by the legislature in its 2008 Wind Power bill, this commercial creature is still on its feet however barely.
The remote plantations some 10 miles south of Strathy village are now dominated by a couple of tall anemometer masts; there are few places in the Far North where you can get away from the threat of wind farms, big or small. There are currently 20 wind farms going through the planning process in Caithness and north Sutherland. Enjoy these wild places while you can: if the turbines go up, yet another of our landscapes will be tamed and industrialised. I had to walk right under one of the masts to gain the main Strathy track; the bothy, much appreciated by those who like really out-of-the-way spots, will be in the heart of the proposed wind farms. But as of now it is still as quiet and secluded a place as any. At night there is just untamed wind and starlight, and you are at least four miles from the nearest other person. Rattling showers passed, leaving clear starry skies. I enjoyed a candlelit fireside meal and had an early night. The strong westerlies should give me an easy ride home on the morrow!
Let's look at Bird Island off the coast of Marion in the center of Buzzards Bay, and what towns around the bay have plans for commercial wind turbines. ...In several years, Bird Island, the largest nesting area of roseate terns in North America, will be surrounded by commercial wind turbines.
... a critical analysis of the workings of our region's electricity grid reveals that industrial wind energy development within Appalachia belies its "green" reputation. ...Wind turbines will not lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Maryland's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law requires that 9.5 percent of its electricity comes from renewable sources (basically from wind) by 2019, with a bump to 20 percent likely.
Do the math. Meeting the aggressive RPS goals of Maryland and other states in the PJM grid region will require the permanent destruction of hundreds of miles of forested Appalachian ridgelines to accommodate thousands of wind turbines.
Is it worth it? Hardly.
Things are going badly for our wildlife populations in and around the operating industrial scale wind projects in Wisconsin.
Anecdotal reports from people living in Wisconsin wind projects report an absence of normal wildlife, i.e. no turkey, no deer, fewer or no songbirds, and no bats. Relatives and friends outside the wind facility report greater numbers of deer and turkey.
As an environmentalist, I have for decades supported a move away from our addiction to oil to more eco-friendly, renewable energy, including wind. However, when I hear the developers spin the tragic Gulf oil spill to justify their desire to use our tax dollars to destroy Maine mountaintops, with as many as 1,800 400-foot turbines spread over 360 miles, I am appalled by how this "justification" is so disingenuous.
the Altamont Pass, Calif., wind farm's cruel blades pulverize 4,700 birds each year, according to the National Audubon Society. Victims of this green power plant include golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels and burrowing owls. ...Environmentalism's avian holocaust will continue - 33,000 birds annually, according to a 2002 Fish and Wildlife Service estimate - until government pulls the plug on subsidies for inefficient, unnecessary and deadly windmills.
Imagine that number of turbines, strung along our mountains from the Maine-New Hampshire border, along the spine of the mountains to the Kennebec River and beyond. Roads up steep slopes will have to be built to each grouping of turbines. New power lines will be strung down valleys to reach grid connections. Blinking lights at night will be visible for a hundred miles or more. This scenario is too horrible for most Mainers to believe, or even visualize. Yet it is being proposed.
Another disturbing threat to Taiwan's Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis is the development of wind farms within their existing habitat. Despite the obvious fact that the construction of wind farms will result in loss of habitat for the already struggling population of Taiwan's Humpback dolphins, one also has to consider what other impact the construction of these proposed offshore wind farms will have on the Humpback dolphins and other cetaceans in that area.
An objective analysis of windmills as even a partial solution to our energy needs just isn't cutting it. The numbers just don't add up. It maybe time to use the old adage, "Liars can figure, but figures don't lie". Obviously, the American Wind Energy Association is a powerful lobby taking us in a direction that will only result in that warm and fuzzy feeling, but our lights may not come on. From the Rocky Mountains to Texas to Maine people are finally beginning to question the logic and effectiveness of wind energy.
Vermont's proud history of leadership in developing innovative, effective environmental protection is being tossed aside. This project will set an ominous precedent by ripping apart a healthy, intact ecosystem in the guise of doing something about climate change. In return, Green Mountain Power will receive $44 million in federal production tax credits ...The pursuit of large-scale, ridgeline wind power in Vermont represents a profound failure to understand the value of our landscape to our souls and our economic future in Vermont.
There are now 10 dead WTE found at Smola since August 2005.'’ (dated October 2).All soaring raptor and many large slow-flying bird are at serious risk, having no natural defence against 100mph blade tips.
That predatory wind operatives, who provide no meaningful product or service, would sacrifice these mountains for their narrow self-interest is outrageous. ...Synergics Wind LLC has clear-cut and bulldozed hundreds of acres around Roth Rock, without securing grading permits beforehand and in areas well-known for harboring state-endangered species. Synergics has not applied for or received any construction permit from the Maryland Public Service Commission, as required.
Wind farms apparently aren't quite as harmless and "green" as promoters like to say. It appears they may present a threat to eagles and hawks, especially along the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington. ...Wind farms consist of tall windmills with three big blades each. Already they have exacted a price - by altering the view of the barren hillsides where they've been set up. ...But when it comes to birds, the price gets much steeper. It is feared that with hundreds or even thousands of these windmills close together, they could start exacting a heavy toll on large birds that live in those regions as their native habitat. ...If it turns out that the windmills kill large numbers of big raptors, those proud "Blue Sky" signs on people's lawns might well disappear. It's one thing to consume power when the side effects include some air pollution far away or damage to fish at Northwest dams. But to be contributing to the demise of eagles that are batted out of the sky by whirling blades, that would be something else.
Every day at wind farms across America threatened or endangered species are killed from collisions with blades of the prop wind turbine. This is considered legal because the offending wind farms either hold the "incidental take permit" or were not required to have one because they did not fully disclose environmental impacts of their activities.
It stands to reason that if you build a wind turbine in a bird's flight path, the result will be lethal. If birds maintain a predictable flight path, such as an annual migration route, then it should be possible to avoid that flight path. But what if you want to build your wind farm between a bird's breeding place and its regular hunting grounds? That is more difficult.
Now in 2010, TransCanada wants to expand the Kibby project and is proposing 15 turbines on Sisk Mountain, which overlooks the Chain of Ponds.
To do this TransCanada wants to expand the already expedited area of Maine to include the portion of Sisk Mountain not yet within this "umbrella." TransCanada is petitioning to add another 630 acres to the expedited area, all of it overlooking Chain of Ponds, Big Island, and Massachusetts Bog.
Governor Deval Patrick's goal of 2,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020 will achieve very little at great cost, according to the state's own data. Nonetheless, he is seeking from the Legislature an unprecedented set of special privileges to benefit the wind industry. ...The 5 percent of our state's electricity provided by 710 wind turbines in the Berkshires will not slow the rise of coastal sea levels, but it will mean the irretrievable loss of a globally rare landscape.
Almost all post operational studies of wildlife mortalities from wind turbines in Ontario have been kept secret from the public, allowing government and industry to contend that wind turbines kill very few birds. Until we have public access to independent mortality studies, we will not know the full cumulative impact.
The damage to the environment, however, goes well beyond the slice and dice effect of the turbine blades.