Library filed under Impact on Birds from Canada
Will wind energy farms with hundreds of turbine towers and blades reaching up more than 100 meters have an impact on this area's international reputation as a corridor for migrating birds and monarch butterflies? That could turn out to be the biggest question wind farm developers have to answer as they prepare to unveil local sites for their multimillion dollar projects.
Nesting birds have developers Alberta Wind Energy Corporation back before the Municipal District's planning commission seeking to relocate three turbines on their proposed wind farm near the Oldman River Dam. Arthur Lee from the company says that a pair of nesting ferruginous hawks and prairie falcons have been spotted close to three of the proposed turbines. Alberta Sustainable Resources guidelines recommend that wind turbines are located at least 500 metres away from nest sites. As a result, Lee says that AWEC is looking for permission to relocate the turbines some 400 metres from their original sites.
Earlier this month, the National Academy of Science put forward some compelling evidence that industrial wind power has some serious flaws. Also, recent U.S. Congress hearings brought forth several expert testimonies that warn of a potential environmental disaster (birds, bats, etc.) due to poor siting of turbines and lack of accountability. There are gaping holes in the protection of wildlife, birds and bats in particular, from poorly sited, constructed and monitored wind turbines in both the U.S. and Canada.
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. (CP) - The city of Summerside plans to complete a bird migration survey in coming months as part of the environmental assessment for its proposed wind farm. Greg Gaudet, chair of municipal services, explained the study would provide supplemental information to the original assessment document prepared for the project that is proposed to be built near the Prince Edward Island city. The information will also be used to make recommendations on how to construct the wind farm so it has minimal environmental impact.
Wind turbines shouldn't be allowed near Point Pelee National Park, Holiday Beach or the south shore of Essex County, Ron Elliott, co-ordinator of the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee, says. "They do have the potential if they're in the wrong places to be an environmental disaster for birds. There's no denying that. And they're going to be around for 20 years, so they have to be located right," Elliott said, adding the "whole south shore is essentially one big migration route."
A flock of ducks flies in front of a wind turbine in a field near Port Bruce, Ont., on the Lake Erie north shore.
A proposed windfarm in the Karso del Sur Important Bird Area (IBA), Puerto Rico, could wipe out five percent of the global population of the Critically Endangered Puerto Rican Nightjar Caprimulgus noctitherus. The proposal, which has been strongly condemned by Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña (SOPI, BirdLife in Puerto Rico), is the latest in a series of windfarm proposals around the world which threaten bird populations of conservation importance.
A surge of opposition has diverted a plan to put wind-powered turbines on the Point Pelee peninsula. Boris Vondrus of Advantis Energy confirmed on Monday his company will respect the wishes expressed quite passionately at a Saturday night public meeting and look for a more bird-friendly location for the turbines. “We think we can find a solution a lot of people will be positively pleased with.”
Preliminary plans to erect a wind turbine just east of Port Stanley met with opposition from local bird enthusiasts at a public meeting Wednesday at the Port Stanley arena.
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."
P.E.I. birdwatchers are celebrating a victory. The provincial government has agreed to move several wind turbines away from East Point.
Ulrich Watermann has been keeping his high-resolution binoculars trained on the bald eagles since they returned to their old home atop the white pine a few weeks ago.
Last week, the provincial government announced an open invitation to wind power in Manitoba — an invitation that comes before concrete plans to use the increased renewable energy.