Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Delaware
The University of Delaware's 2-megawatt wind turbine is the site of new research that will help answer a common question about the alternative energy producers: How do they affect birds and bats?
New Jersey and Delaware environmental officials say a wind farm planned for the Delaware Bay could disturb an important flyway for birds. Delsea Energy of Toms River, N.J., has a plan to construct 106 turbines in the upper Delaware Bay, on the New Jersey side of the shipping channel that divides Garden State waters from those controlled by Delaware.
Environmentalists are divided over the merits of a Pepco Holdings plan to string a 500-kilovolt power line through the heart of Delaware to better connect southern power plants with growing demand in the mid-Atlantic region. ...Clean-air advocates say it could help carry clean wind power to the homes and businesses that need it, even as they worry it will also import dirty coal-fired power from the South and Midwest. Wildlife and property-rights advocates are afraid the line will be a blight on the landscape, running through fragile areas along the Delaware River and Bay.
That summer in Delaware, Bluewater Wind finalized its contract to build a wind farm of 70, 130-meter-tall turbines 13 miles off the coast of Delaware. After a 59 percent rate hike in state energy prices, state legislators passed House Bill 6. This consumer retail act mandated the creation of a new power plant within the state of Delaware. ...According to the [Bluewater] Web site, "There were no significant negative impacts found on fish, flora and fauna." Delaware Audubon Society Conservation Group is showcased in supporting the project, saying it's safe for birds. ...[Thomas Kunz] says there is evidence suggesting that the offshore wind turbines Bluewater proposed to build would attract bats, causing them to die.
The "Birds, fish may like wind farm" article on Monday 11 was poorly researched. It has been well-documented that thousands of birds (from large raptors to small warblers) are killed by land-based wind turbines in the western U.S. each year. And many species of migrating birds using the Atlantic Flyway cross Delaware Bay between southern New Jersey and Delaware every fall and spring. Neither of these facts was mentioned in the article.
In a move with direct significance for the Mid-Atlantic, the U.S. Interior Department today released its final proposal for regulating offshore wind turbines and other "alternative" energy projects in federally controlled waters. Although work on detailed regulations will continue into next year, the agency plans to take applications during the next 60 days for permits to conduct offshore research on wind or other unconventional energy around the nation's Outer Continental Shelf. ...Several large national environmental groups have supported the offshore proposals for wind. But the American Bird Conservancy, American Littoral Society and others took opposing stands, urging the Interior Department to limit the projects and study threats to birds and fish in greater detail.
"There are a number of us who are concerned about how to put this thing in the proper context, as opposed to just plowing forward with one proposal from one company to do one thing," Keifer said. Too few groups are asking questions about Bluewater's plans, and too many are accepting the company's predictions on faith, he said. "There's a place for wind power, but it's not a question of religion,"...
According to Desholm, the location of an offshore wind farm is very important when it comes to bird populations. With regular flight paths and migration routes located in close proximity to coastlines, planners must make sure they build away from such areas.