Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from North Carolina
Two companies have been tasked by the federal government with conducting ultra-high resolution aerial digital surveys of wildlife off the coast of North and South Carolina of sites for proposed offshore wind farms. The survey by APEM, based in Manchester, England, and Normandeau Associates Inc., which has an office in Stanley, N.C., will provide baseline data to help with siting and permitting future developments.
Several of America's finest national wildlife refuges - Pocosin Lakes, Alligator River and Lake Mattamuskeet - in concert with local landowners, provide the winter base from which these incredible animals can fly ...Remarkably, if the project moves ahead, the migratory swans, geese, ducks, and raptors may return to their winter Carolina home in a year or two to find 49 spinning turbines, each the height of the Washington Monument.
Invenergy's announcement of the delay follows about a month [after] a preliminary estimate by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the wind farm could kill about four to 20 bald eagles a year. The preliminary report also noted eight active bald eagle nests in the vicinity of the project area.
The preliminary numbers on bald eagle kills are astronomical by almost any measure, bird advocates say. Based on recorded bald eagle sightings in the area, the Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the Pantego project would account for 3.4 to 20.7 eagle "takes" annually. "That's a shocking number."
The N.C. Utilities Commission said Thursday that it had no legal authority to reject the Pantego Wind Energy Facility, which would spread over 11,000 acres in Beaufort County. But the state commission said the wind farm can't move ahead until it receives state and federal environmental permits and meets other strict conditions.
Prospects for a proposed wind energy farm in Eastern North Carolina are likely to remain iffy as long as naturalists and environmentalists have doubts about the project on account of its proximity to a wild bird refuge.
Sources tell us that regardless of what the N. C. Utilities Commission rules on the state permit, the objection from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife service will no doubt have a significant impact on the Federal Power Agency and its determination of whether to allow the wind farm near the Refuge. Most of the support for the Pantego project has come from property owners who want to make money.
Today, a large wind energy farm is proposed for much of the same land as would have been impacted by the OLF runway. Fifty 500-foot tall wind turbines are planned over 10,000 acres in the Pantego Wind Energy project, on agricultural fields actively used for feeding by overwintering waterfowl. Despite the fact that each wind turbine will have the height of the Washington Monument, little consideration has been given to the potential effects of these wind turbines on these large flocks.
The Albemarle County Planning Commission has thrown out the idea of allowing commercial wind turbines in the county-but it's mulling the idea of smaller wind turbines for individual homeowners. ...the devices are behemoths that are up to 550' tall, dwarfing everything around them. "As I understand it, where they might be adequate, there would be unacceptable environmental consequences to the surrounding area," says Commissioner Jon Cannon. Fellow Commissioner Marcia Joseph echoed Cannon's feelings on commercial wind turbine creation. "My main concern is lining the ridgeline with commercial-sized wind turbines," says UVA Environmental Sciences Professor Rick Webb. "I'm concerned about industrial scale development intruding on what remains of wilderness areas we have left."