The recent record-breaking auction of development rights for offshore wind-energy installations off the coast of southern New England proves that developers are confident that obstacles to their construction and operation will likely be few. But after just two years of operation of the nation’s first offshore wind facility — the much-heralded Block Island Wind Farm — there is still a great deal unknown about their long-term environmental impact.
Library filed under Impact on Birds from Rhode Island
Off-shore wind turbines may be placed in the ocean south of Rhode Island without major harm to bird populations, according to the preliminary findings of a University of Rhode Island study. Last week, Peter Paton, chair of the URI Natural Resources Science Department, presented the first three months of ocean bird survey data to about 30 people at the Audubon Society of R.I. Environmental Education Center in Bristol.
Kunz, an internationally known bat researcher and director of BU’s Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology, said wind turbines annually kill many raptors as well as tens of thousands of bats in the United States. Since these turbines have been promoted as an answer to America’s energy woes, Kunz called for more research into the environmental effects of wind power. He also warned that high numbers of bat fatalities may cause populations of insects to increase dramatically. ...Unfortunately, Kunz said, many power companies refuse to fund research on the impacts of wind farms and some even deny scientists access to turbines to count bird and bat fatalities.