Articles filed under Impact on Bats from USA
The Vermont Department of Public Service recommended that state utility regulators find the Lowell wind project in violation of its operating certificate for exceeding noise limits four times last winter. However, the department asked the Vermont Public Service Board not to impose sanctions right away on Green Mountain Power, which operates the Lowell wind project, to give GMP time to remedy the problems that caused excessive noise, according to filings with the board.
In a sign that endangered bats may be the next point of contention in the ongoing debate over ridgeline wind in Vermont, wind opponents asked for a hearing on GMP’s request for a permit to kill up to seven bats a year. The company says it faces economic hardship if it’s forced to curtail operations to fully protect the creatures.
Ridgeline wind project opponents want hearings on a permit application by Green Mountain Power to allow the deaths of a small number of endangered or protected bats each year by Lowell wind turbines.
In a March 25 letter to the County Planing and Zoning Commission, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish (AZGF) "states specific concerns and recommendations for birds, bats, and other wildlife in connection with the Red Horse 2 wind energy project, including a recommendation of two years of data collection as part of the site evaluation and pre-construction monitoring," he said.
"Animals at night fly right into them," Carter said. "Imagine them flying at night 300 to 400 feet off the ground so they don't bump into a tree. Now wind turbines are in their fly space." Which is why USFWS required NextEra to increase the cut-in speed to 7 meters per second, from a half hour before sunset to a half hour after sunrise starting on July 15 and ending on Oct. 1 of each year.
Already a dead Golden eagle was found on February 25 at a wind turbine generator in the Spring Valley, a place with a dense population of eagles. Those who knew thae area had predicted eagle mortality was likely, but no one thought it would be so soon after the project was completed.
Miles away, wind turbines sat motionless in the windless night. Their spinning blades can be deadly to bats, bursting capillaries in their lungs before the blades hit their tiny bodies. Three Wyoming bats are particularly susceptible when they migrate from summer to winter ranges. Keinath and Abernethy were looking for bats to tell them which, if any, species called the area home.
Of Wyoming's 15 resident bat species, three of them are most susceptible to the deadly effects of wind turbines: the hoary bat, the silver-haired bat and the eastern red bat. They are Wyoming's only tree-roosting bats, said Douglas Keinath, senior zoologist with the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database.
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has issued the first permit of its kind for a wind project in the state allowing a small number of fatalities of endangered bats, which could collide with the turbine blades or be affected by the pressure changes created by the rotating turbines.
Save Western Maryland believes that the HCP is not based on the best available science and is in violation of the Endangered Species Act; that a full environmental impact statement is warranted under the National Environmental Protection Act; and that the draft EA does not adequately analyze alternatives in violation of NEPA.
In January, the wildlife service updated its bat mortality estimate, claiming that at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats have been lost to white nose syndrome, prompting agency director Daniel Ashe to call it an "unprecedented wildlife crisis."
"Indiana bats are beginning to slip away from us," said Mollie Matteson, a bat specialist with the Center for Biological Diversity, which this spring petitioned the White House for national action on the disease outbreak. "At this point, every remaining Indiana bat is a precious survivor.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has begun to work with Wisconsin and seven other Midwest states on a habitat conservation plan. The service says the aim is to promote the development of clean energy, while helping federally endangered species known to be at risk from wind farms.
Without the permit, now in its draft form, First Wind would be prohibited by law from any fatalities of the endangered bat species as a result of its activity at the Sheffield site. The Boston-based First Wind company is seeking the permit citing economic hardship.
The PSC dismissed the complaint because the sitting order does not contain material terms and conditions related to noise or flicker and because the agency does not possess the statutory authority to address the issues raised by Braithwaite, according to the commission's final order.
Beech Ridge Energy is looking for a 25-year permit that would essentially get them off the hook for all the endangered bats that get killed flying into its turbine blades. The project currently has almost 70 turbines in action and has plans to put 30 more in the area.
To comply with the terms of a lawsuit settlement, Maryland-based Beech Ridge Energy is seeking a 25-year permit for its wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties. The existing 67 turbines and another 33 that are planned could harm Virginia big-eared and Indiana bats.
Pending further evaluation, AES has voluntarily ceased nighttime operation of the turbines at the Laurel Mountain facility. The facility has been testing different cut-in speeds to reduce bat mortality. The Indiana bat was found near a turbine that was operating at a cut-in speed of 3.5 meters per second.
These bat species are far more important than First Wind's profits. There's presently a glut of generation in New England and First Wind's intermittent power does nothing more than add to the surplus on the grid. ...First Wind agreed to curtailment during low wind speeds at certain temperatures and now seems to be complaining that such curtailment won't be profitable. Too bad for them.
Laura Ellison is an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Fort Collins, Colorado, who has spent the last 20 years studying bats and other small mammals. Earlier this month she presented on the bat and wind farm issue at the North America Congress for Conservation Biology. "The newer, larger turbines seem to be worse for bats," Ellison said.