Documents filed under Impact on Bats
As a general comment, the Service appreciates the fact that UPC Wind has conducted radar and acoustic studies on bird and bat migration and bat activity at Hardscrabble Mountain and other locations at or near the proposed project. We believe the radar, visual, and acoustic information contained in the above-referenced reports is useful, but that it is not sufficient to demonstrate, at an appropriate scale, the spatial and temporal uses of the airspace over Granby, Libby, Barrett, and Norris Mountains by birds, bats, and insects.
Rick Webb's presentation on October 17 at the Energy Virginia conference provides a thought provoking analysis of the costs and benefits of industrial wind energy.
To reiterate, if the SCC chooses to license this project, we request adherence to the monitoring and mitigation recommendations described in this letter and attachments. In the absence of such conditions, we feel this project would pose an unacceptable risk to the Commonwealth’s wildlife resources.
Below are two Phase I Avian Risk Assessments reports, prepared by Paul Kerlinger, for Vermont's East Haven Wind Farm (July 2003) and New Hampshire's Lempster Mountain Wind Power Project (June 2005). Phase I assessments have proven inadequate in assessing mortality at several sites in the U.S. including Mountaineer in West Virginia and Meyersdale in Pennsylvania. The US Fish and Wildlife Interim Wind/Wildlife Guidelines calls for multi-year evaluation of avian and bat activity using remote sensing.
Starting with our first interagency meeting on April 8, 2005, we have generally discussed three broad categories of activities that pose a potential concern for fish and wildlife resources. These include the potential for bird and bat collisions with turbines, habitat fragmentation effects on wildlife and impacts to waters/wetlands. At the April 8, 2005 interagency meeting, we recommended that CEI collect three (3) years of radar data on spring and fall bird/bat migrations to document the spatial and temporal use of the airspace by these flying vertebrates. Three years of radar data should be sufficient to gather information on the spatial and temporal distribution of birds in the airspace, including the year-to-year variability in migration patterns at this site, and represent our normal request for these data at wind projects. We have consistently requested that this data be collected at our meetings and field visits and continue to make this request for radar information.
ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED by the Public Service Board of the State of Vermont that: 1. The findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Hearing Officer are hereby adopted, as modified above. 2. The proposed Project will not promote the public good of the State of Vermont, and a certificate of public good shall not be issued pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 248. Dated at Montpelier, Vermont, this 17th day of July , 2006.
Because time seems to be running out on fossil fuels and the lure of non-polluting windpower is so seductive, some people are now promoting windpower initiatives at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history......Throughout my experience, I could not substantiate a single claim developers made for industrial wind energy, including the one justifying its existence: that massive wind installations would meaningfully reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. When you understand this, you realize the wind business is not really that complex. But there are a lot of complicated issues swirling around it that obscure and distract from this main point, issues such as global warming, property values, the nature of wind leases, local revenues and taxes, wildlife, natural views, and a host of others. So how does one know the truth of it all? How does one go about separating the reality from spin?
Compliments of Andrew Chapman, the attached pdf files contain extensive documentation particularly with respect to the impact of wind turbines on wildlife as part of an ongoing effort to prevent the construction of the Bald Hills Wind Farm, South Gippsland, Victoria. While it has been approved by the Victorian State Government the presence in the Bald Hills area of migratory species of national and international significance that are protected by treaties with Japan and China in the Bald Hills has placed the final decision in the hands of the Federal Government. This decision is pending.
The Service favors: --conservation of wildlife in the public trust; --development of renewable energy that is bird and bat friendly; and --use of informed decisions based on adequate environmental assessment and sound science.
In its submission today, the department will not reiterate all of the matters raised in the 21 October submission, rather the department wishes to focus largely on the matters arising from this proposal affecting Brolga and Southern Bent-wing Bat.
This study focused on nocturnal migration patterns and flight behaviors during the peak periods of passerine and bat migration during fall 2005 at the proposed Highland New Wind Development in Highland Count. Virginia. The key results of our study were: (I) the mean overall fall passage rate was 385 targetsikmh; (2)mean nightly passage rates ranged from 9 to 2,762 targetshh, (3) the percentage of targets passing below 125 m agl was 11.5%; (4) the estimated turbine passage rate of nocturnal migrants passing within the airspace occupied by each proposed turbine was 3.4-24.7 migrantslturbineid during the fall study period; (5) fall migrants flying at or below maximal turbine height consisted of 88% birds and 12% bats; and (6) passage rates, flight altitudes, and visual observation rates of birds and bats did not differ between the two survey sites within the project area.
We believe that wildlife kills can be prevented or minimized, and we advocate broad collaboration to achieve this end. However, until reliable solutions are developed, high risk areas should be avoided. These include locations along major migratory corridors or within the normal flight range of large roosting and feeding aggregations of birds or bats.
The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), as lead agency in the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process, is considering potential impacts from construction of 53 wind energy turbines which would generate approximately 79 megawatts of power. Turbine structures are anticipated to be approximately 389 feet tall from the ground to the highest blade tip. Structures such as a substation, 4.8 miles of buried cable, an unspecified amount of overhead transmission lines, and 3.4 miles of access roads must also be built in the 33,000 acre project area. This project is situated at the southern end of the Finger Lakes, near the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area, the Hi Tor Bird Conservation Area, and generally along a north-south oriented ridge.
This submission deals only with the potential impact on the natural environment and in particular birds and bats.
The generation of electricity by wind is a growing industry in Pennsylvania. While wind energy is certainly an attractive alternative to the pollution produced by fossil fuel power plants, all potential environmental impacts must be measured if electricity produced this way is to truly qualify as “green energy.” Surprisingly, only minimal environmental studies need to be done to site a wind farm in Pennsylvania. Improper siting of some wind farms in the U.S. has impacted migratory bird, resident bird, and bat populations. We present bird-impaction data from an industrial facility 30 km south of a proposed wind farm in Luzurne County, Pennsylvania, that suggest caution in the blind embrace of this energy technology. Siting decisions are made at the local government levels and are primarily based on economic incentives. We argue (a) that this energy alternative must incorporate robust site-specific impaction studies at each wind farm to demonstrate effects throughout the Commonwealth, and (b) that local government officials be given the guidance necessary to encourage and provide environmental oversight to wind farms in their areas.
BBC Research & Consulting's 2005 report for the National Wind Coordinating Committee that studies 9 wind plant sitings in an effort to identify circumstances that distinguish welcomed projects from projects that were not accepted by communities.
...additional radar studies would be required to see if spring migration patterns are different than those measured in the fall. Typically spring migration is shorter than fall migration with fewer numbers in the shorter period of time. How this will affect the numbers of birds passing through the rotor swept volume is unknown. It is important to determine the seasonal timing, altitude and numbers of migrant birds passing over the proposed project site and the effects of weather upon their passage over a greater part of the whole year. In addition, it is possible to determine some of the bird and bat species passing through the project site by accoustical sensors to determine which species, that make vocal calls, are migrating through the site.
This letter from the West Virginia Field Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service to NedPower Mount Storm responds to the developer's biological assessment for endangered bats at the proposed Mount Storm Windpower project site to be located in Grant County, West Virginia.
From: Sam Enfield - Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation Sent: Thu 2/12/2004 To: Jessica Almy, Humane Society, U.S. Subject: FAQs about Bats and Wind Energy Turbines Sorry, just to be a little more precise that I was in my prior e-mail. ....By way of introduction, I managed the development work on the Backbone Mountain Wind Project, now the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center, in West Virginia. Your FAQs about Bats and Wind Energy Turbines is good, although I just wanted to correct one statement about which I have specific knowledge.
The BWEC implemented research to improve fatality search protocols for bats and to evaluate interactions between bats and wind turbines from 31 July through 13 September 2004, the period when bat fatalities have most often been reported at wind facilities. The goal was to establish a basis for developing solutions to prevent or minimize threats to bats at wind energy facilities.