Articles filed under Impact on Bats
“The proposed wind farm would be disastrous for Africa’s Critically Endangered vultures, and many other important bird species, and contradicts Kenya’s commitment to the Convention on Migratory Species.”
As wind farms statewide are killing more Hawaiian hoary bats than expected, a Maui wind farm is asking the state to increase the amount of endangered bats and nene it’s allowed to incidentally kill.
Led by researchers at Austin, Texas-based Bat Conservation International, the paper estimates that if new mitigation measures to prevent bats from colliding with spinning turbine blades are not quickly implemented, "the hoary bat population could decline by as much as 90 percent in the next 50 years."
A Maui wind farm wants the government to increase the number of endangered Hawaiian hoary bats it is allowed to kill, after passing the limit 15 years ahead of schedule. SunEdison Inc., owner of the 21-megawatt wind facility called Kaheawa Wind Power II, requested to increase the amount of hoary bats the facility is allowed to kill to 62 from 11 bats over its 20-year project with the Department of Land and Natural Resources. DLNR proposed to approve the increase in a bulletin called the Environment Notice from the Office of Environmental Quality Control released Thursday. “The proposed action would result in benefits at the local and state level by producing clean, renewable energy in line with Hawaii’s clean-energy goals,” DLNR said in the notice. “Effects to the Hawaiian hoary bat and nene would be offset by funding research, restoration, or land acquisition to mitigate for the take of each species. Based on the mitigation efforts, no adverse impacts to either species is anticipated.”
Wind turbine collisions and the deadly bat disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) can together intensify the decline of endangered Indiana bat populations in the midwestern United States, according to a recently published U.S. Geological Survey study.
“We don’t think the mitigation measure and adaptive measurements have met the standards of the law,” Phillips said. “Specifically with the Hawaiian hoary bat, we don’t really know how many bats there are. … Even at those numbers, if it’s only a couple hundred and if they are killing over 50 bats, that is a huge impact to the species’ base line.”
A wind turbine company will have a chance to prove its eight-turbine project won’t negatively impact the local population of the little brown bat.
Black Swamp Executive Director Kim Kaufman and ABC's Michael Hutchins, director of the conservancy's Bird-Smart Wind Energy Campaign, said they support clean, renewable sources of energy such as wind power. But they maintain that "the Great Lakes are not a good place for large-scale, commercial wind energy projects," particularly in a region designated as a Globally Important Bird Area.
Wind farms have a long-documented history of killing hundreds of thousands of birds and bats each year. As it turns out, the bat toll may be higher than previously estimated.
Jefferson County Planning Board member Clifford P. Schneider claimed that Apex Clean Energy failed to address the potential number of birds and bats that could die from colliding with their turbines’ blades and rotors for its proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm. He requested that the developer should conduct a radar study in 2017 to determine that statistic.
Hutchins said studies conducted on bird collisions with aircraft provide insight to wind energy projects. What they find is that birds can see objects coming at them, but they don’t get the same chance to react with turbine blades turning during high winds at up to 175 miles per hour.
A recent study of 183 DTE Energy wind turbines found that bird and bat deaths per megawatt is just above average compared to other wind parks in the Midwest.
The Environmental Review Tribunal has stalled a wind turbine project, ruling it would cause harm to both human health and the environment.
The danger wind turbines pose to birds is well known. Less appreciated is that hundreds of thousands of bats are also dying.
CLC and Union Neighbors challenged the agency's refusal to consider the higher cut-in speed proposal. The Circuit Court ruled in favor of CLC, stating that "[FWS] failed to comply with its NEPA obligations when it failed to consider an economically feasible alternative that would take fewer bats than Buckeye’s proposal."
“We conclude the (wildlife) service failed to comply with its NEPA obligations when it failed to consider an economically feasible alternative that would take fewer bats than Buckeye’s proposal, and we reverse the district court on that point,” [Circuit Judge Robert L.] Wilkins stated.
A U.S. Appeals Court ruling provided mixed results for a proposed wind farm in Champaign County. ...The court ruled that the federal agency used the correct standard to show Everpower minimized the impact but failed to consider other alternatives that would have led to fewer bats killed.
"The Service knew, at a minimum, that Buckeye claimed a full nighttime option was not economically viable, and it was aware of other, more viable measures that would still take fewer bats than Buckeye's proposal - Union Neighbors repeatedly suggested using a cut-in speed higher than 6.0 m/s," Judge Robert Wilkins said, writing for the three-judge panel. "Yet the Service failed to consider any higher cut-in speed in either the draft or final [environmental impact statement]."
Wind turbines are killing bats, including ones on the endangered species list, at nearly double the rate set as acceptable by the Ontario government, the latest monitoring report indicates. Bats are being killed in Ontario at the rate of 18.5 per turbine, resulting in an estimated 42,656 bat fatalities in Ontario between May 1 and October 31, 2015.
A research review published in January of this year found that wind turbines are, by far, the largest cause of mass bat mortality around the world. White-nose syndrome, the deadly fungal disease that has decimated bat populations throughout the northeastern U.S., came in second.