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Iberdrola Renewables bat study shows more than 70 percent reduction in bat mortality at wind energy facilities

The first year of a ground-breaking effort to study the interaction between bats and wind turbines at the Casselman Wind Power Project shows that turning off the turbines during low wind periods reduced bat mortality by more than 70 percent. Iberdrola Renewables, the owner of the Casselman wind farm, partnered with independent conservation group, Bat Conservation International (BCI), for wildlife data collection at the southwestern Pennsylvania wind power project.

GARRETT, Pa.-- The first year of a ground-breaking effort to study the interaction between bats and wind turbines at the Casselman Wind Power Project shows that turning off the turbines during low wind periods reduced bat mortality by more than 70 percent.

Iberdrola Renewables, the owner of the Casselman wind farm, partnered with independent conservation group, Bat Conservation International (BCI), for wildlife data collection at the southwestern Pennsylvania wind power project.

BCI's work is being conducted through the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC - www.batsandwind.org), which is a coalition of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and BCI. The cooperative's work focuses on identifying and addressing potential wind energy impacts on bats.

From late July to mid-October 2008, Iberdrola Renewables, working with BCI researchers, conducted a controlled experiment in which selected wind turbines at the Casselman project were stopped during relatively low wind-speed nights in the late summer and early fall. This represents the first U.S.-based effort reporting the effects of shutting down... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

GARRETT, Pa.-- The first year of a ground-breaking effort to study the interaction between bats and wind turbines at the Casselman Wind Power Project shows that turning off the turbines during low wind periods reduced bat mortality by more than 70 percent.

Iberdrola Renewables, the owner of the Casselman wind farm, partnered with independent conservation group, Bat Conservation International (BCI), for wildlife data collection at the southwestern Pennsylvania wind power project.

BCI's work is being conducted through the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC - www.batsandwind.org), which is a coalition of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and BCI. The cooperative's work focuses on identifying and addressing potential wind energy impacts on bats.

From late July to mid-October 2008, Iberdrola Renewables, working with BCI researchers, conducted a controlled experiment in which selected wind turbines at the Casselman project were stopped during relatively low wind-speed nights in the late summer and early fall. This represents the first U.S.-based effort reporting the effects of shutting down turbines on reducing bat deaths.

"Shutting down turbines at certain wind speeds during periods when bats appear most vulnerable at this Northeastern US wind farm may have the potential to be a cost-effective way to reduce the impact on bats during their late summer migration season," said Andy Linehan, wind permitting director for Iberdrola Renewables. "As responsible stewards of natural resources, Iberdrola Renewables looks forward to a second year of the study to confirm what appears to be very good results with modest generation lost."

Although it was crucial for this study, curtailing turbine operations is not likely to be the complete solution to reducing the impact on bats in all circumstances or locations, but it may be a practical solution at some northeastern US sites where elevated bat mortality has been a concern, company officials said. This study is one of a series of collaborations with BWEC at five Iberdrola Renewables sites.

The results of the 2008 Casselman study were reviewed by BWEC's scientific advisory committee before being made public.

Dr. Ed Arnett, conservation scientist at Bat Conservation International and program coordinator for the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, led a team of scientists that tested increasing the minimum wind speed necessary for turbines to begin spinning and producing electricity into the power grid. "We hypothesized that bat fatalities could be lowered substantially by reducing the amount of turbine operating hours during low wind periods when bats are most active. We found that bat kills were reduced from 53 to 87 percent on any given night at turbines that were partially curtailed during low wind nights compared to those that were fully operational," said Arnett.

The Casselman study has wider implications for the wind energy industry as a whole.

Iberdrola Renewables is the world's leading provider of wind power with 9,642 megawatts in operation as of March 31, 2009. The complete study can be seen at www.iberdrolarenewables.us/pdfs/bat-study-090512.


Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/ne...

MAY 12 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20267-iberdrola-renewables-bat-study-shows-more-than-70-percent-reduction-in-bat-mortality-at-wind-energy-facilities
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