Library filed under Impact on Birds from Minnesota

Sibley Wind project permits to be pulled

“We respectfully request our permit for the Sibley Wind Project be canceled while we work out a solution that will meet everyone's requirements relating to avian studies on the project,” wrote Steve Estes, president of Star Distributed Energy, in a letter to the state Public Utilities Commission. Star controls Sibley Wind Substation LLC, the project developer.
3 Aug 2016

Eagle nest puts brakes on Xcel Energy wind turbines

Flowers noted the turbines will remain inactive throughout the summer while the flight pattern of the eagles continues to be monitored by the state. However, it's possible to curtail more turbines if necessary. Xcel won't know for sure until the fledglings leave the nest, possibly around late October, and if the eagles choose to continue returning to the nest. Around that time, the company may apply for a permit to remove or relocate the nest — known as an Eagle Take Permit — but as of now, it's a waiting game.
16 May 2016

Threat to eagles shut down 3

In addition to idling the turbines closest to the nest through the summer, Xcel Energy plans to pursue a federal Eagle Take Permit that would protect the utility from liability in the event of an eagle death, according to an April 14 letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
12 May 2016

Opponents hope to stop MN wind farm on wings of eagles

“The fact is that thousands of birds use the specific area where turbines are proposed as a migratory stopover before they move into either the Mississippi River flyway or the Atlantic flyway,” said Barb Wenninger, a Cornish Township resident and longtime opponent of the project. “…I  think it is important to have accurate information on avian use before we are faced with the law of unintended consequences.
2 May 2014

Eagles win reprieve as Minnesota PUC delays wind farm decision

PUC chair Beverly Heydinger listed several hurdles. It's not clear whether the project's new ownership changes its status as a community-based energy development ...New Era's contract with Xcel Energy to purchase power is in question, as is its construction timeline. Nor is it clear that it can build the project and abide by restrictions to protect eagles that could be required by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
1 Mar 2013

Bald Eagle Annual Deaths As High As 14

United States Fish and Wildlife Service predicts that between 8 and 14 American bald eagles could be killed annually if New Era Wind Farm is built as currently designed. The outcome of USFWS's eagle mortality models are dramatically higher than one eagle every-other-year as predicted by New Era's consultant Westwood Professional Services.
16 Jan 2013

Wind farm tensions flare over eagle study

To date, there are only five known instances in North America of bald eagles killed by wind turbines, said Rich Davis, a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who has been monitoring the project for two years. But the Goodhue project is the first to be constructed in an area widely used by both bald and golden eagles for nesting and migrating, he said.
17 Dec 2011

Bird counters map migration patterns to aid plans for wind turbines

Energy advocates are eyeing wind turbines to create electricity along the North Shore. Bird researchers are studying where the migrating birds fly most often. Once they know, they can advise the energy people on areas to avoid. ..."We know we have a globally significant raptor migration route here that [wind turbines] could have a serious impact on if not done correctly,'' Niemi said. "But we also have these hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of passerines [small birds] that come through here at pretty much the same time that most people don't even know about. We have to look out for them, too.''
30 Aug 2009

Bird debate follows turbine plans

During a tour last month of Carleton College's 1.65 megawatt turbine in Northfield, Minn., project director Rob Lampa told a group of about 30 Winona County residents that the college had found no evidence of bird or bat kills in the first year of operating the 230-foot turbine ... As the group was leaving, Winona resident Marijo Reinhard pulled County Commissioner Dwayne Voegeli aside. "Look," she said, pointing at the ground, where she had spotted a small, brown bat dead on the gravel; A few feet away, she spotted another, also dead.
23 Oct 2005
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