Library filed under Impact on Bats from Pennsylvania
Bat and Wind Energy Cooperative commissioned a two-year study [of] randomly selected 10 turbines in the areas and fitted them with bat deterrent devices-"an acoustic device," Hein says, "that would generate a noise that would disrupt a bat's ability to locate the turban plate"-to see if it made a difference.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in a letter to a law firm representing a number of the region's conservation groups, says it will take a second look at the proposed Shaffer Mountain project in light of the bat found at the North Allegheny Windpower Project.
A coalition of conservation groups is threatening to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for issuing an opinion allowing a proposed wind turbine facility on ecologically sensitive Shaffer Mountain to mitigate damage it would do to a maternity colony of endangered Indiana bats.
This letter of intent to sue was filed with the Department of the Interior and the US Army Corps in reference to a proposed wind energy facility to be built on Shaffer Mountain in Penmsylvania. Excerpts of the letter appear below. The complete letter and supporting testimony can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
The bat was discovered during volunteer daily monitoring of the farm on Sept. 26, and Duke immediately brought in an Indiana bat expert for confirmation, Efthimiou said. "We have not operated at night since the confirmation of the bat," he said of the span beginning before dusk and ending after dawn.
The 420 wind turbines now in use across Pennsylvania killed more than 10,000 bats last year -- mostly in the late summer months, according to the state Game Commission. That's an average of 25 bats per turbine per year, and the Nature Conservancy predicts as many as 2,900 turbines will be set up across the state by 2030. This is a bad time to be a bat.
Testing at wind energy sites throughout the state shows approximately 25 bats and four birds killed every year at each of the state's 420 active turbines ...That puts the estimated kills through June 2010 at some 10,500 bats and 1,680 birds.
Shelton says Delmarva is seeking approval to move the project to the Chestnut Flats site in Pennsylvania's Blair County, where an agreement has been reached that should prevent litigation over bats.
In the study, scientists raised cut-in speeds on 12 out of 23 turbines at Iberdrola's 34.5MW Casselman Wind Project in Pennsylvania. ...Ed Arnett of BWEC and Bat Conservation International said that if the curtailment were applied to the entire farm, it would result in a 0.3% loss in annual output using the 5 m/s cut-in speed.
There are plans moving forward rapidly by PPL Renewable Energy LLC, Allentown, and the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority to construct and operate two gigantic utility-scale wind turbines on top of Turkey Hill in Manor Township. ...Regretfully, there are significant wildlife and environmental problems associated with the proposed Frey Farm Landfill Wind Energy Project. To begin, common sense should dictate that plans are inappropriate to construct two gigantic wind turbines in the middle of such an exceptionally bird-rich location.
White-nose snydrome has the potential to devastate bats, which also are dying from impacts with wind turbines, Whidden said Feb. 25 during a lecture at Penn State Hazleton. Even before the new threats appeared to the nine species of bats regularly seen in Pennsylvania, one of them, the Indiana bat, was on the federal endangered species list, and that state listed the small-footed bat as threatened.
Turbines already are taking a heavy toll in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Game Commission released a report last spring showing the death rate is highest for bats, which additionally face being wiped out by a mysterious phenomenon called "white-nose syndrome." The evidence has mounted since studies in 2004 showed 1,500 to 4,000 bats annually were killed by the 44 turbines on West Virginia's Backbone Mountain.
Although the zoning board now has ruled to approve a portion of the proposed wind turbines, recent action by the board of county commissioners would allow a wind power project to start without going before the zoning board. Earlier this month, Commissioners Vincent Zapotosky and Vincent A. Vicites voted to change the zoning ordinance to allow wind turbines as a permitted use in A-1, M-1 light industrial and M-2 heavy industrial zones. Previously, wind turbines were only permitted after obtaining a special exception from the zoning board.
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.
While planning to harvest the wind, the Hazleton City Authority wants to protect bats. The threat to bats will be weighed as the authority continues planning for a wind turbine that could provide electricity to its water treatment plant on Route 424. "There are rare species of bats in the area. There has been some concern with wind projects and bats across the country," Jay Carlis, marketing director for a company developing the wind turbine, said.
Birds are not being harmed by turbines though some bat populations are being affected, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and wind-energy companies indicate in their first annual report. It's too soon to draw any conclusions, said Tracey Librandi Mumma, a state wildlife biologist and wind energy project coordinator who worked on the study. ..."Oh my gosh, migratory bats are being killed in great numbers," Mumma said, recalling her initial reaction. ...Veterinarian Dr. Jeffrey Payne of Berlin is skeptical of large-scale wind farms and fears they will have a detrimental impact on wildlife and habitat. And while he appreciates that studies are being done, he's not satisfied that they are reporting the full depth of the situation.
Three environmental groups said Wednesday afternoon that they have obtained federal government records that show that the proposed site of the Shaffer Mountain Wind Project outside Ogletown is indisputably occupied habitat of the endangered Indiana bat, and that habitat used by the species already has been illegally destroyed.
A way to reduce the high number of deaths of migratory bats at wind turbine sites may lie in a groundbreaking study at Iberdrola Renewables' Casselman Wind Power Project in Somerset County. During the study, conducted at the 23-turbine project from late July to early October, selected wind turbines were stopped during low wind conditions to determine whether shutting down the big blades during low power production periods would reduce bat deaths while having a minimal impact on power generation. ..."The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is concerned that several species of bats, including potentially endangered bats, are killed each year by wind turbines," said Alex Hoar, the service's northeast coordinator for review of wind power projects.
In a first-of-its-kind study, the owners of a Somerset County wind farm and an independent conservation group are joining forces to study the effects of turbines on bats. Bat Conservation International is conducting a controlled experiment in which select turbines at Iberdrola Renewables' Casselman Wind Power Project were shut down during certain wind conditions from July through earlier this month. It is the first study in the country to look at the impact of temporarily stopping the turbines on reducing bat deaths.
A Northumberland County firm has backed off a plan to build wind turbines on South Mountain in eastern Lebanon County. ...But birds and bats got in the way of the plans, said Justin R. Dunkelberger, chief executive for Penn Wind. He explained that the South Mountain site is part of a bird-migration path and is also frequented by bats. "As a wind developer, we have to be concerned with birds and bats," Dunkelberger said. "We want to be responsible developers."