wind turbines bird kills

USING RADAR TO CONTROL WIND TURBINES AND REDUCE BIRD KILLS: DOES IT WORK?



By Serena Scaglione and Miriam Raftery

April 22, 2012 (Ocotillo)-One of the major criticisms of wind energy facilities is the deadly impact of the fast-whirling blades on birds.  Most notoriously, thousands of golden eagles have been killed at the Altamont wind farm; however significant numbers of bird deaths have occurred at many other wind facilities.

Now, wind farm developers are touting radar systems similar to those used by the U.S. Air Force and NASA.  In aviation, the technology detects large flocks of incoming birds and is sold to avoid bird collisions with aircraft.  At wind facilities, avian radar in theory offers the potential reduce bird kills by shutting off turbines before birds reach the blades. 

Just how effective these systems are at wind facilities, however, remains debatable.


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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE “TAKE” PERMITS FOR EAGLE KILLS BY WIND ENERGY COMPANIES

By Megan McGlamery

Concerns are growing across the nation over the number of birds, particularly eagles, that are losing their lives. Now, as the number of wind energy projects grows, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing to issue “take” permits that will make it legal for wind energy companies to kill eagles with no consequences.

The move comes as San Diego County Supervisors are poised to consider a wind energy project for East County as well as a proposed wind ordinance that would make it easier for industrial-scale wind projects to be built here.


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