Here is an real video of a bird collision with a wind turbine. The video is not edited and is graphic, so please be advised.
Fears that plans for a community-owned wind farm will destroy ”the whole fabric” of a Black Isle forest have been expressed by a leading local ornithologist.
Black Isle Community Energy (BICE) wants to build three wind turbines on land owned by Forestry Commission Scotland at Millbuie Forest near Mount High.
Brian Etheridge, a Black Isle resident, is concerned about the serious risks posed to rare and threatened species.
“I am opposed to the proposed windfarm from an ornithological point of view,” he said.
“I have been monitoring breeding red kites and ospreys in the forest for the past 20 years while employed by RSPB. The two chosen locations for the turbines are in close proximity to known traditional nesting sites and pose a direct risk to the movement of adult birds of prey of conservation value as well as the relic population of Capercaillie.”
A Portland, Oregon–based wind-farm company, the second to be sentenced to fines for killing hundreds of protected birds in Wyoming with its turbines, will pay $2.5 million in fines, restitution and community service.
PacifiCorp subsidiary PacifiCorp Energy pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming on December 19 to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act at two wind projects, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said. Among the dead were 38 golden eagles, and the carcasses—besides the eagles, there were 336 other protected birds—were stashed at the company’s Seven Mile Hill and Glenrock/Rolling Hills wind projects, the justice department said.
Besides the payments, the company has been put on probation for five years, the justice department said in a statement. During that time PacifiCorp Energy must put an environmental compliance plan in place to prevent bird deaths at its four commercial wind projects in Wyoming. In addition, PacifiCorp Energy must apply for Eagle Take Permits that both allow for unavoidable bird deaths and “provide a framework for minimizing and mitigating the deaths of golden eagles at the wind projects,” the DOJ said.
In addition to the golden eagles, hawks, blackbirds, larks, wrens and sparrows had perished in one of the 237 large wind turbines at the two Wyoming facilities between 2009 and 2014, the DOJ said.
Developed by the French company NewWind, these “Wind Trees” are about the size and shape of real trees – standing at 11 meters (36 feet) tall and 8 meters (26 feet) in diameter – each sprouting 72 artificial leaves, Geek.com reports. Scientists hope the unique design, which tries to make these towering turbines blend in with nature, can help avoid public opposition to these eyesores.
The Wind Tree may be tall, but they each have very little mass, making it so that they can generate power with a gentle breeze as slow as two meters per second (4.4 mph). Total power output across all 72 turbines is estimated at 3.1 kW. Although larger, traditional turbines can produce considerably more power, they need more wind to get going and thus operate fewer days of the year. But in the case of Wind Tree, it can be operational for 280 days each year on average.
A lawsuit filed by local residents to stop development of a wind turbine farm on Turkey Heaven Mountain in Cleburne County last week moved to federal court.
The lawsuit, filed on June 2, had dismissed all the defendants but Oklahoma-based Nations Energy Solutions and Terra-Gen Power from Delaware, so the defendants asked that the case be transferred to federal court.
Anniston attorney Christopher Hopkins, who represents the defendants, filed the notice of the move to federal court Dec. 4.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Hopkins asked to be contacted by email, but had not responded to emails by Wednesday afternoon.
Chad Hopper, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the case was eligible to move because the plaintiffs and the defendants are from different states.
Asked if there was an advantage to moving it to federal court, Hopper said, “That’s a good question. The defendants obviously think so.”
He said the case will probably be heard in Birmingham by a federal judge and will be ruled on under federal law. However the issues are still the same, Hopper said.
The bat population has started to disappear and scientists want to know why. At least 90 percent of the Northeast species havebeen dying out, largely due to a fungus that attacks bats who hang out in caves. The fungus is called white-nose syndrome. The growing fungus is not the only reason bats are disappearing.
Recently, many bats have been found dead under wind turbines. Geological studies in Indiana used cameras to monitor wind turbines for months. The surveillance showed that birds who migrated at night avoided the turbines, but bats flew towards them. There is some speculation that bats are attracted to them because they resemble trees with gusting winds blowing through, which means there are insects to be eaten. Gusts of wind create movement in the turbine’s blades and it starts spinning unexpectedly.
The number of bat deaths by turbine has been increasing over the years and are nearing hundreds of thousands. This is a huge hit to the ecosystem because although the winged mammals can live long lives, they take a long time to reproduce. A spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service, Meagan Racey, said recently that we need to know more about these animals and what is causing a decline in their numbers.
The barn owl has done what no anti-wind turbine protester in Port Ryerse has been able to do to date: halt construction of a green energy project in their village.
A woman walking her dog this summer spotted one of the birds — they are on the endangered species list in Ontario — flying into a barn.
An investigation ensued, photographs of the owl perched on a woodpile were taken, and the sighting was confirmed. The evidence was then presented to an environmental review tribunal hearing, which last week slapped a five-month moratorium on the project.
Boralex, the company that wants to construct a four-turbine 10-megawatt wind farm next to Lake Erie, must now apply to the Ontario government for what’s known as an “overall benefit permit” if it wants to continue with the project.
It must submit an amended plan showing how the wind farm will avoid having a negative impact on the owls and that it has explored alternative sites. It must also show it will do something to help the birds, such as creating new habitat.
The tribunal hearing has been adjourned until March 31.
The Port Ryerse case is the first time a project in Ontario has been ordered back to the drawing board due to the presence of barn owls.
As a result, “there are a number of unknowns right now that will take some work and some time to bring to a conclusion,” Sylvia Davis, legal counsel for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, wrote in an email to the parties to the hearing.
Bats are in double trouble: Bat species that migrate long distances are being killed in wind turbines, while White-nose syndrome is devastating bat species that migrate shorter distances. Meanwhile, homeowners routinely kill bats when they find them in their houses. But we need bats (just not in our attics!), so safe and humane removal can be done via a “bat exclusion.” That’s the focus of the Halloween installment of WEMU’s “The Green Room”.
Barbara Lucas: I’m at the 13th Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival at Washtenaw Community College. Attending is the Kimball family of Chelsea. They recently moved into an old farmhouse which they share with a small colony of Big Brown bats. Here’s Gabe Kimball, on why he likes them:
Gabe: For one, they are so cool to look at! Also we have a lot a lot less mosquitoes than in the city even. We call it farm TV when we watch the bats leave.
Lucas: Also at the festival is Rob Mies, Executive Director of the Organization for Bat Conservation. He offers to teach the Kimballs the key steps to a bat exclusion, evicting bats without killing them. On the way to the Kimball farmhouse, he tells me why we should fear a world without bats.