Builders of proposed wind farm drop plans(Near Everglades)
By Andy Reid, Sun Sentinel7:26 p.m. EST, November 26, 2013
Developers of a disputed energy-producing wind farm have dropped their plans to build 500-foot-tall turbines on the edge of the Everglades, a project representative confirmed Tuesday.
Environmental groups long opposed allowing the Sugarland Wind project to be built on western Palm Beach County farmland. Opponents argued that its towering, whirling blades posed too great a risk to endangered wood storks, Everglades snail kites and other migrating birds.
Despite the risk to birds, the Palm Beach CountyCommission last year allowed the Sugarland Wind proposal to move forward. And this month the Florida Department of Environmental Protection approved a state environmental permit that the wind farm needed for construction.
But with federal regulators were still reviewing the Sugarland Wind proposal, representatives for the Wind Capital Group — the company proposing the wind farm — this week notified the state that they no longer planned to proceed.
"They are no longer pursuing the Sugarland Wind project," Geoff West, the former environmental manager for the project, said Tuesday. "It's sad to see."
West said "market issues" and changes to state law favoring other forms of renewable energy stopped the project, not the bird concerns.
"The environmental issues you can work around," West said. Audubon of Florida and the Sierra Club were among the environmental groups that opposed the Sugarland Wind project, saying its proposed location was too risky for birds drawn to the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee.
"Alternative energy is critical for our future needs, but it must be in the right place. This large-scale project would have posed unreasonable risks to our treasured wildlife," said Jane Graham, Audubon's Everglades policy associate.
The photograph, taken at BrightSource Energy's Ivanpah plant in east San Bernardino County, has raised the stakes for a similar project in Riverside County. Months from final state and federal approvals, the Palen solar thermal power system could put two 750-foot-tall solar towers and thousands of reflecting mirrors near two of the region's key wildlife refuges and stopping points for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway.
The project is roughly 50 miles from both the Salton Sea to the southwest and the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona to the southeast.
"A migrating bird has to be in top form, having the flight feathers in really good shape," said ornithology collections manager Kimball L. Garrett of the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles County, who has not seen the picture from Ivanpah but has been concerned about bird deaths at large solar projects.
"If some of its flight feathers are damaged, what does that mean for the rest of the bird's migration?" he said. "It weakens feathers. These are things people don't study because — how can you?"
Trying to estimate how many birds could be injured or killed because of large-scale solar projects and what might be done to prevent deaths has become a pressing concern for solar developers and environmental agencies as these projects multiply. Developers hope to have the Palen project online in 2016.
Of 34 birds reported dead or injured at Ivanpah in September, 15 had melted feathers. Dozens of other bird carcasses, not singed but with critical injuries, have been found in recent months at two solar projects about to go online on public land between Joshua Tree National Park and Blythe, Calif., a town of 20,800 on Interstate 10 near the Arizona border.
Last month, 19 birds, 16 of them water fowl or marsh birds, were found dead at Desert Sunlight, a 550-megawatt photovoltaic plant about 50 miles east of Indio, Calif. The carcass of a Yuma clapper rail, a federally endangered, medium-sized marsh bird, was found at the project in May.
Environmentalists aired their concerns about potential bird deaths at Palen at a recent public hearing on the project, and days later, state officials issued a call for more information on how to minimize chances of birds being singed or burned. A key question the California Energy Commission raised in a Nov. 1 memorandum was how to measure when bird deaths might be excessive enough to consider a temporary shutdown of a plant.
BrightSource, federal, state and local agencies, and environmental and tribal groups are invited, but not required, to provide answers to the commission's questions as part of legal briefs typically submitted during a permitting process for large solar plants.
The problem is the intense radiation — called solar flux — from the project's 170,000 reflecting mirrors that will surround two 750-foot-tall towers that would become the tallest structures in Riverside County.Sunlight from the mirrors will superheat liquid in boilers at the top of the towers, creating steam that in turn will power a turbine.
Pacific Gas & Electric has contracts with BrightSource to buy the electricity from the plant, which could power up to 200,000 homes.
BrightSource declined to comment for this story, and company representatives consistently have avoided discussing bird mortality.
Before a public hearing, the company submitted a presentation on possible methods for scaring birds away. Barking dogs or trained falcons might be effective, depending on the species, but the methods need more research, the report said. Radio-controlled airplanes or water-cannon or shotgun blasts also might prove effective, but only with sustained onsite monitoring. Fake owls might prevent mortality, but only until the birds get used to the statues.
Experts are dubious about most of those methods.
"Owls won't work, barking dogs, cannons making a series of booms — birds tend to habituate to those things," said Robert McKernan, director of the San Bernardino County Museum, who in the 1980s did some of the first studies on bird deaths at an early solar tower project.
"You've got to look at the relative width of that envelope that's off the tower," he said, referring to the solar flux coming off the mirrors that will surround the towers in concentric circles, spreading out over the project's 3,800-acre footprint.
At the same time, both McKernan and Garrett said the bird deaths at solar projects need to be seen in the larger context of mortality rates for migratory birds in general, which are already high from natural and other man-made causes. Millions of birds die yearly flying into windows and buildings.
"A few golden eagles killed by wind turbines is significant — they are large, long-lived birds that don't have high reproduction rates — whereas a dozen mallards or ruddy ducks probably on a population level is pretty insignificant," Garrett said. "The problem is gauging cumulative impacts."
Many migratory bird species are now in decline because of climate change, drought and habitat loss, McKernan said.
The Riverside East solar zone, as the public land between Joshua Tree and Blythe has been designated, is a solar-industrial corridor along I-10 that federal officials once envisioned would have up to 80% of its 148,000 acres in panels or mirrors.
Today, that seems unlikely. Industry trends are toward smaller solar projects and the U.S. Department of Energy's loan-guarantee program has ended. Still, the region could see a significant number of projects.
The first phase of Genesis, a 250-megawatt solar thermal project, using large parabolic troughs instead of solar towers, is scheduled to go online by the end of the year, as will Desert Sunlight, which Next Era Energy owns with GE Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Corp. of America. The 750-megawatt photovoltaic McCoy project is approved, and its first 250 megawatts are likely to begin construction next year, company officials said.
If approved, Palen would be the second solar tower project in the region. Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve also expects to break ground on a 150-megawatt project. Two other photovoltaic projects also are earlier along in the pipeline.
Predicting the number of birds at risk if all the projects were to go online is impossible, said Eric Davis, assistant regional director for migratory birds and state programs at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"Bird migration studies have to wait for bird migrations," he said. "It's not like we're going to have the answers in two weeks. This is going to be months and years of trying to better understand the problem and then make better management decisions as we gain more scientific understanding."
Along with radiation injuries, scientists are concerned about bird deaths linked to confusion because of the shimmering expanses of solar panels in the desert. At photovoltaic projects such as Desert Sunlight, dark, flat solar panels are spread out over hundreds of acres in what may look like a big lake to migrating birds flying overhead.
Water or shore birds attempting to land on the panels either could hit them with enough force to injure themselves or, stranded on dry land, be unable to take off again.
Autopsies have shown the cause of death for many birds at Desert Sunlight has been blunt force trauma when the animals collide with panels mistaken for water, Davis said.
"With power towers, it's different," he said, referring to Ivanpah. "The solar flux has singed some birds. The heat has denatured the protein in their feathers, and they can't fly."
First Solar, the Arizona company building Desert Sunlight, has downplayed the possibility that the panels draw the birds. More than 60% of carcasses on the site have been found away from panels, said Steve Krum, director of global communications.
The quote from below sums it up well " at the present time, no post-construction remedies, except “curtailment” (i.e., shut-down), have been developed that can “render safe” a wind turbine placed in a location of high avian collision risk"
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 22, 2013
Utility Company Sentenced in Wyoming for Killing Protected Birds at Wind Projects
Duke Energy Renewables Inc., a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming today to violating the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) in connection with the deaths of protected birds, including golden eagles, at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. This case represents the first ever criminal enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unpermitted avian takings at wind projects.
Under a plea agreement with the government, the company was sentenced to pay fines, restitution and community service totaling $1 million and was placed on probation for five years, during which it must implement an environmental compliance plan aimed at preventing bird deaths at the company’s four commercial wind projects in the state. The company is also required to apply for an Eagle Take Permit which, if granted, will provide a framework for minimizing and mitigating the deaths of golden eagles at the wind projects.
The charges stem from the discovery of 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds, including hawks, blackbirds, larks, wrens and sparrows by the company at its “Campbell Hill” and “Top of the World” wind projects in Converse County between 2009 and 2013. The two wind projects are comprised of 176 large wind turbines sited on private agricultural land.
According to the charges and other information presented in court, Duke Energy Renewables Inc. failed to make all reasonable efforts to build the projects in a way that would avoid the risk of avian deaths by collision with turbine blades, despite prior warnings about this issue from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). However, the company cooperated with the USFWS investigation and has already implemented measures aimed at minimizing avian deaths at the sites.
“This case represents the first criminal conviction under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for unlawful avian takings at wind projects,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. “In this plea agreement, Duke Energy Renewables acknowledges that it constructed these wind projects in a manner it knew beforehand would likely result in avian deaths. To its credit, once the projects came on line and began causing avian deaths, Duke took steps to minimize the hazard, and with this plea agreement has committed to an extensive compliance plan to minimize bird deaths at its Wyoming facilities and to devote resources to eagle preservation and rehabilitation efforts.”
“The Service works cooperatively with companies that make all reasonable efforts to avoid killing migratory birds during design, construction and operation of industrial facilities,” said William Woody, Assistant Director for Law Enforcement of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “But we will continue to investigate and refer for prosecution cases in which companies - in any sector, including the wind industry - fail to comply with the laws that protect the public’s wildlife resources.”
More than 1,000 species of birds, including bald and golden eagles, are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The MBTA, enacted in 1918, implements this country’s commitments under avian protection treaties with Great Britain (for Canada), Mexico, Japan and Russia. The MBTA provides a misdemeanor criminal sanction for the unpermitted taking of a listed species by any means and in any manner, regardless of fault. The maximum penalty for an unpermitted corporate taking under the MBTA is $15,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offense, and five years’ probation.
According to papers filed with the court, commercial wind power projects can cause the deaths of federally protected birds in four primary ways: collision with wind turbines, collision with associated meteorological towers, collision with, or electrocution by, associated electrical power facilities, and nest abandonment or behavior avoidance from habitat modification. Collision and electrocution risks from power lines (collisions and electrocutions) and guyed structures (collision) have been known to the utility and communication industries for decades, and specific methods of minimizing and avoiding the risks have been developed, in conjunction with the USFWS. The USFWS issued its first interim guidance about how wind project developers could avoid impacts to wildlife from wind turbines in 2003, and replaced these with a “tiered” approach outlined in the Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines (2012 LBWEGs), developed with the wind industry starting in 2007 and released in final form by the USFWS on March 23, 2012. The Service also released Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance in April 2013 and strongly recommends that companies planning or operating wind power facilities in areas where eagles occur work with the agency to implement that guidance completely.
For wind projects, due diligence during the pre-construction stage—as described in the 2003 Interim Guidelines and tiers I through III in the 2012 LBWEGs—by surveying the wildlife present in the proposed project area, consulting with agency professionals, determining whether the risk to wildlife is too high to justify proceeding and, if not, carefully siting turbines so as to avoid and minimize the risk as much as possible, is critically important because, unlike electric distribution equipment and guyed towers, at the present time, no post-construction remedies, except “curtailment” (i.e., shut-down), have been developed that can “render safe” a wind turbine placed in a location of high avian collision risk. Other experimental measures to reduce prey, detect and deter avian proximity to turbines are being tested. In the western United States, golden eagles may be particularly susceptible to wind turbine blade collision by wind power facilities constructed in areas of high eagle use.
The $400,000 fine imposed in the case will be directed to the federally-administered North American Wetlands Conservation Fund. The company will also pay $100,000 in restitution to the State of Wyoming, and perform community service by making a $160,000 payment to the congressionally-chartered National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, designated for projects aimed at preserving golden eagles and increasing the understanding of ways to minimize and monitor interactions between eagles and commercial wind power facilities, as well as enhance eagle rehabilitation and conservation efforts in Wyoming. Duke Energy Renewables is also required to contribute $340,000 to a conservation fund for the purchase of land, or conservation easements on land, in Wyoming containing high-use golden eagle habitat, which will be preserved and managed for the benefit of that species. The company must implement a migratory bird compliance plan containing specific measures to avoid and minimize golden eagle and other avian wildlife mortalities at company’s four commercial wind projects in Wyoming.
According to papers filed with the court, Duke Energy Renewables will spend approximately $600,000 per year implementing the compliance plan. Within 24 months, the company must also apply to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a Programmatic Eagle Take Permit at each of the two wind projects cited in the case.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and prosecuted by Senior Counsel Robert S. Anderson of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Conder of the District of Wyoming.
Wind turbines blamed in death of estimated 600,000 bats in 2012
BOULDER, Colo., Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Wind turbines killed at least 600,000 -- and possibly as many as 900,000 -- bats in the United States in 2012, researchers say.
Writing in the journal BioScience, the researchers said they used sophisticated statistical techniques to infer the probable number of bat deaths at wind energy facilities from the number of dead bats found at 21 locations.
Bats, which play an important role in the ecosystem as insect-eaters, are killed at wind turbines not only by collisions with moving turbine blades but also by the trauma resulting from sudden changes in air pressure that occur near a fast-moving blade, the study said.
Study author Mark Hayes of the University of Colorado notes that 600,000 is a conservative estimate -- the true number could be 50 percent higher than that -- and some areas of the country might experience much higher bat fatality rates at wind energy facilities than others.
Hayes said the Appalachian Mountains have the highest estimated fatality rates in his analysis.
SPEAK OUT on Wind Turbines! The State of Massachusetts is asking for you opinion on wind turbine siting! Please send this to anyone anywhere with an opinion or experience with wind turbines. Also send us a copy at email@example.com so we can publish it. DEADLINE for the state is Dec. 6 2013....so act now! SAVEOURSEASHORE
NOTICE OF VOTE AND ORDER OPENING INVESTIGATION
D.P.U. 13-165 October 31, 2013
Investigation by the Department of Public Utilities on its own Motion into Best Practices for the Siting of Land-Based Wind Energy Facilities
On October 31, 2013, the Department of Public Utilities (“Department”) on its own motion opened an investigation into best practices for the siting of land-based wind energy facilities. The investigation will result in the development of wind energy facility siting guidance based on sound scientific, technical, and policy information. Specifically, the Department will examine the following topics related to land-based wind energy facilities: design, environmental and human health, safety, construction impacts, socio-economic impacts, decommissioning, and the review process for wind projects.
Any person with an interest in the matters discussed above is invited to submit written comments to the Department by December 6, 2013 in response to the questions posed by the Department in its Order opening this investigation, available on the Department’s website: http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/siting-division-of-the-dpu/siting-division-dockets.html. Any person desiring further information regarding this notice should contact M. Kathryn Sedor, Hearing Officer, Department of Public Utilities, at Kathryn.Sedor@state.ma.us or (617) 305-3525. Following receipt and review of the comments, the Department anticipates holding public hearings beginning in January.
We the undersigned are Wellfleet registered voters, tax payers, non-resident tax payers, visitors and tourists. We strenuously oppose the proposed construction of one or more wind turbines at the Massachusetts Audubon Society (MAS) Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (WBWS). We formally request that MAS and WBWS cease any and all activities related to any further action regarding a proposal to construct any wind turbine/s at the WBWS and publicly announce their intention to do so.
It is very important that every adult who is 18 and over sign the petition individually. There is an option to list yourself and any comments you may choose to write as anonymous.
In Wellfleet, 61% of the land in the town is Cape Cod National Seashore, a US National Park. If you know Wellfleet, you know it is a uniquely beautiful slice of heaven on earth. If you have not visited, Wellfleet is a place I think is a must on your list of places to visit. Massachusetts Audubon Society's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Wellfleet. Unfortunately Mass Audubon wants to construct a wind turbine in their sanctuary. Please sign the petition to help stop this wind turbine proposal.
We are asking everyone to sign. People who live & vote in Wellfleet, please sign. It is critical that your voice be heard. Please also let everyone you know about this outrageous situation. People who own property in Wellfleet but do not vote in town, please sign with Wellfleet listed as your town. People who are frequent visitors to Wellfleet and love this town it is so very important for you to sign the petition and to let people know you oppose this wind turbine. People who are tourists, your signature on this petition will help it be seen that tourists will not visit the town if there are wind turbines. Most people in Wellfleet depend on the tourist industry in order to make a living in Wellfleet.
Thank you all very much. Every signature is important & is sincerely appreciated.
Energy and Environment Policy Adviser and Parliamentary Assistant to Struan Stevenson MEP at the European Parliament in Brussels
Posted: 23/09/2013 11:18
Another week, another plethora of news reports attacking wind farms. The latest headlines include; November date for Trump's wind farm challenge", "Approval for wind turbines sparks protest at 'ring of steel'" and "Wind turbines may be killing bats by 'exploding' their lungs", to name but a few. Yet will the stories about Donald Trump, exploding bats and Scotland's version of the Iron Curtain help to stem the spread of mammoth turbines across our land and seas?
Still, it was only two years ago that anyone who publicly opposed wind turbines was considered a social pariah and practically ostracised from society as if they were modern-day lepers. Things have changed. Not a day goes by without a new story slamming wind energy or highlighting the increasing wind farm opposition across the UK. Just as it was once popular to support wind energy, it has almost...almost...become fashionable to oppose wind turbines.
The problem is that many of the news reports are nothing more than filler. If they are printed on a Tuesday, they are forgotten about by Wednesday; such is the nature of the fast-paced, up-to-the minute, 24-hour news cycle that is available to us. Despite the constant barrage of anti-wind press, the spread of massive industrial wind turbines continues unabated.
In the last year alone we have seen news reports outlining how wind farms have surrounded some of Britain's most untouched landscape and blighted some of our most bucolic and treasured towns and villages. We have heard horror stories about planning departments ignoring guidelines and forcing homeowners to live next to monstrous whirling steel turbines. We have been warned that property values have plummeted due to the inappropriate placement of wind farms and we have seen hundreds of anti-wind protest groups spring up across the nation, incensed at the lack of democracy in the planning system.
We have read how turbines impact human health and after years of mockery from pro-wind groups, we now have the first peer-reviewed, science-based report confirming that turbines do have harmful impacts on humans.
We have watched videos of turbines exploding in high winds and crashing to the ground in storms. We have witnessed precious habitats and ecosystems torn apart to make way for turbines and we have seen stories about birds being chopped to bits. We have heard how offshore wind farms will destroy precious undersea carbon stores, affect aquatic animals and close important fishing grounds.
We have been told that the tourist industry will be damaged and the golf industry will take a hit. We read explanations of how sailing routes will be impacted and even how Britain's strategic nuclear deterrent could be hampered. The Ministry of Defence has objected to many wind farms which will affect radar systems and we have even seen how turbines could prevent the detection of secret nuclear weapons tests.
Mountaineers, ramblers, cyclists, equestrians, aviation enthusiasts and bird-watchers have protested. Celebrities have come out to support anti-wind campaigns. Members of every political party, except the Greens, have spoken out against turbines. Over 100 MPs petitioned David Cameron to stop the madness. Members of the European Parliament have repeatedly urged the European Commission to get involved. The Scottish Government has received 10,000 objections from people who oppose wind farms - and that was just for large developments (>50MW).
We have read that schoolchildren are being utilised as pro-wind propaganda tools and we have even seen how the United Nations has ruled that the UK is in breach of international law regarding public participation and the right to receive information in regard to wind farm developments. In the last few weeks, we have heard how IPCC climate change projections, which formed the basis for renewable energy targets, have been called into question by leading scientists.
We have watched as turbines have had to be shut down in high winds and how consumers foot the bill when they are. We have seen their minimal contribution the UK energy supply, even when they are needed most. We have been affected when energy bills have skyrocketed thanks in part to a misguided focus on wind energy. Unfortunately we have also heard how millions of households have been forced into crippling fuel poverty, now having to choose between food and fuel.
We have read about noise abatement orders and residents' legal challenges. We have seen some communities torn apart by wind farm proposals and others handed bribes in return for their silence. We have read how landowners pocket exorbitant amounts of cash in return for housing turbines and we have seen developers reap vast profits from the UK's subsidy regime. We have heard how peat bogs have been ripped up and forests torn down to make way for wind farms. We are now being told that wind energy has not made even the slightest difference to carbon emissions.
We have even seen those who peddle ridiculous pro-wind arguments about green jobs debunked and refuted. There is enough credible evidence and enough of an opposition to end a policy of support for industrial wind energy. Yet still we see wind farms popping up all around the country.
Isn't it about time that we looked at all the evidence cumulatively? Isn't it about time that we just chalked it up as a loss and tried something else?
28.73 birds and bats killed per turbine so far this year ("per season") at Sheffield, VT Wind Turbine....and they had the turbine using different cut in speeds during some of the monitoring!!! It seems like the numbers will be much higher on a normal yearly basis!
13.17 birds killed per turbine. But this during "operational mitigation study"...read theychanged the cut-in speed of the turbine...so the number would be lower!!!
14.65 bats killed per turbine ....But again..."The operational mitigation study was conducted during Period 2, at which time
half of the turbines at the project site were curtailed. As such, the bat fatality estimates for the
project site are actual fatalities observed rather than estimates of fatalities had the wind facility
been fully-operational during the summer and fall season. As a result, it is possible that the
estimated bat fatalities during Period 2 are lower than would have occurred otherwise.
Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
Eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis)
Silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
We found a total of 35 birds of 12 species from 1 April–31 October. Bird carcasses were found
at 13 of the 16 turbines. A total of 34 birds were used in bias trials. Overall searcher efficiency
was estimated to be 45%, with 100% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 100, 100), 38% (95% CI:
21, 56), and 33% (95% CI: 19, 47), for Easy, Moderate, and Difficult/Very Difficult visibility
classes, respectively. Carcass persistence was estimated to be 12.51 days (95% CI: 5.26, 32.73).
Total bird fatality estimates for the project site for the entire season was 211 (95% CI: 147, 321),
with an estimated 13.17 birds killed per turbine (95% CI: 9.20, 20.05) and 5.27 per MW (95%
CI: 3.68, 8.02). The operational mitigation study was conducted during Period 2, at which time
half of the turbines at the project site were curtailed. As such, the bird fatality estimates for the
project site are actual fatalities observed rather than estimates of fatalities had the wind facility
been fully-operational during the summer and fall season. As a result, it is possible that the
estimated bird fatalities during Period 2 are lower than would have occurred otherwise.
We found a total of 87 bats of three species from 1 April–31 October, all of which were
migratory tree-roosting bats; no cave-roosting species were found during the study. Hoary bat
(Lasiurus cinereus) consisted of 54% of the bat carcasses found, while eastern red bat (Lasiurus
borealis) and silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) made up 30% and 16%, respectively.
Bat carcasses were found at all 16 turbines. A total of 73 bat carcasses from the project site were
used in searcher efficiency trials. Overall searcher efficiency was estimated to be 48%, with
100% (95% CI: 100, 100), 43% (95% CI: 25, 61), and 37% (95% CI: 23, 54), for Easy,
Moderate, and Difficult/Very Difficult visibility classes, respectively. Sixty-one fresh bats were
used in the carcass persistence trials, which was estimated to be 6.92 days(95% CI: 4.85, 10.53).
Total bat fatality estimates for the project site for the entire season was 235 (95% CI: 160, 361),
with an estimated 14.65 bats killed per turbine (95% CI: 10.06, 22.56) and 5.86 per MW (95%
CI: 4.02, 9.02). The operational mitigation study was conducted during Period 2, at which time
half of the turbines at the project site were curtailed. As such, the bat fatality estimates for the
project site are actual fatalities observed rather than estimates of fatalities had the wind facility
been fully-operational during the summer and fall season. As a result, it is possible that the
estimated bat fatalities during Period 2 are lower than would have occurred otherwise.
Would you be willing to share with us the wind turbine post construction Avian & Bat Monitoring Reports for Mass Maritime Academy, Falmouth, Kingston, Hull, Fairhaven, Dartmouth, Mount Wachusett Community College or other Mass based wind turbines? Each of the projects is very open providing pre-construction estimates of avian & bat impact and promise to perform monitoring. We even saw where Mass Audubon Society requested monitoring reports. We would assume with your due diligence concerning wind power you would have carefully studied the actual impacts? Public disclosure of deaths from wind turbines in Mass. seems to be a bit opaque. We request that you publicly disclose these reports especially to your membership, of the actual real world deaths of bats and birds in Massachusetts from Wind Turbines. We hope that these reports are not purposely hidden, to deny the public actual impact information? Below are couple reports from others states. Since you are experts in Massachusetts Wildlife seeking to build your own fleet of wind turbines in sensitive habitat, we would naturally assume you are aware of these reports and honest enough to share them. We would love for you to assuage our concern that wind turbines would kill high numbers of birds and bats at Wildlife Sanctuaries with lots of flying creatures. We believe you have quoted the lobbyist American Wind Energy Association claim that 1-2 deaths per turbine per year. We believe those number are not based on any evidence and would be extremely subjective to location. Is the AWEA your only source?
Attached you will find a letter from The Supervising Zoologist at the DEP in NJ concerning the Atlantic City Wind Turbines which were built in proximity to a Salt Marsh. Note Atlantic City’s wind turbines are not in a Wildlife Sanctuary. Here Is what she said: “ If the Atlantic City array had been proposed today, the DEP would have denied the project due to its location.”
Here is a letter to the Editor The Cape Codder concerning a planned Wind Turbine at Mass Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
BIRD & BAT KILLER!
You’d think it obvious to not build a bird and bat killing wind turbine(WT) at a Wildlife Sanctuary. Massachusetts Audubon Society(MAS) is planning a 150ft tall 11kw WT at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary(WBWS). Wind Turbines kill! Pre-Construction estimated for wind turbines are regularly wrong. The State of Massachusetts has not published post construction bird and bat kills from WTs…unlike many states. Why?
In Pennsylvania WTs on average kills 25 bats per year. US Geologic Survey says, “Dead bats are turning up beneath wind turbines all over the world.“ The American Wind Energy Association lobbying group, which MAS quotes, claim 1-2 bird kills per turbine per year. Similar sited WTs albeit larger in NJ & DE kill about 80 birds/bats per year…Osprey, Herons, songbirds and in NJ an endangered Peregrine Falcon…only 25 breeding pair in that state. Hundreds of Golden Eagles killed in California by WTs. In Maryland at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge an 11kw WT not unlike the planned WBWS turbine killed at least one Bald Eagle after lots of studies saying it wouldn’t. It then broke in a wind storm. They didn’t repair it…left it to rot. Not uncommon for WTs.
MAS wishes to sacrifice a Sanctuary which donors wanted as a SANCTUARY. WBWS is in Audubon Important Birding Area(IBA) because it’s ideal for hosting birds! Even the pro wind energy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service states that Wildlife Sanctuaries shouldn’t be developed for wind energy. All electricity at WBWS is already currently green. A local WT will not reduce CO2 output.
Wellfleet avoided WTs in the CCNS. MAS mission states “To Protect the Nature of Massachusetts for People and Wildlife”….no mention of being a renewable power generation leader. So how about it Mass Audubon…PROTECT!
Letter to Massachusetts Audubon Society concerning renewable energy projects in their Wildlife Sanctuary
Dear Mr Prescott and Mass Audubon Society,
We hope you haven’t hunkered down to ignore the many issues concerning “The shocking environmental cost of renewable energy”. Hopefully Massachusetts Audubon Society will rationally decide not to build a Wind Turbine at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. MAS needs to rethink all renewable projects that result in loss of habitat and loss of life in their protected lands. Hopefully, you care enough to do the right thing. A nature oriented organization is surely doing a lot of due diligence in this mission to become pathfinding experts in hosting renewable power generation with an unknown impact, in a Wildlife Sanctuary. We will let an Oxford University lecturer in Biological and Human Scienceswho trained as a Zoologist and has a particular interest in EXTINCTION of ANIMALS to state it far better than us “…this century at least, renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change.”
Hopefully the multitude of harm that you are reading about, along with, what should be obvious doubts about impact, will lead you to agree that the harm outweighs the benefits and to cancel any and all plans to build wind turbines on any protected Audubon land. You should also lead by example and stop bulldozing protected land for solar panels. There are better suited areas that aren’t “PROTECTED” such as landfills, industrial zone, and roof tops for solar panels. Just because something has positive aspects. doesn’t mean it makes sense everywhere. Do you believe that everyone should be bulldozing their green space for solar & wind dollars? Does LOSS OF HABITAT worry you? Do you believe replacing a natural environment with bulldozed dirt and heat soaking solar panels, doesn’t have negative impact? Only degraded(brown field) areas should host solar panels and no wind turbines should be built in areas where there are people or numerous birds and bats. Are natural open space and Wildlife really that worthless to you? You should be the exemplary example…not the reckless land clearing bulldozer drivers and wind turbine developers increasing the killing of birds and bats. Should Cape Cod National Seashore clear acres of protected habitat for solar panel complexes? Seems absurd or worse, to renege on the ideal of protection for these areas as best we can. Loss of habitat … architected by the protectors.
“Loss of habitat is the single biggest cause of species extinction.”
please read the following article carefully and just in case you don’t
“most of the species they claim are threatened by ‘climate change’ have already survived 10 to 20 ice ages, and sea-level rises far more dramatic than any we have experienced in recent millennia or expect in the next few centuries. Climate change won’t drive those species to extinction; well-meaning environmentalists might.”
KEEP IT A SANCTUARY
Wind farms vs wildlife
The shocking environmental cost of renewable energy
Wind turbines only last for ‘half as long as previously thought’, according to a new study. But even in their short lifespans, those turbines can do a lot of damage. Wind farms are devastating populations of rare birds and bats across the world, driving some to the point of extinction. Most environmentalists just don’t want to know. Because they’re so desperate to believe in renewable energy, they’re in a state of denial. But the evidence suggests that, this century at least, renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change.
I’m a lecturer in biological and human sciences at Oxford university. I trained as a zoologist, I’ve worked as an environmental consultant — conducting impact assessments on projects like the Folkestone-to-London rail link — and I now teach ecology and conservation. Though I started out neutral on renewable energy, I’ve since seen the havoc wreaked on wildlife by wind power, hydro power, biofuels and tidal barrages. The environmentalists who support such projects do so for ideological reasons. What few of them have in their heads, though, is the consolation of science.
My speciality is species extinction. When I was a child, my father used to tell me about all the animals he’d seen growing up in Kent — the grass snakes, the lime hawk moths — and what shocked me when we went looking for them was how few there were left. Species extinction is a serious issue: around the world we’re losing up to 40 a day. Yet environmentalists are urging us to adopt technologies that are hastening this process. Among the most destructive of these is wind power.
Every year in Spain alone — according to research by the conservation group SEO/Birdlife — between 6 and 18 million birds and bats are killed by wind farms. They kill roughly twice as many bats as birds. This breaks down as approximately 110–330 birds per turbine per year and 200–670 bats per year. And these figures may be conservative if you compare them to statistics published in December 2002 by the California Energy Commission: ‘In a summary of avian impacts at wind turbines by Benner et al (1993) bird deaths per turbine per year were as high as 309 in Germany and 895 in Sweden.’
Because wind farms tend to be built on uplands, where there are good thermals, they kill a disproportionate number of raptors. In Australia, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is threatened with global extinction by wind farms. In north America, wind farms are killing tens of thousands of raptors including golden eagles and America’s national bird, the bald eagle. In Spain, the Egyptian vulture is threatened, as too is the Griffon vulture — 400 of which were killed in one year at Navarra alone. Norwegian wind farms kill over ten white-tailed eagles per year and the population of Smøla has been severely impacted by turbines built against the opposition of ornithologists.
Nor are many other avian species safe. In North America, for example, proposed wind farms on the Great Lakes would kill large numbers of migratory songbirds. In the Atlantic, seabirds such as the Manx Shearwater are threatened. Offshore wind farms are just as bad as onshore ones, posing a growing threat to seabirds and migratory birds, and reducing habitat availability for marine birds (such as common scoter and eider ducks).
I’ve heard it suggested that birds will soon adapt to avoid turbine blades. But your ability to learn something when you’ve been whacked on the head by an object travelling at 200 mph is limited. And besides, this comes from a complete misconception of how long it takes species to evolve. Birds have been flying, unimpeded, through the skies for millions of years. They’re hardly going to alter their habits in a few months. You hear similar nonsense from environmentalists about so-called habitat ‘mitigation’. There has been talk, for example, during proposals to build a Severn barrage, that all the waders displaced by the destruction of the mud flats can have their inter-tidal habitat replaced elsewhere. It may be what developers and governments want to hear, but recreating such habitats would take centuries not years — even if space were available. The birds wouldn’t move on somewhere else. They’d just starve to death.
Loss of habitat is the single biggest cause of species extinction. Wind farms not only reduce habitat size but create ‘population sinks’ — zones which attract animals and then kill them. My colleague Mark Duchamp suggests birds are lured in because they see the turbines as perching sites and also because wind towers (because of the grass variations underneath) seem to attract more prey. The turbines also attract bats, whose wholesale destruction poses an ever more serious conservation concern.
Bats are what is known as K-selected species: they reproduce very slowly, live a long time and are easy to wipe out. Having evolved with few predators — flying at night helps — bats did very well with this strategy until the modern world. This is why they are so heavily protected by so many conventions and regulations: the biggest threats to their survival are made by us.
And the worst threat of all right now is wind turbines. A recent study in Germany by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research showed that bats killed by German turbines may have come from places 1,000 or more miles away. This would suggest that German turbines — which an earlier study claims kill more than 200,000 bats a year — may be depressing populations across the entire northeastern portion of Europe. Some studies in the US have put the death toll as high as 70 bats per installed megawatt per year: with 40,000 MW of turbines currently installed in the US and Canada. This would give an annual death toll of up to three -million.
Why is the public not more aware of this carnage? First, because the wind industry (with the shameful complicity of some ornithological organisations) has gone to great trouble to cover it up — to the extent of burying the corpses of victims. Second, because the ongoing obsession with climate change means that many environmentalists are turning a blind eye to the ecological costs of renewable energy. What they clearly don’t appreciate — for they know next to nothing about biology — is that most of the species they claim are threatened by ‘climate change’ have already survived 10 to 20 ice ages, and sea-level rises far more dramatic than any we have experienced in recent millennia or expect in the next few centuries. Climate change won’t drive those species to extinction; well-meaning environmentalists might.
The second edition of Clive Hambler’sConservation (Cambridge University Press) is out now.
We continue to relay to you real world evidence as below of the harm wind turbines do to the natural world and why Massachusetts Audubon Society should not build a wind turbine at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. But you offer no rebuttal beyond, the wind turbine salesman and lobbyists say they only kill a few birds and bats. Do you have any studies of marsh located wind turbines in high volume bird areas not killing lots of birds and bats? Any studies of kill rates from wind turbines in Mass. you wish to share to alleviate our concerns or are they a secret? Then there is the laughable rebuttal that after spending $200,000 of donors money…that you will take it down when it kills too many birds and bats, of course offering no indication what is too many. Then there is possibly the saddest defense, we are already killing birds with our shiny LEED glass building(cats, other building, cars, etc) we don’t think the wind turbine will kill that many more…so we won’t be too ashamed of the harm we will be doing at the WILDLIFE SANCTUARY ENTRUSTED TO US. Does the LEED certificate assess bird kills for building at Wildlife Sanctuaries? Are the money and propaganda from a shiny LEED certified building, solar panel fields and wind energy projects just too good to pass up to honor your stated mission to protect nature and animals that the Sanctuary was intended for? Do you want the scenario from below at the former Massachusetts Audubon Society Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary….soon to be renamed Massachusetts Advanced Power Generation Society Wellfleet Bay Facility? MAS should get out of the business of power generation technology testing and production on protected lands.
Yes we are cynical and angry, that the people entrusted to protect wildlife and nature at WBWS are SELLING OUT for the opportunity to go to posh conferences(flying there on CO2 spewing jets I am sure) to lecture others on all the good power generation projects you are doing at what was once a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY! You will talk about how you cleared another areas for solar panels, installed a fancy shiny glass building that is known to cause birds to smash themselves, installed a 150ft tall wind turbine known to kill bats and birds with a nice big concrete footing that will never be removed….maybe you can talk about damming up an estuary and get some hydro power too at least that won’t kill birds and bats…just estuary creatures and that part of nature? If things go really well you can export even more power. Think of all the former Audubon protected lands that could generate power for cash!!!
Think of the possibilities with current technologies for industrialization of Audubon Lands, “that had just been used for nature” all these years. Why didn’t the previous generation of farsighted conservation giants think to sell out and put these lands to productive sustainable use with their “advanced” power generation technologies. Will history see your decisions as farsighted, yourselves as “giants” of conservation….we think not! Or will you be remembered as the generation that unnecessarily destroyed Audubon land and wildlife for cash, fancy conferences and bragging rights that previous generations of wise conservationists had honorably protected? Your reviled place in history will be assured when an actual benign solution is found that doesn’t include destroying protected land and wildlife? What once every 20 year bird do you plan on killing?
Try this creed when proposing solutions for a better world….FIRST DO NO HARM!
Around 40 people were watching the White-throated Needletail, the world's fastest flying bird, on the Isles of Harris when the tragedy happened.
Sightings of the bird have only been recorded eight times in the UK in nearly 170 years, most recently in 1991, prompting around 80 ornithologists to visit the island in the hope of catching a glimpse.
John Marchant, a project coordinator for the British Trust for Ornithology, visited the island on a specially-arranged trip with a group of other birdwatchers and witnessed the death.
The 62-year-old bird enthusiast said he travelled from Norfolk when he heard about the arrival of the bird, which had brown, blue and black bird plumage.
“We were absolutely over the moon and thrilled to see the bird. We watched it for nearly two hours. While we were watching it suddenly it was a bit close to the turbine and then the blades hit it,” he said.
"We all rushed up to the turbine, which took about five minutes, hoping it had just been knocked out the sky but was ok. Unfortunately it had a blow to the head and was stone dead.”
David Campbell, from Surrey, told BBC Scotland the incident took place late on Wednesday afternoon. Speaking as he made his way home, he said: “We just watched the whole thing with dismay."
Josh Jones, of Bird Guides, a specialist website for ornithologists, said he had spoken to witnesses, who had seen the bird fly straight into one the turbine’s blades.
He said: “It is ironic that after waiting so long for this bird to turn up in the UK it was killed by a wind turbine and not a natural predator.
“More than 80 people had already arrived on the island and others were coming from all over the country. But it just flew into the turbine. It was killed instantly. The corpse will be sent to a museum but obviously this is just terrible.”
Experts said they thought the bird had got lost migrating from Siberia and it should have been as far away as Australia or Japan instead of Tarbert on the Isle of Harris.
It was spotted by chance on Monday by two birdwatchers from Northumberland holidaying on the island. Steve Duffield, a Western Isles wildlife expert, said: “The bird in Harris was hanging around for its third day – it was attracting a lot of attention from the birding community with people travelling from southern England to see it.”
During the 1991 sighting, a single bird was spotted four times in Kent, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and finally Shetland.
The White-throated Needletail, also known as the Needle-tailed Swift or Spine-tailed Swift, is known to fly up at speeds of up to 69mph, although there are unconfirmed reports of them reaching 105mph.
The birds have very short legs, which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces, and they build their nests in rock crevices in cliffs or hollow trees. They spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks.
They breed in rocky hills in central Asia and southern Siberia but migrate south to the Indian Subcontinent, southeast Asia and Australia.
The SNP administration at Holyrood is pressing ahead with a rapid expansion in the number of wind farms after setting a target to generate the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Dear Mr Prescott, Director Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary and Mass Audubon,
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We are sure that the manufacturer and advisers for the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Wind Turbine assure you, as they did for these turbines, that the turbines are rock solid in high winds. As you can see from the pictures…assurances from the fledging wind industry are pretty useless, kind of like the estimates of bat and bird kills by wind turbines.
You can see from the pictures, they didn’t build these turbines right next to a place meant for groups of people, especially a place with the express purpose of highlighting and protecting nature. We find it bizarre(and sad) that people who wish to highlight and protect nature would endangered nature and people from the obvious risk of such a large high speed machine high in the sky. Is your idealism really that strong that no amount of danger or harm is too much, as long as the intention is right? At least these wind energy developers had the “sense” to build these large machines away from people as it is obvious to almost everyone, well except yourselves, the danger these large machines represent, when things go wrong.
What kind of training are you planning for, when your machine on the tower starts to break apart at your Power Generation Facility/Public Wildlife Sanctuary? Will you have duck and cover turbine failure hand-outs & drills? Tower collapse avoidance guidelines for visitors? What is your plan when a turbine goes out of control, as they do? The “locking” mechanisms fail with some regularity. You are aware that the blades came off the two blade wind turbine in Nantucket at a much slower wind speed, something like 40mph much less than the 112mph & 77mph in the following examples. Will you evacuate the WBWS when the wind approaches 40mph? Will you have a reserve fund as wind turbines are notorious for breaking blades and transmissions…and of course the higher liability insurance? Then there is the cost of daily cleanup crews for the dead bodies of birds and bats?
We assume you are going to change the name to “Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Power Generation Area” to reflect your changing mission, correct?? Sanctuary isn’t really appropriate according to the dictionary. What other projects are in the future for this soon to be former wildlife “sanctuary” as you don’t want to exchange products with the outside world…sustainable right?… Garbage Dump, Farming(coffee, sugar cane, cranberries, etc), Lumbering(paper making/construction), Hunting, think of the many purposes the land of a former Sanctuary can be put to. A Wildlife Sanctuary is obviously too simplistic for Mass Audubon’s Sustainable Mission, so why stop at fields of solar panels and towers of wind machinery….why limit yourselves to power generation. Think of the payments you could get from those industries...your purchased support of Cape Wind was lucrative, solar is lucrative, Wind Turbines are Lucrative…so just think of the possible industries you could support for cash.
Was Audubon a proponent of industrial use of the land? Maybe removing his name might be appropriate as well with your changing mission….as people know him for birds, animals and nature, not water power and lumbering…the sustainable power of his time. Fields of solar panel panels and wind turbines to power computers, a/c and lights in fancy buildings with lots of glass for birds to crash into, doesn’t really seem true to his legacy..
We have also included a nice article with pictures about the killing of birds with the beautiful quote “…total wrongness-in-every-way of the wind industry”
Hopefully this project will be abandon sooner rather than later. Is your mission really power generation?
Can you forward any evidence countering these real world examples? We suspect you have been a party to the secret wind turbine post construction bird and bat kill monitoring reports in Massachusetts. They never seem to see the light of day, unlike all the glowing pre-construction reports plastered about every project. Always a promise to monitor…just no public report. How many eagles, hawks, osprey, bats…. Do you know?
First there were the wind farms that had to be shut down if it got a bit blowy. Then there was the turbine that burst into flames in a gale a month ago.
And now three turbines have been wrecked in the latest bout of rough weather – sweeping away any remaining illusions that strong winds simply mean more electricity being generated.
Danger: The firm which made these damaged turbines in the Hepworth and Upper Cumberworth areas of Huddersfield has promised a full investigation after villagers saw blades being flung off in high winds
One of them stands – rather forlornly now – off a country road called Windmill Lane.
The damage raises yet more questions about the ability of such machines to cope with serious weather, let alone produce very much electricity.
Adding to such concerns will be the revelation yesterday that wind farms in Scotland were paid nearly £300,000 in the first five days of this year to close down because it was too windy.
The three damaged turbines all stand within a mile of one another in the countryside around Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
The one in Windmill Lane in the village of Upper Cumberworth lost one of its three blades, and another in the same village lost two.
Broken: A wind turbine stands forlorn damaged by the recent gales and high winds near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
A third, in nearby Hepworth, lost all three, with debris blown across a road into a neighbouring property.
The damage occurred on Thursday night when, according to the Met Office wind speeds near Huddersfield peaked at 77mph during fierce storms which felled trees, tore off roof tiles and damaged power cables.
Local residents say the falling blades could have injured or killed someone as they were flung to the ground.
Frances Barnes, who has ten acres of grazing land for horses nearby, said: ‘It is worrying. People objected to the plans when they first went in – not because it is a windmill but because it is so close to a busy road.
The blades on the mast are 15ft long and one was blown right across a road
‘It is frightening to think what may have happened had one of the blades flown into the road and hit a car, or indeed if the wind turbine had come down.’
The 10kw turbines were made by Evoco, which says they have been through a ‘four-year period of in-house testing’.
The company, which claimed on its website they could ‘withstand harsh winters and wind speeds in excess of 90mph’ has begun an investigation.
The turbines are not part of a wind farm but sold individually to landowners to generate their own electricity and sell any excess back to the National Grid.
The company said it had installed 100 turbines in the area and all have been ‘braked’ so that they stop spinning until modifications are made.
A spokesman said: ‘We have recently experienced a series of turbine faults in a localised area of rural West Yorkshire area during record-breaking high winds.
‘Evoco turbines have recently weathered three lots of hurricane force winds, in which the overwhelming majority of our turbines have operated without any problems.
‘No one was hurt in the incidents, which are being investigated thoroughly. Health and safety issues are of primary importance to us, and we work to rigorous standards to maintain our excellent record.’
Christine Smith, a local Conservative councillor said: ‘This shows they can be very dangerous, these blades could have fallen on someone’s car or home. They are lucky someone was not walking nearby.
‘Wind turbines are flawed, they don’t work when it’s too windy, and don’t work when it’s not windy enough. There are much better alternatives to use less energy such as under-floor heating and insulation.
Fiery: Last month a 300ft wind turbine in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, exploded into flames when it was buffeted by high winds
‘These companies are putting in applications left, right and centre, and telling people they can make a lot of money out of them, but I think we need to look at some of these concerns before allowing any more to be built.’
Last month a 300ft turbine in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, erupted in flames during gales of 165mph. It was said to have been switched off, but had a ‘brake system failure’.
In Scotland the £300,000 payments over the first five days of this year were shared by four turbine operators.
The controversial ‘constraint payments’ were made because they produced more energy than the National Grid could handle and had to shut down.
Up to 32,000 wind turbines could be built in England and Wales over the next 40 years to meet government targets.
Last year 17 wind farm operators were paid £7million to shut down on 40 occasions between January and September.
Gull decapitated by a Brighton wind turbine: copyright Marian Cleary
I wonder what it will take before the world truly wakes up to the horror, the corruption, the expense, the pointlessness, the total wrongness-in-every-way of the wind industry. My guess – and it will happen – is the decapitation, by a rogue turbine blade, of an innocent passer-by.
Till then, though, we have photographs like this to send the mind boggling as to why anyone, anywhere can still be so purblind as to go on championing these bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco crucifixes. What's particularly interesting about this one is that it was taken in the constituency of one of wind power's most fervent and tireless advocates, Caroline Lucas MP.
Here's a picture of the Brighton Bird Chomper
Brighton Bird Chomper – copyright Marian Cleary
and here is another picture of the hapless gull.
Copyright Marian Cleary
Marian Cleary – who Tweets as @soundwords – takes up the story on Twitter:
All quite horrific really. Been asked if it's photoshopped. Nope. Was at Varndean College, Brighton.
The wind turbine was going bonkers so I was filming it with the clouds moving behind the blades.
I didn't get the incident on film but then a guy called me over and said that the bird had been got.
Careful, Marian. You now run the risk that someone from the wind industry will claim you chopped off that gull's head yourself, probably because you are in the pay of Big Oil….
Now it might have been interesting to ring up the RSPB for a reaction. But there's no point because we know what they think already. As far as the RSPB is concerned, the many thousands of birds destroyed by wind turbines each year are acceptable collateral damage in the war on "climate change." So committed is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds to renewable energy that it has actually teamed up with Ecotricity – the one run by Dale Vince – in a promotional deal to encourage more wind farm building. For chapter and verse, read my expose here.
But the birds and bats are the least of it, terrible though the carnage is. It's the human cost, surely, which should concern us more.
Consider the plight of the communities in Canada, where the wind industry is even more aggressive than it is here. One Ontario resident,Esther Wrightman so objected to the Golgotha of 400 foot wind turbines being planned for her area that she created a satirical website mocking the wind developer NextEra energy. She even filmed them chopping down a tree with an eagle's nest in it in order to make way for the turbines. How did NextEra – market capitalisation $32 billion – respond to her not exactly unreasonable objections? Why by suing the pants off her, of course.
What I wish is that one of our MPs could be quite as outspoken as good old Alby. Chris Heaton Harris has fought a good fight, as have Owen Paterson, John Hayes, Peter Lilley and Glyn Davies. But they've all been hamstrung by the presence in the Coalition of ideological eco-loons like Ed Davey who, even now, despite the copious evidence against, persist in championing wind energy as the way forward. They're further hamstrung by the Conservative party's ludicrous policy fudge whereby, apparently, there is such a thing as a "wind turbine in the right place" and that this mythical beast includes all offshore wind developments.
Economically, of course, offshore wind makes even less sense than onshore, not least because it requires twice the subsidy, but also because, as most engineers privately admit, these sea-based turbines are disasters waiting to happen and are highly unlikely to stay up any length of time. And while we're on this subject, what on earth is The Times doing shilling for Big Wind with this utter non-story about how Donald Trump is apparently threatening to cost "British SMEs dear"thanks to his opposition to an offshore wind development near his golf course in Scotland? The supposedly neutral source they quote for this story is The Carbon Trust, the government quango to which we taxpayers must contribute £44 million a year to enable it to dream up inventive new ways to cripple our economy with carbon emissions reductions schemes.
Yet another reason to vote UKIP, the only British party with a sensible policy on this green nonsense.
The following is a letter concerning Mass Audubon's pursuit to build a 143 ft tall 43 ft blade wind turbine in the middle of Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary....yes a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY. They have already bulldozed an area for solar generation and erected Solar Panel in another area. They are so proud of themselves as a Power Generation Facility! If you feel a Wildlife Sanctuary pass down through the generations shouldn't use its land for Power Generation, let them know firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter to Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
June 22 2013
To whom it may concern,
I am, sadly, unable and unwilling to renew my membership in Mass Audubon due to the ill-advised multiple attempts by the director of my local center, Robert Prescott , to install super-size wind turbines in what is meant to be a bird and wildlife sanctuary.
These nuisances are well known to kill raptors, bats and songbirds as they innocently fly by as well as causing other wildlife to flee the area due to the distress caused by the constant noise and vibrations emitted by these machines. This is well documented in many studies and even in the environmental literature.
Many of us here in the Wellfleet area are perplexed as to why Mr. Prescott continues with these attempts. He has built an otherwise wonderful center, with its “green” building, composting toilets and solar array. Does that not suffice?
Remove Mr. Prescott from his post and please stop pursuing erecting these inefficient wind turbines that do little beyond killing and endangering wildlife and wrecking beautiful and pristine lands.
Dear Mr Prescott, Mass. Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary leaders and Mass Audubon leaders,
Let us put this to you simply. One of the major efforts at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is to spend lots of money on a Wind Turbine. You have a colony of bats. The Mass Audubon Society loves wind energy and is seeks to enable it everywhere that it can, including a Wildlife Sanctuary. This, while Wind Energy is performing the Coup De Grace on bats already affected by White Nose Syndrome(WNS). We demand a response of how you can support wind energy that is known to be wiping out bats that haven’t already been killed by WNS?
Why does it take a few amateurs to point out the obvious? That renewable energy involving loss of habitat and killing wildlife in a Sanctuary is wrong! Why are those who are entrusted with the legacy of Audubon along with its vast resources of money, land, people and infrastructure are supporting and developing obvious negative impact solar and wind in a Sanctuary? Bulldozing Sanctuary land for solar arrays and killing birds and bats with industrial wind turbines are not what most supporters of Audubon donate for!!!
The state of Massachusetts with the Federal Government are pouring billions into wind energy, suppressing and ignoring the evidence of harm, while knowing that it is destroying a species and harming other species!!! Please review the following items and then tell us why we are wrong? So far we have no response to every devastating fact we have sent you and you press forward with your dreamy industrial wind turbine in a Nature Sanctuary. This is a horrific!!! Director Prescott and Senior MAS personnel…the silence is deafening!
It is well known that wind turbines are killing lots of bats . The USGS reporting” “Dead bats are turning up beneath wind turbines all over the world.” The Pennsylvania Game Commission has been honest enough to report “ The average estimated bat deaths per turbine per year was 24.6”. 420 Turbines killed 10000 bats with a plan for 2900 turbines. What is less obvious is this is on a backdrop of WNS which is killing 99% plus in some colonies, with wind energy finishing off the survivors. We suspect Massachusetts and the MAS Audubon know that a similar situation is occurring here…but are too busy planning for more bat killing wind turbines and clearing land in Sanctuaries to showcase industrial solar arrays….to stop and think about NATURE!
Here is what a local Sierra Club in PA says concerning the decline in Bats there and please note the reference to WIND TURBINES.
The Moshannon Group of the Sierra Club, which has 1,000 members in central Pennsylvania, strongly endorses the proposed listing of the northern long-eared bat, the tri-colored bat, and the little brown bat as ENDANGERED in Pennsylvania. All three species have seen population declines of more than 95% in the past 4 years in Pennsylvania.
Comparative pre- and post-White Nose Syndrome hibernacula surveys show a 99% decline in northern long-eared bats in the Commonwealth since 2008. Summer mistnetting in 2011 showed a 93% increase in effort was required to capture this species as compared to pre-WNS.
Comparative pre- and post-WNS hibernacula surveys show a 98% decline in tri-colored bats in this Commonwealth since 2008. Summer mist-netting in 2011 showed a 185% increase in
effort was required to capture this species as compared to pre-WNS. This species also has been a significant component of bat mortalities associated with wind turbines.
Comparative pre- and post-WNS hibernacula surveys show a 99% decline in little brown bats in these hibernacula since 2008. Summer mist-netting in 2011 showed a 463%
increase in effort was required to capture this species as compared to pre-WNS. As with the tri-colored bat, little browns have also been a component of bat mortalities associated with wind turbines.
We know…spinning blades erected by dreamy idealists that operate about 30% of the time, in open nature in the bat’s habitat are killing them!!! The money would be better spent on practical impactless efficiency and conservation projects which don’t wear out and are more cost effective, and reduce CO2 output by 90% and work 100% of the time. Even land clearing solar only works at best 40% of the time. We know you won’t be able to brag about your new big tall wind turbine or a bulldozed field of solar panels as a visual reminder…but the animals will be alive with a safe home and not trying to avoid death!
Suggestion….take your $200000 and spend it on something that does not kill nature!
Dear Mr Prescott, Mass. Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary leaders and Mass Audubon leaders,
We just reviewed the “Mass Audubon Mission and Values” to see how it compares with your plan to industrialize the Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary with a 142 foot high wind turbine for power generation. For ease of viewing we have incorporated a copy of the page below. Would anyone at the Mass Audubon Society(MAS) have the courtesy to direct us to the part about Power Generation or sacrificing certain amounts of nature for machinery for power generation in Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries? A land based Power Plant whether a dam, a wind turbine, a field of solar panels, or a natural gas turbine give an area an Industrial feel and is not nature. Just as the glass and aluminum in your building is smelted at a Glass and Aluminum Factory in an industrial area. Why is there now a fascination with giving up land at Audubon nature areas so called “Sanctuaries” to Power Generation Facilities for Wind or Solar? If you found a more efficient process for Glass and Aluminum smelting that saved CO2 would you build a smelter at your facility as well?
Wind Turbines kill birds and bats and absolutely have no place at an area that was specifically chosen because it has lots of birds and bats. You know you can absolutely not promise that lots of birds and bats won’t die. Even though solar isn’t really our concern…it seems equally appalling that a Wildlife Sanctuary whose area is quite limited would bulldoze land for power generation, when they have access to clean power generated from other industrial areas that are less bird and nature friendly via THE ELECTRIC GRID or could more cost effectively spend money to lower CO2 via efficiency and actual conservation. Are we wrong to think that Sanctuaries are to highlight and protect nature and not to demonstrate the latest unproven sustainable technology? Remember the Maryland Federal Wildlife Refuge Wind Turbine both broke in a wind storm and killed a Bald Eagles…absolutely failing sustainability in two ways?
The WBWS area has been dedicated to the protection of plants and animals for almost 90 years, if you include the previous Austin Ornithological Research Station which protected and researched birds prior to the WBWS. But it appears now the leadership wishes to dedicate ever more land and air to industrial use. We recently saw a new solar installation at WBWS with the freshly bulldozed area free of plants, animals and looking just industrial. You want to put solar panels on a building or a garbage dump…great…but bulldozing nature at a Sanctuary? Why is the current leadership abrogating its Mission and Values to build 100 ft machines that are the opposite of nature?
Checklist of your Mission and Values against Solar and Wind Turbines in an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary
To Protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife
Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
A Massachusetts in which nature is valued
Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
To Sever as a leader and a catalyst for conservation, by acting directly to protect nature
Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
- LOVE OF NATURE Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
We value the diversity and resilience of nature and treasure its beauty
- PASSION AND COMMITMENT Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
We are committed to nature and to people
- PEOPLE AND COMMUNITY Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
… together we build conservation communities that welcome and respect all people.
- INSPIRING ACTION Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
“we foster a conservation ethic in current and future generations”
- CREDIBILITY Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
Our personal and organizational integrity serves as a foundation for our work.
- TEAMWORK Wind Turbine: NO Ground based Solar Arrays: NO
We encourage creativity, innovation, and action, while respecting individual points of view.
SaveOurSeasShore gives you an “A” in teamwork working against those who disagree with your approach to industrialize a Wildlife Sanctuary.
Is there a way to convince you that this is a bad idea? Are you minds so closed that you believe by sacrificing Wildlife Sanctuaries and the flying wildlife that you are single-handedly saving the world? Are you that deluded? That would be a real shame to be so blinded. Is there someone in your organization that you recommend we discuss this with? I have yet to receive a reply, even though we have presented you very compelling evidence of how bad this is. We would be happy to address any doubt you have as to how bad this is. We have many, many other examples if you wish for us to forward those as well…but we don’t want to overwhelm you. As you are hopefully aware most organizations are embarrassed or just dishonest about the harm they are wreaking and make a concerted effort to hide the evidence of animal killing. You are well aware of the numerous examples of organization having to remove wind turbines(vertical, short, tall, etc) at great cost, once the harm becomes too apparent. Don’t forget these small wind and solar companies with unproven technology go bankrupt regularly leaving no spare parts as well. Then there are no “kickbacks” or netmetering to pay off the balance from all that not so free electricity. Is there something unique about this turbine that you haven’t shared, with the possible exception of a new sales person promising the same old promises which have been broken time and again.
Dear Mr Prescott and Mass. Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary,
We have yet to receive a reply from the numerous emails providing you with real world impact of Wind Turbines, micro, small, medium and large as they all operate in the same fashion. High speed blades in open nature killing more flying animals than researchers guess at. We have seen where you attempt to explain a 40 ft blade as micro, suggesting that somehow that will prevent bat and bird deaths. Or that somehow having no peer reviewed studies about small/medium wind turbine deaths means they won’t kill. Or worse, some say other things kill more so wind turbine aren’t as bad, which is like saying I murder just one so the mass murderer makes me ok. You talk about sound and we provide numerous death counts. Researching the history of WBWS, it was interesting to learn that area was specially selected to research birds even before the WBWS as it had an almost unique spectrum of birds and habitat. I saw where Cape Cod is seeing the return of Bald Eagles. So the poignant official report below will let you realize that as a leader of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary you would rather not have to explain why dead animals keep appearing or why someone or something is injured by mechanical debris of a large machine a hundred feet in the air at your public facility for nature. Please stop the wind turbine now to prevent this big mistake. I hope you can admit we aren’t making up the facts we are sending you and they very much apply to what you are doing. There is no magical solution to installing spinning blade at Wildlife Refuge that will prevent numerous deaths, like the one the report below shows. That Wildlife Refuge had to admit reality and has removed the “micro” wind turbine. Save the Sanctuary a lot of money from well-meaning donors and ill-will by not attempting to build this large machine and put it towards land acquisition, bird studies, something good, or CO2 lowering efficiency technologies at your building. Do you think the Maryland Refuge situation is so different from yours?
You have been told the turbine is small, low, only 10kw and those don’t kill. The following should disabuse you of these UNTURTHS. People are given medicine because it is proven safe….has your manufacturer proven this medicine is safe? Because we see lots of patients dying! We are not suggesting that you can’t make meaningful reductions in your energy usage to lower your carbon emission….we are just telling you that Wind Turbines harm wildlife and in larger numbers than your advisers, consultants, friends, colleagues, associates, manufactures, lobbyists will admit. Please don’t be so enamored with wind energy to allow it in your Wildlife Sanctuary. Remember killing Eagles is a Federal Crime that one day may be prosecuted and now you can’t say you haven’t been warned that killing an Eagle is possible.
The leadership of Wellfleet Bay Wildlife "Sanctuary" seem to wish to convert the mission of the Sanctuary from wildlife and habitat protection area to Electrical Generation facility area...renewable...but never the less a production facility. It is appalling that a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY has had their mission perverted in to a space hogging, wildlife killing, technology center!!!
The leadership has lost their way. There are so few wildlife sanctuaries and the appeal of these vanity projects is apparently too much for these "care takers". They love the money and attention gleaned with these industrial, nature killing machines! They go to the lobbyists funded conferences telling about all the good that will come from placing these machines in a natural environment. There are the state/federal funded research better known as guessing, as to the harm that will be wreaked. Invariably the "guessers" are regularly wrong, though they get paid to make sure most projects are "viable" and thereby self perpetuating(money in their pockets). Check this research out http://saveourseashore.org/?p=2709 "
Although we predicted abundance would remain relatively constant, raptor abundance was lower post-construction compared to pre-construction levels.""
THIS HAS TO BE STOPPED!
Remember electricity can be generated anywhere and transported. Money can be spend on harmless projects that dramatically lowering usage of electricity...but the vanity of these projects just aren't as appealing as 100-200 ft industrial machine in the middle of a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY!
Instead of spending money to acquire more land to in the wonderful true mission of ab Audubon Sanctuary's which is to protect a piece of nature they now spend money on newer buildings, newer larger more harmful power generation machinery! Why exactly does an Audubon center need air conditioning....most people that live nearby don't have it? Why not convert more facilities to open environment and remove the video screen for that simple thing people are really looking for....THE SANCTUARY OF NATURE!
The current industrial wind project being attempted at the Wellfleet Bay "WILDLIFE SANCTUARY"....please note they call it a micro turbine...is only 150ft tall with 40ft blades that will kill birds and bats!
Here is some information about the solar production facility at the Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary as more doesn't even seem to be enough.
"Now we’d like to complete the installation of a new 41 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array that, combined with our existing solar array...". Please take note in the following pictures that they take land from the nature to build their production facility. Also called BULLDOZING!!! Note that solar panels raise the temperature of the local environment as welll a fine thing for a "Sanctuary".
Note in the picture above more greenery could have supported butterflies, bees, birds, insects....but alas the Wildlife Sanctuary chooses glass, aluminum, silicon, and higher temperatures, They have chosen an Energy Production Mission over Wildlife and Nature mission.
Please go back an investigate the original mission of the Sanctuary, what does the charter say? It might be time for better leadership!
Suzanne B. McLaren, the collection manager in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's section of mammals, extends the wing of an approximately 3-inch specimen of a Seminole bat, rare in Pennsylvania, which was reportedly killed in the vicinity of a wind turbine.
The butterfly effect suggests the flapping of a tiny insect's wings in Africa can lead to a tornado in Kansas.
Call this the bat effect: A bat killed by a wind turbine in Somerset can lead to higher tomato prices at the Wichita farmers market.
Bats are something of a one-species stimulus program for farmers, every year gobbling up millions of bugs that could ruin a harvest. But the same biology that allows the winged creatures to sweep the night sky for fine dining also has made them susceptible to one of Pennsylvania's fastest-growing energy tools.
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.
It may seem like a good thing to those who fear the flying mammals, but the wind farm mortality rate is an acute example of how harnessing natural energy can lead to disruptions in the circle of life -- and the cycle of business. This chain of events mixes biology and economics: Bat populations go down, bug populations go up and farmers are left with the bill for more pesticide and crops (which accounts for those pricey tomatoes in Kansas).
Wind industry executives are shelling out millions of dollars on possible solutions that don't ruin their bottom line, even as wind farms in the area are collaborating with the state Game Commission to work carcass-combing into daily operations.
"If you look at a map and see where the mountains are, everything funnels through Somerset," said Tracey Librandi Mumma, the wildlife biologist who led the March commission report on bird and bat mortality. "If I'm out driving ... I wonder, 'How many are being killed at that one?' "
Bats are nature's pesticide, consuming as many as 500 insects in one hour, or nearly 3,000 insects in one night, said Miguel Saviroff, the agricultural financial manager at the Penn State Cooperative Extension in Somerset County.
"A colony of just 100 little brown bats may consume a quarter of a million mosquitoes and other small insects in a night," he said. "That benefits neighbors and reduces the insect problem with crops."
If one turbine kills 25 bats in a year, that means one turbine accounted for about 17 million uneaten bugs in 2010.
Bats save farmers a lot of money: About $74 per acre, according to an April report in Science magazine that calculated the economic value of bats on a county-by-county basis.
In Allegheny County, bats save farmers an estimated $642,986 in a year. That's nothing compared with more agricultural counties in the region such as Somerset ($6.7 million saved), Washington ($5.5 million) or Westmoreland ($6.1 million).
Lancaster County? You owe bats $22 million.
In all of Pennsylvania, bats saved farmers $277.9 million in estimated avoided costs.
Initially, the "Economic Importance of Bats in Agriculture" article was meant to attract attention to the white-nose fungus virus that is wiping out entire colonies of bats across the country.
"We were getting a lot of questions about why we should care about white-nose syndrome," said author Justin Boyles, a post-doctoral fellow in bat research at the University of Tennessee. "Really, it's the economic impact that makes people listen."
The white-nose syndrome is compounding the wind turbine problems, having killed more than a million bats in the northeastern United States since 2006. It surfaced in Pennsylvania in 2008 and has killed thousands of in-state bats.
Meanwhile, the same creatures that save Pennsylvania farmers millions of dollars each year are also costing energy companies some big bucks as they try to stave off a mass execution beneath the blades.
Technology is being developed on sound generators that would deter the creatures from getting too close with a high-pitched noise only heard by bats. Some studies suggest that a slowdown in blade speed would reduce mortality.
But new technology is expensive and a blade slowdown would reduce the number of megawatts produced.
"All these options cost money," said Ms. Librandi Mumma, and it can be a tough sell to the private industry handing over the information that helps in the research. "You don't want to penalize the hand that's giving you the data."
Companies that have signed a Game Commission cooperation agreement must foot the bill for the commission's pre-construction reconnaissance and post-construction monitoring. The cost of the process varies, but the research can last several months and involve extensive habitat monitoring.
Under the agreement, each site conducts two years of mortality monitoring, sending a lucky employee out every day from April to November to comb the six meters around each turbine for carcasses. The employees are tested to see "how good they are at finding dead things," said Ms. Librandi Mumma.
"We got a dead snake once, because it was on the road and they were just collecting everything dead," she said. "It wasn't because the wind turbine killed it. The guy was just being thorough."
Some retrievers aren't so good.
"The average person finds 30 percent of the carcasses that are under a turbine," said Ms. Librandi Mumma, so the commission has come up with an algorithm that accounts for the missing bodies.
Agents will leave a carcass on the ground and note how long it takes to disappear -- this provides some insight on how many carcasses are unaccounted for because of living animals that have a taste for decomposing flesh.
Some wind companies with Pennsylvania operations have already seen seven-figure expenses on account of the bat problem.
NextEra Energy Resources, which operates the Somerset wind farms visible from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, has five active sites in Pennsylvania but did not participate in the Game Commission study.
The company monitors its mortality rates in house and funds outside research to reduce bird and bat deaths at its sites, said Skelly Holmbeck, environmental business manager at the Juno Beach, Fla.-based firm.
The funding program involving nine different research facilities is "in the millions overall," she said.
Migratory research that precedes any construction can employ bird watchers, nets or tape recorders designed to read the local ecosystem.
PPL Renewable Energy LLC of Allentown had planned on installing four turbines at its Lancaster County wind farm, but went with only two after sensitive avian populations were found nearby.
"There were design aspects that we elected not to use," said spokeswoman Mimi Mylin. "Some construction sites use lattice towers, but those can become roosting sites" for birds.
It's not just bats that are dying around wind turbines. An estimated 1,680 birds were killed by turbines last year, according to the state Game Commission report.
The disparity in mortality stems from biology. Birds typically crash into the blade and die from blunt force trauma, while bats suffer from a condition called barotrauma. It's the bat equivalent of the "bends" that scuba divers can suffer if they surface too quickly.
The rapid drop in air pressure around the blades causes the bats' lungs to burst, and they collapse with no ostensible lacerations or scars on the body.
"They just look like they're sleeping," said Ms. Librandi Mumma.
Bats must fly very close to the blades for their lungs to burst, and some researchers say the lights around the turbines might attract insects, which in turn attract bats.
Barotrauma in bats was only discovered in 2008, when a Canadian biologist thought to dissect one of the unblemished carcasses turning up at wind farms across North America.
"It was an 'a-ha' moment," said Ms. Librandi Mumma.
The turbine problem has yielded some other, unexpected contributions to bat research.
One carcass hunter in central Pennsylvania found a Seminole bat felled by barotrauma under the blades. Seminole bats live in the southeastern United States and rarely show up in Pennsylvania.
"It's like a double-edged sword," said Ms. Librandi Mumma. "You're excited because it's a new bat, but it's a dead one."
The Seminole specimen was kept on dry ice in a small styrofoam container by a commission employee and handed over to Suzanne McLaren, the collection manager at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History's research center in East Liberty. They met in the Ligonier Diamond town square -- home to a postcard-perfect gazebo and lots of sunlight -- for the transfer.
The bat, which may have traveled here from as far as Florida, found its final resting place in a freezer in East Liberty.
Dear Massachusetts Audubon Society Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary,
It still seems you are moving forward with your plan to erect a Gaia-Wind medium sized industrial wind turbine at your Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
First we would like clarify what a small wind turbine is. A small turbine has a 7-25ft diameter according to wiki. Gaia-Wind’s brochure describes their turbine as “A Large 13m blade allows the turbine to…” and “BIGGER BLADES ARE BETTER”. So please don’t use the terms Small or Micro…that is just plan untrue!
How absolutely appropriate you have picked a turbine from a manufacture called Gaia Wind. Do you know the history of the term Gaia? We all know the Greek God right? And most of us know the Gaia Theory/Hypothesis by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis that proposes “that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.” Dr Lovelock is a giant of Environmentalism developing the Gaia theory, he also was the first to detect CFC in the atmosphere, along with numerous other contributions. I would guess people in the business of environmentalism would hold him in respect with few believing they are wiser and more visionary than he.
Here is what James Lovelock says concerning a wind turbine development purposed near his home in Devon, Egland January 2013:
Anything we do in the United Kingdom about energy sources is mainly to set a good example before the other nations; if we drew all of our energy from renewable sources it would make only a small change in the total emission of greenhouse gas. But such examples are needed and are something to be proud of. The benign way we in North Devon live with our countryside is also an example to set before the world about how to live sustainably with the Earth. How foolish to set two such noble ideas in conflict and arrange that one good intention destroyed the other. To erect a large wind turbine on the Broadbury Ridge above the Carey and Wolfe Valleys is industrial vandalism that will diminish the regard with which the countryside is held and make the region vulnerable to urban development and unsustainable farming. Even if there were no alternative source of energy to wind we would still ask that this 84 metre high industrial power plant was placed in less ecologically sensitive areas. Better still we should look to the French who have wisely chosen nuclear energy as their principal source; a single nuclear power station provides as much as 3200 large wind turbines.
I am an environmentalist and founder member of the Greens but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood and misapplied. We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs. We need to take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilisation.
This was the first record of a Barn Owl being killed by a small wind turbine anywhere in the UK. The ringing information is presently being processed by the BTO(Barn Owl Trust) and it is assumed that the record will be documented in the ‘Birds of Cumbria’ annual report for this year, but will not be published until 2014/15.
Many Environmental Assessments written for wind farms suggest that Barn Owls would not be affected by wind farms in this country even though there are records from Canada of Barn Owls being killed by turbines.
Significantly therefore this new record would appear to prove the so called experts wrong, undermining the conclusions of the Environmental Assessments which had claimed the barn owl was at no risk from wind turbines in this country. This record is now undeniable proof that the barn owl is at just as much a risk of being killed by a turbine as all the other birds of prey in the UK.
Will the Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary be following the suggestions of the UK BARN OWL TRUST ?
The Barn Owl Trust suggests that new wind farm developments should be surrounded by fox and badger-proof fencing, that systematic carcass-search monitoring should be carried out for a period of not less than two years and that the results should be made public.
That would be great to have a 100 ft diameter fenced off area where visitors could assist in looking for latest kills from the “Sanctuary’s Wind Energy Experiment”. Educational indeed!
I would like to draw your attention to some research concerning raptors and wind turbines and why you should not choose a wind turbine for the Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. We are sure some of you think this is a broken record….but we wish to convince you with HARD FACT that wind turbines have a dramatic impact on wildlife and that the wind turbine lobby has been successful so far in soft pedaling the dramatic impact.
"Overall raptor abundance was on average 47% lower post-construction"
"Although we predicted abundance would remain relatively constant, raptor abundance was lower post-construction compared to pre-construction levels."
This from A pre- and post-construction study conducted to determine the impact of a windfarm on the abundance and behaviour of raptors in Wisconsin, USA.
Garvin, J. C., Jennelle, C. S., Drake, D. and Grodsky, S. M. (2011), Response of raptors to a windfarm. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48: 199–209. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01912.x
Once again the prediction that wind turbines won’t have an effect on animals and once again animals are impacted. A Wind Turbine is an extremely poor choice to have at the Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Please, we ask you to send us any data you have on Wind Turbines not impacting animals…beyond anecdotal …I visited a turbine and it didn't look that bad…or someone I know has one and he says is isn’t bad or we didn’t look for any dead animals so we didn’t find any. The evidence of 50% avoidance is horrific for an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary.
Dear Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (Soon to be Wind turbine testing area),
Here is a recent study of the impact of the LEWES, DE Turbine(a large industrial wind turbine) located in a not dissimilar environment as the proposed Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary…though even they didn’t have the gall to erect their turbine in a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY. This is their second turbine as the first one was destroyed by lightening within the first year or two of operation. Hopefully this will clarify some misconceptions about when and what is killed by wind turbines.
1) This study concludes 82 birds and bats were killed in one year by one turbine about 1 every 4 days!(I do not know the pre construction estimate…but most likely they said a few or the AWEA estimate of 1-2 animals after spending thousands of dollars guessing, as you are doing) …it includes the 2 gulls observed beingkilled during day light searches, that laughably the searchers couldn’t find after being observed killed!!! Here is a list of found dead
Many EASTERN BAT
Many HOARY BAT
many SILVER HAIRED BAT
1 COMMON GRACKLE
2 GULL (NEVER FOUND, makes you wonder what else wasn’t found)
1 TRICOLORED BAT
1 YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO
Recall they only find a fraction of the actual total as the Gulls killed obviously show
A refresher on what was found at the Atlantic City, NJ wind turbines with their estimated 76 birds and bats killed per turbine per year: Found 25 different species killed including: Dunlin, Barn Swallow, Laughing Gull, Osprey, Green Heron, Eastern Red Bat, Hoary Bat, American Wood cock, Baltimore Oriole, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Greater Black-Blacked Gull, Gray Catbird, Herring Gull, Peregrine Falcon(only 25 nesting pair entire state), Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Red-eyed Vireo, Red Winged Blackbird, Short-billed dowitcher, swamp sparrow, etc…again only a fraction of the total killed are found!
2) The supposed unbiased authority on wind energy, the GE & Vestas backed American Wind Energy Association or AWEA lobbyists group winning billions in contracts for their backers who regularly have their “unbiased” information published via the US Department of Fish and Wildlife Service…has many people quoting that wind turbines kill between 1-2 animals per year. That estimate is 40-80 times less than in this real world implementation!!! One note about turbine size and height….at California’s notorious Altamont wind farm where many Golden Eagles are killed EVERY YEAR the supposed cure to avoid the continued slaughter of raptors is…to raise the height(with a costly new turbine) as the lower turbines with lattice supports were felt to do more harm, also locate the turbine away from bird areas as well. I suppose a Sanctuary would attract birds?
3) From the Lewes Study “More recent studies have documented that considerably more bats have been killed than expected based on early monitoring studies where birds have been the focus (NRC 2007).” “Bats comprised 89% of estimated fatalities” I believe you currently have a colony of bats at the “Sanctuary”. Once you have spent your multi hundreds of thousands of dollars on tailor made studies from professional wind energy consultants looking to encourage wind energy for their next job, tell us everything is going to be just fine and the animals start turning up dead regularly as can be seen in this report….When will you have the stomach to remove something that so much money and personal capital will be invested in? What is the number of DEAD?
4) Can I make a suggestion, as any clear minded person would not erect a known bird and bat hazard at a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY….Can you erect the turbine in your personal back yard as electricity doesn’t really care where it is generated? Or at the very least ANYWHERE THAT ISN’T A SANCTUARY. I am certain that people do not go to a Wildlife Sanctuary to observe the latest in modern power technology. Can we all agree on the definition of the word SANCTUARY NounA place of refuge or safety. LET KEEP IT THAT WAY!
I encourage you to read the attached report. It clearly states that 82 animals were estimated to be killed and many of those killed weren't even found. Conservation starts at home and being so caviler as to say we are fine with killing 1, 2, 40, 80 birds and bats per year at a SANCTUARY for a tiny amount of energy makes a particularly bad statement. Wind Turbines were the NUMBER ONE KILLER of protected Golden Eagles in a wide ranging study in California over cars, building, cats, poisoning, shooting, etc. 10% of the Golden Eagle population in California is killed by wind energy every year. Soon we are going to be saying that for many birds and bats across the country as each wind energy installation says, well a little harm won’t add up to much. Just think if every wind energy installation is 40 times worse than estimated? The guesstimate that building, cars, cats are large killers is that….a guesstimate put out by wind energy developers to say their harm wasn’t that bad. IT IS!
An aquarium in Devon has taken down two wind turbines after seagulls were killed when they collided with the blades.
2) Near Atlantic City NJ 5 industrial wind turbines were erected which are killing an average of 76 birds and bats per year per turbine(not the 1-2 that AWEA and US Fish and Wildlife publicize). This has been documented by the local Audubon society. Though to make sure not too information is known…they only study for 2 years after installation then after that….It is a shameful secret! These killed a Peregrine Falcon of which there are only 25 breeding pair in the entire state, also numerous Osprey, a Green Heron, a Dunlin and many others….is not worth it for these highly variable power producers which require full CO2 emitting backup and power shadowing. Money would be much better spent on conservation and efficiency…which have been shown to be ten times more cost effective thereby doing more for our planet
My understanding is that the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary of the Audubon is moving ahead with it Wind Energy Plan. WBWS is funded by well-meaning people that are concerned about wildlife and the environment and have entrusted the managers to spend that money to benefit wildlife. I encourage you to look at the below fact sheet concerning Wind Energy and Wildlife. Though a lot is still unknown about the damage being done by wind energy to wildlife, it is 100% certain that wind turbines kill wildlife. It is also well known there have and are efforts to hide and ignore the damage. The Atantic City, NJ 5 wind turbine array is documented to kill an avg. of 76 birds and bats per turbine per year isn’t even in evidence. We all know the well worn promises “to do better” and “the next revision will mitigate impact” by developers that rarely turn out true. A basic finding in the attached factsheet on wind energy and wildlife, conclude
“Most birds killed at wind turbines are songbirds.” So my question is how can managers of a wildlife sanctuary make a singular effort to install one of the most wildlife harmful machines at a facility entrusted to them? What will you do when you find dead animals? Will you tell the truth? How many dead are too many?
It is shameful to pretend that installation of industrial wind turbines will benefit wildlife. It shows the same arrogance of vanity of a person warning of the ills of global warming while flying in a private jet. Sadly we believe it is ugly vanity and a need to have a show-piece to brag to the world your supposed concern for environmental change. We are at a loss to understand how well-meaning people demonstrate this concern by erecting an industrial machine in open nature! We all know for a fact much more could be accomplished with impactless projects such as high efficiency equipment, smart architecting, or insulation than erecting a large industrial machine at a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY. A simple exercise, what could be changed to remove one light bulb, A/C, heater or computer. What really is the mission of this modern harmful show piece? Is it to showoff or is it a project to benefit the environment, because no honest assessment can back a large harmful machine over an impactless projects delivering better value. I assume you have read of the other nature oriented entities that have had to remove wind turbines as they could no longer face the truth of dead birds.
It is 100% certain that wildlife will be killed in this project of the EGO!
Dear Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary - Mass Audubon,
We would like to question you on the campaign to erect a wind turbine at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. We find it distressing that current managers at an Audubon SANCTUARY that so many have worked on and donated to, to make a “SANCTUARY”…would now erect a known bird & bat hazard. How many birds and bats do you estimate the wind turbine will kill? What is the typical avoidance by birds and other wildlife from the motion and noise? Director Prescott is quoted as saying certain types of birds give wide berth to wind turbines. What is the area that is acceptable to drive wildlife away from within “sanctuary”? Will there be an honest study of avoidance of the machine? That is, if they don’t just get chopped up. Director Prescott is quoted as well, saying they don’t get chopped up…does he still hold that view? We both know that statement is wrong. Can you please explain what led to that falsehood in 2003, was it ignorance or idealism? How much power do you guarantee from this wind turbine? It seems many times the estimates for wind power production are over stated in an attempt to convince others as to the benefits. Do you have facts and figures for the impact and benefits?
What is the plan when the first dead bird or bat is found? Will Director Prescott remove the wind turbine and resign in shame or just ignore it tell everyone it is for the great good?
Would you care to share why other micro(small) wind turbines kill animals and need to be removed or tethered but the "Sanctuary's" won’t?
Here are some reported deaths from a while back in the UK.
Micro-turbine bat mortality incidents, received by the Bat Conservation Trust
Devon A Rutland Windcharger Furlmatic FM910, diameter approx 900mm, was mounted on a 4m high pole; the top of the Windcharger was just above the top of an adjacent high hazel hedgeline. It provides power to a nearby motorhome.
August 2003, a bat was found decapitated adjacent to Windcharger.
Over the next month about five more dead bats were found in the garden, some with apparent injuries, others not.
September 2004, a stunned bat was found in the garden, then a dead bat found the next day (presumably the same one?) with an injury inside its ear.
September 2004, a pipistrelle bat was seen flying into the Windcharger blades; its wings were so badly injured that it had to be put down.
September 2004, the Windcharger was taken down when the owner noticed bat(s) swooping around Windcharger.
The owner has since constructed a cage around the Windcharger, but has found the energy generation severely compromised as a result.
Moffat Early 2005 a small wind turbine was attached to a National Trust for Scotland visitor centre that is 10 miles from Moffat. The building is in the uplands, and the nearest woodland is 600 metres away. A male pipistrelle hibernated in the centre during the winter.
30th May 2005 a male Pipistrellus pygmaeus was found dead directly below the turbine. No obvious cause of death, the finder considers the bat must have hit the turbine.
Kent A wind turbine was installed in the middle of Shorne Wood Country Park in Kent in March 2006. The site is within ancient woodland and is a SSSI. Rangers have surveyed underneath the turbine every day since the turbine’s installation and up to October 2006 have only found one dead pipistrelle bat the night after particularly strong winds.
Lancashire In June 2007 a dead bat (pipistrelle?) was found on a houseboat installed with a Rusland 918 mini turbine. The boat was moored on the Lancaster Canal. The mini turbine is now ‘tethered’ between dusk and dawn between April and September inclusive to avoid further mortality.
(Durham 11th July 2006, bird observation, a pigeon was observed flying into a micro-turbine at Harehope Quarry. The bird’s wing was cut off, it lost an eye and received other major trauma to its head and body. The bird was put down.)
A more recently headline
Bat Conservation Trust - Small wind turbines have big impact on bats 3 August 2012
Dear Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (Mass Audubon),
Our apologies for contacting you twice in a day., but the impending open house concerning the WBWS wind turbine requires it. We are wondering whether at the open house tomorrow whether you would be willing to highlight the risk to people working and visiting the Sanctuary from tower collapse and blade failure both not uncommon. Here are two relevant examples. The first was Bartlett Farms on Nantucket where a 20-30 foot section of blade from their two blade wind turbine broke off sending the blade sailing 175 feet in a modest wind after 10 months of operation. Fortunately no one was injured. The second is a Gaia-Wind tower collapsing Jan 30 2013 in Cornwall England. Will people be allowed within blade throw and tower collapse distance? Before you assure me this model is safe….we can tell you these were not sold telling the customer that these machines stand a good chance of breaking in a year or two and possibly kill someone if they are nearby…never mind animals. These are new technologies with large moving parts that put people’s lives at risk, especially because they are overhead. Any chance of responsible wind energy development is far away from people and a low density animals area. Would you describe the Wildlife Sanctuary that people regularly visit in this way?
With its new 100-foot-tall windmill still broken and idle, Bartlett’s Ocean View Farm has sued its manufacturer and the company which installed the turbine in Nantucket Superior Court, seeking $1.5 million in damages.
One of the windmill’s 40-foot-long blades broke in half in moderate winds some time after dark Jan. 18 2010, the broken piece plummeting to the ground where it landed nearly 175 feet away from the turbine. No one was hurt in the nighttime incident
Wind turbines alert after Cornwall collapse
The manufacturer of a wind turbine(GAIA-Wind) which collapsed in north Cornwall has written to other owners over concerns about the turbine towers' construction.
Gaia-Wind said the "issue" affected the foundations
We have yet to hear anything concerning the plan to build a wind turbine at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Please read the following from the US department of the Interior/ U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center concerning wind turbines impact on bats @ http://www.fort.usgs.gov/BatsWindmills/
Dead bats are turning up beneath wind turbines all over the world. Bat fatalities have now been documented at nearly every wind facility in North America where adequate surveys for bats have been conducted, and several of these sites are estimated to cause the deaths of thousands of bats per year. This unanticipated and unprecedented problem for bats has moved to the forefront of conservation and management efforts directed toward this poorly understood group of mammals. The mystery of why bats die at turbine sites remains unsolved.
We find it troubling that in a well-intended effort to lower WBWS’ impact, that anyone could choose Wind Energy of any size. Repeatedly we see the words “unanticipated and unprecedented” when speaking of the damage to animals from wind energy machinery. Why is it “unanticipated and unprecedented” that putting high speed blades of industrial machines in open nature where the animals live would kill them? We have provided information on wind energy machinery killing, maiming and driving away animals.
Can you clarify that Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is a Sanctuary run by a conservation group and not a wind energy or renewable test facility?
Can your organization please let us know what information they have to rebut the information provided by government scientists at USGS Fort Collins Science Center? Does the Audubon have a body of scientific evidence showing that wind turbines don’t kill, maimed or drive away wildlife?
Hundreds of wind farms around the world have slowed operations after huge turbine blades fell in Southern California and Iowa.
U-T San Diego reports that a 170-foot blade fell last week at a wind farm in Ocotillo, 70 miles east of San Diego.
The U-T's report said turbine-maker Siemens confirmed Monday that its sent a team of experts to the wind farm in San Diego county to determine what happened and whether it's related to an April incident in central Iowa when the same type of blade snapped off.
Siemens also said it's curtailing operations for turbines with the B53 blade type around the world.
The estimated 700 turbines - 600 of them in the U.S. - will mostly continue operating but at slower speeds. However, the Ocotillo unit is completely shut down.
U-T San Diego reports that on April 5, a blade broke on the same model turbine at MidAmerican Energy's Eclipsewind farm in Iowa's central Audubon and Guthrie counties.
The paper said the turbine blades at Ocotillo are made of a glass fiber-reinforced epoxy resin and are attached to a rotor suspended about 240 feet from the ground.
10News in San Diego reported last week that some residents expressed concern after the blade from the Ocotillo wind turbine broke off and fell to the ground.
SOSS Editor Note - Sadly Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary once again is pushing to use wildlife killing wind energy. The previous larger project was killed, but now there is attempt at a smaller version which will still kill local wildlife without even admitting the first effort was wrong headed. We find it unseemly and irresponsible that current management of the wildlife sanctuary built by many, with donation from many, to protect the environment and wildlife..would turn to wind energy which 100% guaranteed to kill wildlife. Pretty much every wind energy project makes lowball estimates of how many animals will killed and find the actual harm is MANY FOLD WORSE! This is SHAMEFUL. A number of wildlife entities have erected wind turbines finding they have to be removed once they have to deal with the ugly reality that wind energy kills. If this gets built, will they even have the integrity remove it when the the killing begins? We all know for a fact much more could be accomplished with impactless projects such as high efficiency equipment, smart architecting and materials than erecting a wind energy machine at a WILDLIFE SANCTUARY. A simple exercise should be what could be changed to remove one light bulb, A/C, heater or computer. Wonder how much industrial noise this machine will be introducing to the sanctuary?
Gull killer micro turbines are removedin Devon, England The 15m (50ft) high 6kW turbines at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth were installed in 2006 for a £3.6m sustainable energies project. But the Hoe-based attraction has taken them down after several birds died, it said. The aquarium also said they had not produced as much electricity as hoped.
As the next phase of its ongoing plan to promote the generation of practical green energy, Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is seeking to erect a
micro-wind turbine near existing solar panel arrays adjacent to the sanctuary’s parking lot.
The wildlife sanctuary in South Wellfleet is hosting a community open house Thursday, May 23 from 5–7 PM to provide more information about the project, including images of the proposed turbine and to answer questions.
The proposed 120-foot, two-bladed turbine is an example of micro-wind technology as categorized by government and industry and is not comparable to the much larger industrial-sized turbines erected in other areas of the Cape. Its modest scale has been designed to generate only enough power for the sanctuary to return to the regional grid as much power as it uses and has been sited to minimize visual and other impacts, both on and off the sanctuary.
Sanctuary director Bob Prescott said adding wind power to the sanctuary’s green energy mix is a logical next step following the installation of solar panels at the sanctuary in 2006 and 2011 and the 2008 construction of the award-winning LEED Platinum-certified nature center, an energy-efficient building incorporating recycled materials.
“This proposal dovetails with Mass Audubon’s organization-wide commitment to demonstrate affordable, practical ways to reduce one’s carbon footprint and help to offset emissions contributing to climate change,” Prescott noted. “We also anticipate using the turbine as part of our education programs and to further engage the greater community to which we belong.”
The turbine will require approval by Wellfleet’s Zoning Board of Appeals. Mass Audubon will also conduct environmental studies to ensure the turbine will not have adverse impacts. If approved, the turbine would be constructed in the off-season to minimize impact on visitors and wildlife.
“We hope people will join us for what I expect to be an informative and productive session,” Prescott said.