Changing Wind Turbine Speeds can Reduce Bat Fatalities

Shutting down wind turbines can reduce mortality rates during bat migration

Shutting down wind turbines can reduce mortality rates during bat migration

A new report on a study of the interaction between bats and wind turbines shows that shutting down wind turbines during low winds reduces bat mortality by more than 70%, with minimal accompanying energy loss.

The study was the first U.S.-based experiment on the effectiveness of changing turbine cut-in speed on reducing bat fatality at wind turbines at the Casselman Wind Project in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Twelve of the site’s 23 wind turbines were part of the experiment The amount of power loss from the experiment was approximately 2% of total project output during the 76-day study period for the 12 turbines, the report revealed. The report speculated that had all 23 turbines participated in the experiment, total energy loss would have been limited to 0.3 % of total annual output.

“Shutting down turbines at certain wind speeds during periods when bats appear most vulnerable at this Northeastern U.S. wind farm may have the potential to be a cost-effective way to reduce the impact on bats during their late summer migration season,” said Andy Linehan, wind permitting director for Iberdrola Renewables, who partnered with Bat Conservation International to address potential wind energy impacts on bats.

With this demonstration, perhaps wind farms will practice good stewardship and “trim their sails” to help protect the bats.

4 Responses

  1. Hmmm…. I had never thought about this. I have two small wind generators on top of my barn.

    I followed over from your Green Job Hunter Profile at Green Gigs. Love your profile, by the way!


  2. […] Changing Wind Turbine Speeds can Reduce Bat Fatalities Envirothink […]

  3. Thanks for this information. My sister has been wondering about this topic for a while.

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