According to a San Francisco Chronicle report, the developer operates over 820 wind turbines in the region, and Bill Damon, vice president of Altamont Winds, notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) about the decision to cease operations in a letter, saying, ‘The reduction of avian impacts was a primary factor that influenced our decision.’
The Pass region is home to several wind farms owned by various companies, but the report says Altamont Wind's turbines are about 40 years old and more prone to killing birds. Citing the FWS, the report says Altamont Winds' turbines have killed 31 golden eagles over the past five years.
According to the report, Altamont Winds received a controversial extension to continue operations until 2018 while it works to replace its old turbines with newer models, and the company has submitted plans to install 33 bigger, more-efficient tubular turbines.
Altamont Winds' decision to cease operations of the lattice-style turbines earlier than required was lauded by several environmental groups, one of which called the development "a victory."
The full San Francisco Chronicle report is available here.