in News Departments > Products & Technologies
print the content item

Normandeau Associates Inc. says it has developed a spatial avian- and bat-collision-risk model for wind resource areas in the central U.S.

Wildlife managers, government agencies and wind energy developers can use this tool to conduct large-scale pre-construction studies and assist with federal and state regulatory compliance, the company says. Normandeau created and tested this empirical collision-risk model during a two-and-a-half year project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"The collision-risk model was based on identifying each species' preferred habitat and other environmental conditions that would increase exposure to wind turbines, such as weather and topography in the landscape," explains Dr. Greg Forcey, Normandeau project manager and senior ecologist.

Potentially risky behaviors (e.g., migratory or mating display flights) are factored into the model, creating a spatiotemporal prediction of when and where particular species would be most at risk from collision.

The study examined landscape-level influences using a hierarchical spatial model, combined with existing data sets and life history knowledge, for six bird and three bat species (horned lark, red-eyed vireo, mallard, American avocet, golden eagle, whooping crane, eastern red bat, hoary bat and silver-haired bat) in the Upper Great Plains region.

Normandeau evaluated the tool's effectiveness by comparing model predictions with available mortality data for four focal species - horned lark, eastern red bat, silver-haired bat and hoary bat. For the three bat species, there was a 90% correlation between existing post-construction mortality data and predicted risk, and for the horned lark there was a 55% correlation, Normandeau says.

"Based on model results, developers can make informed large-scale decisions about wind turbine siting - ensuring the best outcomes for the wind industry, the public and wildlife," Forcey says.

A Web-based interface allows users to identify higher-risk locations for the nine species studied. The tool can be adapted for other species and habitats in different geographic areas if desired.

IowaDeptEconDevel_id1863

Helukabel_id1908
Latest Top Stories

Report Disputes U.S. Agency's Renewable Energy Projections

A new analysis from the Sun Day Campaign says renewables are slated to provide 16% of U.S. generating capacity by 2018 - over 20 years earlier than forecast by the Energy Information Administration.


Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.


Senate Committee Passes Bill With Two-Year PTC Extension

The Senate Finance Committee has voted on a tax extenders package, which includes both the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit, and sent it to the floor.

WomenofWind_id
Acciona_id1907
UEA_id1896
JLG_id1900
AWEA_id1886
bonfiglioli_id1913