The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) has announced its Research Information System (RIS) has entered phase two of development. The RIS is designed to be a centralized database to help wind industry companies, government staff and wildlife stakeholders evaluate the impact of operating wind projects.
AWWI anticipates RIS analysis and reports will have broad value and implications from product design and application, to landscape and impact assessment, through project siting and turbine operations.
"The RIS will provide analysis with a high certainty of accuracy by including data from thousands of sites," says Abby Arnold, AWWI's executive director. "For the first time, comprehensive and uniform data analysis will be compared across multiple regions and species in one database."
The RIS is being built for AWWI with technical support from Oregon State University's Northwest Alliance for Computational Science & Engineering. A prototype pilot was completed in late 2012, and the system has integrated post-construction wildlife fatality data and literature.
Now, in phase two, AWWI is approaching companies to highlight system functionality, review measures to protect proprietary data/limit liability exposure, and begin data collection. Following data collection, AWWI will select independent analysts to analyze the data.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) passed a resolution in support of the RIS at a 2011 board meeting.
"This is an important step forward in using the vast amounts of data collected by the industry over the past several decades," said Rob Gramlich, interim CEO of AWEA. ‘It will help inform future siting decisions to further improve these practices and aid in reducing the industry's already-low impacts on wildlife and their habitats. Creation of the RIS is critical to increasing transparency of the industry's data while protecting the confidentiality of commercially or otherwise sensitive information."