Iberdrola Renewables has presented its first wildlife program awards as a way to recognize the achievements of field technicians who have supported the company's avian and bat-protection policy (ABPP).
Iberdrola rolled out the latest phase of the ABPP at the beginning of this year with new protocols and procedures for implementing the program. On-site technicians now conduct ongoing bird and bat surveys, including walking inspections around turbines to collect data for analysis on how wildlife interacts with wind farms.
The Casselman and PeÃ±ascal wind power projects in Pennsylvania and Texas, respectively, won the 2011 awards for wind plant achievement. Stewart Banks, a technician at the Hardscrabble Wind Power Project in New York, was honored for individual achievement.
The Casselman project was the site of a two-year study on the interaction between bats and wind turbines. It was conducted by independent conservation group Bat Conservation International through the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, which is a coalition of the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and BCI.
The PeÃ±ascal project sits near a migratory bird flyway just west of Baffin Bay on the Gulf Coast of Texas, and Iberdrola Renewables took measures to site turbines away from waterfowl flyways, potential high bird-use areas such as oak mottes, seasonal wetlands and other resources, Iberdrola explains. In addition, the project instituted an experimental radar and visibility monitoring and control system to minimize impacts to migratory birds.