NRG Systems Inc. has announced the first commercial sale of its bat deterrent system, which has been purchased for Kawailoa Wind in Hawaii.
Located on the island of Oahu, Kawailoa Wind will outfit each of its 30 turbines with the system. The adoption of NRG’s technology is part of Kawailoa Wind’s ongoing efforts to help conserve the Hawaiian hoary bat, which has been on the U.S.’ list of endangered species since 1970, says NRG.
“Wind energy is crucial to providing renewable energy in Hawaii,” adds Brita Woeck, environmental compliance officer for Kawailoa Wind. “Kawailoa Wind is invested in finding solutions so that clean energy generation and bat conservation can co-exist here in Hawaii and beyond.”
Kawailoa Wind is currently curtailing or turning off turbines in low wind speeds at night, when bats are most active, to minimize hoary bat fatalities. Now, NRG’s systems are expected to be used in addition to curtailment in an effort to achieve even greater reductions in fatalities.
Brogan Morton, senior product manager at NRG Systems, says, “We have held several trials of our bat deterrent system, including tests in Texas and Illinois, and have seen very favorable results among hoary bats. In Texas, we saw a 78 percent reduction in take among this species, and in Illinois, we achieved a 71 percent reduction. Based on this performance, we are confident that our technology will play a key role in helping the Kawailoa Wind team and assist Hawaii in reaching its clean energy goals.”
In operation since 2012, the Kawailoa Wind Farm is located on the Kawailoa Plantation, owned by Kamehameha Schools, northeast of Haleiwa Town on Oahu’s north shore. Kawailoa Wind is owned and operated by D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments.