Thirty-one wind energy companies, through the Wind Wildlife Research Fund, have unveiled their 2020 research projects.
Wind companies representing more than 63% of the total installed U.S. wind capacity have invested in the fund to advance new projects in 2020. All these initiatives will expand the understanding of the connection between wind energy and wildlife, helping wind companies protect wildlife while increasing electricity production. Several of the 2020 projects are a continuation of research begun in 2019. This year’s projects have a specific focus on bats, eagles and prairie grouse.
The fund, launched in 2019 and managed by the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI), is a unique industry-led initiative that pools resources to advance collaborative research on wind-wildlife issues. Studies use a variety of host sites and leverage expertise, data, and technological and financial resources from many collaborators. The goal of this research is to produce scientifically robust solutions that will enable the continued expansion of wind energy while also increasing the understanding of wildlife protection.
“In 2020, the fund is investing in research projects that will assist in answering urgent questions facing wind energy in order to reduce constraints to expanding clean energy while advancing conservation techniques,” says Kyle Boudreaux of NextEra Energy.
“Fund participants will continue to assimilate what we are learning, identify knowledge gaps and create opportunities to leverage our collective resources in order to advance wind-wildlife research,” he adds.
The results of the 2020 research projects will be used to inform regulatory and business decisions. All research is conducted by independent third-party investigators, thoroughly reviewed by scientific experts, and the results are published. The results from 2019 projects will be available beginning this spring.