Wind power production is an important part of international strategies to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change. Nonetheless, there are costs to wildlife, especially eagles and bats, from wind turbines. Golden Eagles are a federally protected species; therefore, when a wind facility is predicted to “take” Golden Eagles during normal operation, the facility is often legally required to attempt to avoid that take. If avoiding take is not possible, minimizing take is the next step. Minimizing take can be achieved by micro-siting wind turbines to avoid high risk areas. I applied existing models of predicted risk to low-flying Golden Eagles from wind energy, Golden Eagle habitat suitability, and wind turbine suitability to wind turbine locations at the Bluestone Wind Project. Of the 33 turbines, 24% (n = 8) were originally sited in high risk areas. Models suggest that each of those turbines could be micro-sited, i.e., relocated to a spot within 500 feet of the original location, to reduce predicted risk to Golden Eagles.
Assess risk of individual turbines to Golden Eagles
Miller, T. (2019). Assess risk of individual turbines to Golden Eagles. pp 28.