The purpose of the NeWind Demonstration Wind Project is essentially to establish the reliability and durability of wind turbine generators in the harsh Newfoundland climate and their efficiency in providing electricity. The NeWind Group proposes to implement a 5 to 25 MW demonstration wind generation project consisting of up to 40 wind turbine generators with a rated capacity ranging between 600 kW and 1.8 MW. The wind turbines are horizontal axis, three bladed wind energy converters, with a maximum hub height of 70 metres. Their rotor diameter will be between 40 and 50 metres.
The site chosen for the wind farm is located in the lower elevations of Burin Peninsula, northwest of the town of St. Lawrence (Figure 1.1), to the north and south of Route 220. The gentle relief along with the unobstructed view of largely exposed areas will allow the wind to approach the wind turbines without reduction in intensity and interference by human or natural obstacles.
A more precise location for the wind turbine units within the St Lawrence area will be determined based on various information including, wind monitoring data obtained through the current wind monitoring stations, topography, soil conditions, etc., as well as information obtained from the bird surveys.
Collisions of birds with wind turbine generators have often been identified as an issue - often on the basis of presumed rather than documented interactions. The problem has primarily been identified in relation to mountain passes where large raptors ride the updrafts along the mountainside and inadvertently venture into the turbine rows. Also, the earlier turbine tower designs used latticed towers, which were attractive to raptors as perching locations. During take-off from the towers, raptors would be carried by the draft into the rotor of downwind-operated turbines.
Today's wind turbines are essentially upwind machines (i.e. the rotor is upwind from the tower) and are mounted on tubular towers which offer no opportunity for birds to perch. Furthermore, large turbines have reduced rotor tip speeds and rotating speeds (26 to 36 rpm), which reduces the likelihood of bird collisions. A recent review of bird impact studies in Europe and the United States indicate bird-turbine interactions resulting in mortality represent relatively minor occurrences (Kerlinger 2001a, 2001b).
The NeWind group will voluntarily implement a bird monitoring program at the St. Lawrence site in order to gather data on the presence of birds in the area. This report outlines the proposed program.