Grande Prairie Wind, LLC (Grande Prairie Wind), a subsidiary of Geronimo Wind Energy, LLC d/b/a Geronimo Energy, LLC, is proposing the construction of a commercial, utility-scale wind energy generation facility in Holt County, Nebraska. The Grande Prairie Wind Farm (Project) would include up to 266 wind turbines, with a combined generating capacity of up to 400 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy.
Grande Prairie, as part of their due diligence process, is developing this Bird and Bat Conservation Strategy (BBCS) to avoid and reduce potential impacts to birds and bats at the Project. This BBCS will also document Grande Prairie’s scientific analysis of the Project’s potential impacts to bird and bat species and their habitats, and the systematic processes which will be used for evaluating these impacts. The Project is using the tiered approach described in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ (USFWS) Land Based Wind Energy Guidelines (WEG; USFWS 2012) as well as the Nebraska Wind and Wildlife Working Group’s (NWWWG) Guidelines for Wind Energy and Wildlife Resource Management in Nebraska (NWWWG 2013) to assess the potential impacts to bird and bat species. This BBCS will be in effect throughout the life of the Project as a working document. The main goals of the Grande Prairie BBCS are to:
- Minimize bird and bat fatalities and secondary effects on wildlife at the Project;
- Comply with federal and state wildlife regulations (e.g., Migratory Bird Treaty Act);
- Effectively document any bird or bat injuries and fatalities to provide a basis for ongoing development of avian and bat protection procedures;
- Outline ongoing surveys, monitoring, and management efforts to avoid and minimize adverse wildlife impacts throughout the Project;
- Implement adequate training for all personnel and subcontractors; and
- Plan for effective and continuous coordination between Grande Prairie, the USFWS and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC).