Vision Quest Windelectric, TransAlta's Wind Business, constructed, owns and operates the Summerview Wind Farm, located approximately 15 km north of Pincher Creek, in southwestern Alberta. The wind farm consists of 39 Vestas V80 1.8 MW wind turbines with rotor diameters of 80 m on tubular steel towers that are 65 m at hub height. Turbines are arranged in 7 arrays of 1-7 turbines on either side of Highway 785. Arrays are separated by 600-1200m. Individual turbines within each array are separated by about 250 m. Total output capacity of the wind farm is 70.2 MW.
The wind farm is on a broad, relatively level plateau within the Grassland Natural Region. Land use is entirely agricultural, including cropland and seeded pasture.
Vision Quest obtained all environmental approvals for this project, and prepared an environmental monitoring program for the project. To undertake part of Vision Quest's environmental monitoring program at the Summerview Wind Farm, Vision Quest engaged TAEM Ltd. to collect information on bird and bat collisions with wind turbines for one year after the wind farm was commissioned.
From January 2005 through January 2006, we conducted 66 surveys of the entire wind farm. Surveys were done weekly most of the year and twice weekly during bird migration periods in spring/early summer (May-July) and fall (September). During each survey, we walked standardized transects at the base of each turbine to search for carcasses of birds and bats that had collided with turbines.