New Eagle Rules Set Up to Help Wind Turbines

Bald EagleDespite the benefits of wind power, the reality is that wind turbines do kill some flying animals while in operation. Modern wind turbines can be as tall as a 30-story building, and the tips of its rotors spin incredibly fast, sometimes up to 170 miles per hour. This is a particular challenge for endangered animals like eagles, because it is generally illegal to harm an eagle or other endangered animal. The process of getting a permit to install a turbine that may or may not hit some eagles can be very complicated, but on December 14 the Obama Administration issued some new rules to make the process easier.

The rule will allow 4,200 bald eagles and 2,000 golden eagles to be killed or injured by wind turbines over the next 30 years. Instead of dealing with each turbine completely individually, the federal government is setting up processes that will protect eagles at all turbine locations. This will include careful documentation of risks in a particular site and then setting up the necessary protections.

Common methods to protect birds and bats include radar, GPS tracking, ultrasonic acoustics, adjusting blade speed, and painting blades so they are more visible to the birds. Radar and GPS can be used to locate bird flocks and slow down blades while they are passing through the area. Blades can also be slowed down at low wind speeds, because that is when some birds and bats prefer to travel. Blades can be painted colors that do not attract bugs, and therefore attract fewer birds. More common tactics are warning birds and bats. This is usually done with ultrasonic “boom boxes” that put off loud high-frequency sounds that birds and bats do not like.  

President Obama has taken a number of steps to boost wind production, and many companies and individuals are moving towards paying extra for wind power. The experts at AGR Group can inform you of your solar options. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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