Category Archives: harm to wildlife

Deep ‘Green’ Hypocrisy: Wind Power Cult Happily Ignores Bird and Bat Blood Bath

“This brings us to indefatigable wind warrior Esther Wrightman, an Ontario wind turbine refugee who fled to New Brunswick. Last year she filed a Freedom of Information request (FOI) with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in order to obtain the wind industry’s mandatory bird and bat mortality reports. In January she finally received “loads” of them, for a hefty fee. The mortality numbers are disturbing. Esther writes:

As the bird and bat mortality reports are slowly uncovered, the numbers just seem to get worse and worse. I never imagined it could get this low, but then again nobody was releasing this info to the public, so how were we to know?”

eagle-nest

Source: Deep ‘Green’ Hypocrisy: Wind Power Cult Happily Ignores Bird and Bat Blood Bath

Origins & migratory patterns of bats killed by wind turbines in southern Alberta

alberta wind

Origins and migratory patterns of bats killed by wind turbines in southern Alberta: evidence from stable isotopes

Author:  Baerwald, Erin Baerwald, Erin;Patterson, Bill Patterson, Bill; and Barclay, Robert Barclay, Robert

Abstract: Large numbers of migratory bats are killed every autumn at wind energy facilities in North America. While this may be troubling from a population perspective, these fatalities provide an opportunity to learn more about bat migration and the origins and summer distributions of migratory bats by using endogenous markers. Such markers include stable isotope values, which have been used to answer questions about ecological systems, such as trophic levels and food webs, and the origins and migratory routes of animals. To estimate the origins of migratory bats, we determined nitrogen (δ¹⁵N), carbon (δ¹³C), and hydrogen (δ²H) stable isotope values of fur (δ¹⁵Nf, δ¹³Cf, δ²Hf, respectively) from hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus) and silver-haired bats (Lasionycteris noctivagans) killed at a wind energy facility in southern Alberta, Canada. We determined that mean isotope values varied among species, year, sex, and age class. δ¹³Cf and δ²Hf values indicated that silver-haired bats likely originated in the boreal forest, farther north and/or at higher elevations than the aspen parkland-like habitat suggested by the isotope values of hoary bats. IsoMAP analysis indicated that bat fatalities may have originated from a large catchment area potentially hundreds of kilometers away. Our data provide further evidence for a migration route along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains that is used by bats from across Alberta and beyond, and suggest that fatalities at a single wind energy site have the potential to have far-reaching ecological and population consequences.

E. F. BAERWALD, W. P. PATTERSON, and R. M. R. BARCLAY

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Saskatchewan Isotope Laboratory, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Ecosphere 5(9):118. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES13-00380.1

Download original document: “Origins and migratory patterns of bats killed by wind turbines in southern Alberta: evidence from stable isotopes”

This article is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

Source: National Wind Watch

PHOTO BELOW: University of Calgary bat researchers Cori Lausen, left, and Erin Baerwald, perform a bat carcass search at a wind energy site in Southern Alberta.

READ MEDIA ARTICLE: Bat deaths at wind farms need more study, expert says SHEILA PRATT, EDMONTON JOURNAL 11.19.2014

bat alberta edmonton.jpg
Researchers from Calgary University

 

 

 

COMPLETE A FINANCIAL AUDIT OF THE AMHERST ISLAND WIND PROJECT

snowy-owlIMMEDIATE RELEASE

STELLA- March 23, 2017  

Following the Ontario Energy Minister’s statement that there is a robust supply of energy for decades to come, the Association to Protect Amherst Island  (APAI) called on the Provincial Auditor-General, Bonnie Lysyk, to examine why the provincial Liberal Government is not exercising its right to terminate an expired wind turbine contract signed in February 2011 and save the Ontario taxpayers more than $500MM over the next 20 years. Windlectric, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power and Utilities Corporation, continues with plans to build a 75 MW wind project on Amherst Island that would produce unnecessary and expensive electricity costing  $140 per MWh.

Although Premier Wynne admitted that the “green energy” policy is a mistake and that the electricity rates were too high, the Association’s numerous attempts to have the project terminated have been ignored.  Michèle Le Lay, APAI President, questioned the Liberal Government’s logic: “Why is the Government proceeding with the industrialization and the destruction of the natural and cultural heritage of a community, allowing twenty-six, 50-storey-tall wind turbines to be built in bird and bat migratory routes, endangering at-risk species’ habitats and at the same time, risking the health and safety of the people who live there for unneeded, costly energy?”

She explained that: “Right across the channel from the Island, the Lennox and Addington Gas Plant operates at less than 3% capacity and the new Napanee Generating Station being built right beside it is slated to operate at about 30% capacity.  Even worse, in early 2017, the Ministry of Energy forced the closure of Northland Power Generation Station (across from the Island) that offered to provide electricity to the grid for $59 per MWh. Something is not right about all of this”. She added : “The Liberal Government could save the Ontario taxpayers and electricity consumers between $400- and $600-million dollars over 20 years by cancelling the Windlectric contract”.

“Ontario taxpayers could use a break on their electricity bills.  Why pour more money into the pockets of a large utility at taxpayers’ and electricity consumers’ expense?” said Mayo Underwood, a resident of the Island.

A formal letter has been sent to the Auditor-General of Ontario seeking a financial investigation on why the Ontario Government refuses to terminate an expired wind turbine contract and agrees to pay for the next 20 years a wind company the highest rate ever ($140 MWh estimated average rate) for unneeded electricity.

 

Contact(s):  Michèle Le Lay (613) 929-2979  or  protectai@kos.net

Protect Amherst Island 

 

Who Pays for killing the Eagles?

eagle soaringSouthern Ontario has 4 publicly known (to date ) eagle deaths caused by wind turbines.  READ:  NextEra freely handed permit to destroy Bald Eagle nest: FOI records

Internationally deaths of the iconic raptors by wind projects remains an ongoing environmental horror story.  The writer in the  letter below asks questions about the deference granted to wind facilities who are in essence given licence to kill unlike any other industry.

Emmetsburg NewsMarch 21, 2017

To the Editor:

If wind turbines are subject to wildlife areas, what happens if an eagle is hit and killed or wounded by a wind turbine? Eagles are an endangered bird and are protected by the Federal Gov. law. I read on the internet, the first offense is a $5000 fine and or one year in jail. Second time it is $10000 fine and two years in jail. Third time, if that is a felony, the fine is $250000 and jail time. Now, question is, who is to blame for the death or wounding of the eagle? Remember this is a federal crime if one is killed or wounded according to the message on the internet. Who would pay the damages or the jail time? Would it be the wind turbine company, the land owner, or would it be the county supervisors who made this decision on their own to allow the wind companies to come in by rezoning, or would it be all three?

(signed)?Tillford Egland

Cylinder, IA (USA)

Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility: Wrong from the start

ocotillo nightThe Lesson: This project was a disaster from the beginning. Speed and greed are a recipe for environmental, economic, and social failures. Applications for future wind developments must learn from this experience and be much, much more diligent and responsible in their planning and execution.

Desert Report March 2017 – Parke and Linda Ewing

The Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility (OWEF)1 is an utility scale project placed on 12,436 acres near Ocotillo, California, of which 10,151 acres are public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Let’s not forget the towns of Ocotillo and NoMirage. Not huge towns, but home to 266 residents who chose the solitude, the quietness, and the beauty of the ever-changing seasons. Much of this beauty, along with the ecosystem, has been sacrificed.

This wind energy facility now consists of 112 Siemens 2.3-108 MW Industrial Wind Turbines (IWT), which means each IWT was rated to produce 2.3 Megawatts (MW), and the blade swept area is 108 meters in diameter (354.331’). At a later date, the rating was increased to 2.7 MW per tower, very likely to meet the minimum installed capacity required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) if San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is to meet their mandated renewable energy requirements.

The nacelle, which houses moving and support components such as the gearbox, generator, and main shaft, sits on top of a round tapered steel tower 80m (262.467’) above the ground. The 173’ long blades are held in place at a hub which is attached to the end of the nacelle. The total height of the wind turbine when a blade is in the 12 o’clock position is about 438’. The base of the tower is 15’ in diameter and houses the inverter and control equipment. Two cooling fans are placed outside of the base under the entry stairway, and the transformer is placed on the ground next to the base. More data can be found at Wikipedia2 and at the Siemens’ link3. All these links are posted in the “Notes” section online at http://www.desertreport.org.

ocotilloPublic Involvement

How did this happen? Initially, when we first heard about this project, we were told by Pattern Energy officials and by project documentation that we, the residents, would not be impacted by the turbine facility because it would be located five miles away from the Ocotillo Community. Five miles? That’s an acceptable distance. My wife and I now have turbines that reside one-half a mile from our house and with most less than one mile from the community on all sides.

There were so many maps presented during the different meetings with the various Imperial County departments that confusion ran rampant when someone asked which map represented the location of the turbines for this project. During a scoping meeting, a meeting designed to gain input from every single entity, person, department, or facility that may be impacted by this project, the residents were not allowed to speak. Instead, we were instructed to write our questions on a post card, and they would be addressed at a later time. When?

Ground Disturbances

Now let’s talk about the turbine access roads. Initial discussions and documentation indicated that these roads would be thirty-six feet wide and then narrowed to sixteen feet once the project was complete. In addition there would be an additional fifteen feet on either one side or both sides for the electrical collection lines from each turbine. Some roads ended up being up to 113 feet wide. The disturbance caused to Native American sites and to wildlife has been recorded many times4.5.

Many homeowners have felt the need to purchase flood insurance, in the middle of the desert. Residents feel that Pattern Energy was allowed to change the drainage patterns that will affect the alluvial fans, causing flooding by diversion of rain runoff. Construction of forty-two miles of access roads and an additional eighty-two miles of collection lines has stripped the water absorbing desert crust, creating the potential for flooding in areas that have been safe in past years.

Initial Wind Estimates

The next indiscretion that made itself Somewhere on this map is a community now surrounded by industrial project. known were the wind values. The wind values were incorrectly stated – records were from the Desert View Tower located ten miles up the Interstate Highway grade from Ocotillo and approximately another 2500 feet higher than the desert valley where the project is located. How were they allowed to use those numbers? Three years of data have shown that these turbines are not generating the power that was projected.

Production Shortfall

During the permitting process, differing estimate were given for the energy production of the facility depending upon who made the estimate and for whom they were intended. Ultimately Patten Energy stated that the OWEF would have a capacity factor of 34% (meaning that over time it would produce 34% of its maximum rated output at full sunlight) and that it would produce 2673 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy in its first three years. In fact, the actual capacity factor during this period was 21%, and the total energy produced was 1438 GWh, far below the projected figures. This was in spite of receiving $115,890,946 dollars from the Department of Energy’s 1603 Cash Grant Program6 in lieu of the Production Tax Credits and $110,000,000 from the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission7.

During the BLM scoping period for the project, many comments were submitted. The majority of these were in opposition to the OWEF. Comments that favored the facility were mostly based on the jobs and economic benefits that the facility would provide. A small minority of the comments favored the facility because of the sustainable renewable energy benefits. Those claims were based on the “Installed Capacity,” which is the maximum power which the facility can generate at full daytime sunlight, and an expected capacity factor of 34%. Ocotillo Wind, as stated previously, has fallen far short of predictions.

Current electricity generation for the residents of California relies on a mix of energy production technologies including: coal (7.7%), natural gas (41.9%), nuclear (13.9%), other renewables (13.7%), hydroelectric (10.8%), and others (12.0%). Based on nearly 204,000 GWh of net power generation in California in 2010, the average annual production of 479 GWh by the Ocotillo facility represents only 0.2 percent of California’s total. It is reasonable to wonder if the negative consequences of the project can be justified by this small contribution.

Mechanical failures

The OWEF has been plagued by mechanical problems. On May 16, 2013, a 173’ long wind turbine blade was thrown off of Turbine 156. The cause was determined to be a fiberglass root segment curing problem. Ten wind turbine blades were ultimately replaced at Ocotillo Wind. Many people familiar with the facility believe that the blade problem was due to the “fast tracking” of the facility to enable Ocotillo Express LLC to complete the project by the end of 2012, so they could qualify for the 1603 Cash Grant offered by the Department of Energy.

On January 15, 2015, Turbine 110 had a major fire. The cause of the fire was never revealed. The entire turbine was eventually replaced. The turbine did not generate power for nine months.

On November 21, 2016, Turbine 126 collapsed entirely. It was later confirmed to have been caused by a turbine blade striking the side of the tower. According to the Ocotillo Wind website, a shear stiffener inside of the blade was found to have failed. The Ocotillo Wind website8 stated that the turbine actually collapsed “in the Designated Safe Zone.” There are easily twelve wind turbine sites where BLM designated trails fall within that so-called designated safe zone. Potentially, a person could be killed under any of the Ocotillo Wind Turbines since the entire area is open to
the public.

The OWEF has been plagued with oil leaks. The residents of Ocotillo have counted over seventy turbines with oil leaks at towers and countless hydraulic oil leaks on the blades, many of them considered to be significant by the Imperial County Environmental Task Force. Additionally failures of yaw drives (which orient the blades into the wind) have caused problems. Eight gearboxes have been replaced since the facility became 100% operational along with hundreds of yaw drives.

ocitillo 1013925_544090075648796_475568349_n1Visual Blight

The bright red blinking lights of Ocotillo Wind are required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and can be seen from the southern portion of the Salton Sea, over seventy miles away. Nobody lives in the desert to view wind turbine lights blinking in unison all night long. Pattern Energy promised the community a lighting control system which would be radar activated only when aircraft were present. The Laufer System9 was approved by the FAA in January of 2016. Pattern constructed the whole first phase of Ocotillo Wind consisting of ninety-four turbines in a record 6 1/2 months, but it has been over a year, and the very irritating red lights still shine.

Death in the Airocitillo-1-1038x576.png

Many birds have been struck by the wind turbine blades, and bats lungs have exploded as they fly near the turbines. A carcass survey between 10/05/14 and 09/22/15, obtained by a FOIA request, indicated that sixty-nine birds and bats were found on the agreed upon survey sites, under or near the wind turbines. Every wind turbine site on the facility was not searched every day. We can assume that scavengers consumed many of the carcasses prior to the survey. Bird kills don’t appear to be a huge problem in Ocotillo, but we all hate the killing of any wildlife.

The once numerous Red Tailed Hawks have disappeared. Were they killed by spinning wind turbine blades? There were once so many jackrabbits that it was overwhelming. Now there are no jackrabbits, and the coyotes have also disappeared completely. The last time we saw one, it was skinny and sickly looking, almost certainly for lack of food. The ecosystem is gone.

The Lesson

This project was a disaster from the beginning. Speed and greed are a recipe for environmental, economic, and social failures. Applications for future wind developments must learn from this experience and be much, much more diligent and responsible in their planning and execution.

Desert Report Spring 2017:

Remedy Hearing – Little Brown Bats take centre stage

brown-batWE THOUGHT IT WAS OVER! TURBINE FIGHT STILL GOING! REMEDY HEARING FEB. 28TH!

Wind project developer  (WPD) have been granted another chance that could allow them to install wind turbines at Clearview.  They lost at the Tribunal on the grounds the project would cause serious harm to human health due to the wind turbines interfering and creating risks for safe aviation movements at the adjacent Collingwood airport.  Serious harm to bats was proven.  collingwood_airport_12

ON TUESDAY, FEB. 28. LITTLE BROWN BATS ARE CENTRE STAGE!

A REMEDY HEARING has been granted to allow WPD to present their mitigations measures which need to prove that the mortalities caused by the wind turbines will not cause irreversible  harm to the critically endangered bat population which is facing possible extinction.

Hearing
(28-Feb-17, 10:30 AM)
Hearing
(01-Mar-17, 10:00 AM)

WHERE? Council Chambers, Collingwood, Town Of Collingwood, P.O. Box 157, 97 Hurontario Street, Collingwood, ON

To confirm dates and times look up case number 16-036 under hearings section on the Environmental Review Tribunal website: http://elto.gov.on.ca/ert/hearings/

[220] The Tribunal finds that over the lifespan the Project, it is more likely than not that the Project will cause serious harm to the local population of little brown myotis from which it will not recover and cannot be reversed. Therefore, without additional mitigation measures in place, the Tribunal finds that engaging in the Project in accordance with the REA will cause irreversible harm to little brown myotis.

16-036 WIGGINS V. ONTARIO(MOECC): http://elto.gov.on.ca/ert/hearings/

DECISION:

Hoosac Wind- We are prisoners in our house

hoosac-wind-turbineHoosac Wind has destroyed a wild place and created ongoing community division.  Initially supportive of wind power  Larry Lorusso shares his experience of living adjacent to the project.  His goal is to protect the environment from the dangers of wind power.  Using his talents for storytelling and photography he conveys the  negative impacts of the wind project and illustrates how noise from the wind turbines has impacted his health and that of his family.

To learn more  visit Hoosac Wind Watch  https://www.facebook.com/HoosacWindWatch/ 

By MATT LINDSEY

PARISHVILLE — A Massachusetts photographer warned about 60 St. Lawrence County residents last night about what he sees as the potential dangers and disadvantages of the North Ridge Wind Farm, which has divided the community.

Presenter Larry Lorusso, who lives about one mile from Hoosac Wind Farm, located in Massachusetts, said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the turnout last night, even though a storm dropped about a foot of snow over much of the North Country. The meeting was held at the town hall.

Avangrid, the developer of the proposed North Ridge Wind Farm between State Rts. 11B and 72 in Parishville and Hopkinton, is looking to install around 40 wind towers — as high as 500 feet tall from the bases to the blade tips. Dozens of people have signed leases to allow the windmills on their land.

The controversial wind towers have created rifts between family and friends in Hopkinton, Parishville and the surrounding areas. When he heard about the proposed product he reached out to locals and wanted to educate people, he said.

Lorusso will present a slideshow at the county Legislature’s Services Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the county courthouse. He has been allotted 20 minutes for his presentation.

“I have nothing to gain,” he said, about why he travelled to the North Country to speak about wind towers. “Who better to know what is going on than someone who has them in their backyard?”

Lorusso said he supported the wind towers based on what Iberdrola, an energy company based in Spain, had told him. Avangrid, a subsidiary of Iberdrola, is heading the project in Hopkinton and Parishville.

“They told us it was going to help the environment – it doesn’t,” Lorusso said. “Wind towers are not the answer to green energy.”

Based on his experience living one mile from wind turbines, Lorusso became a community activist and documented through photography and stories and is sharing that with other communities considering installing wind towers.

“These are being sold to us that they are saving the environment,” he said. “I am not anti-wind, I am pro-environment.”

Lorusso documented the land prior to the installation, the installation process and what has come of it since wind towers were installed.

He describes his land as an “enchanted forest” with “little impacts from humans.”

“There were mountain alterations of beautiful land – they wrecked it,” Lorusso said. “There used to be wildlife sign and wildlife – all gone.”

Lorusso said the noises range from ringing in ears, to the sound of a helicopter hovering or a jet engine that never takes off. But, he says the vibrations are the worst part.

“The worse is not what you see or hear, it’s what you feel,” he said. “I can feel my head pulsing — I can put my hand on my windows and feel them vibrating.”

Lorusso said he, his wife and neighbors developed several medical issues since the towers were installed near his home about four years ago. He says the issues include heart problems, high blood pressure, and sinus issues.

“They have not been able to determine the source of my wife’s sinus issues,” he said, noting that it was not a sinus infection.

He says he has sleepless nights at home, but slept well during his stay in St. Lawrence County.

“I wake up in a state of anxiety – on the edge of fear,” he said. “Yesterday and today were the first days in months that I haven’t woken up anxious.”

And then there is the ringing in the ears.

“It’s never quiet, even when it’s quiet,” he said.

Lorusso said the issues have driven some people away from their homes. “People abandoned their homes, they just left.”

Lorusso is determined to stay and fight against the wind tower company.

“We are prisoners in our own house – it’s sad,” he said.

Published in NCNowNews on February 13, 2017:  http://northcountrynow.com/news/massachusetts-photographer-travels-st-lawrence-county-warn-officials-and-locals-concerning

 

Wind Turbine Bird & Bat Mortality Reports, with Summary- Ontario, Canada

Posted on 01/24/2017 by

Below is a summary Maureen kindly assembled from all of the reports retrieved through the FOI. Have a good hard look at the numbers per project. Individually, these projects have got off scot free – they have never been challenged, never been questioned, never been charged, or even slapped on the wrist for these astounding kills. Dan tallied the actual raptor deaths on the right hand side, as many raptor deaths were ignored as “incidental” – not killed at the right time/place…more on that later. There is much more to glean from these reports – please share what you gather. This is a draft that will be added to and amended as we go.

Click here to download and view in full screen

Follow link to see all of bird and bat kill reports: http://ontario-wind-resistance.org/2017/01/24/wind-turbine-bird-bat-mortality-reports-with-summary-ontario-canada/

 

Raptors are being Slaughtered By Wind Turbines in Ontario

turkey-vulture-a
“The infection in her eye had also abated, but she had likely suffered some permanent loss of vision.”

“A volunteer had found an injured turkey vulture beneath a wind turbine and brought her to Salthaven where triage revealed she was suffering from head trauma. She didn’t have any lacerations or bone fractures (injuries commonly sustained by birds that have collided with turbines), but one of her eyes was badly infected…”

By Jenna Hunnef   Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 5:40:53 EST PM 

Special to Londoner

The North American turkey vulture isn’t accorded the same dignified status as its fellow raptors, such as the eagle, hawk, or falcon. Instead, it has traditionally been feared as an omen of death or reviled as a scavenging scoundrel. But we tend to think a little differently here at Salthaven.

The turkey vulture possesses many characteristics that distinguish it from other birds of prey, making it an adept custodian of the natural world. Like hawks, falcons, eagles, and ospreys, turkey vultures possess an acute sense of vision, but they are doubly gifted in the avian world with powerful olfactory senses attuned to certain odours—a rarity among North American birds. The gregariousness of turkey vultures is another key feature that distinguishes them from their raptor kin. Outside of breeding season, it is common to see them congregated in large flocks (“kettles”), which can consist of hundreds of individuals….”

READ AT: http://www.thelondoner.ca/2016/11/22/salthavens-patient-of-the-week-if-at-first-you-dont-succeed

It’s not a migration it’s an obstacle course

not-a-migration

The work of cartoonist Adrian Raeside illustrates some of the cumulative harmful impacts from human activities to migrating avian species that use the global flyways.  Habitat loss, avoidance and mortalities are direct adverse impacts arising from the installation of wind power generating facilities.  Killing the natural world one spin at a time.

Enjoy his work at:

https://www.creators.com/read/the-other-coast/11/16/188957