Public Review of Draft Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy Projects
The Department of Environmental Conservation has released for public review proposed Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy Projects. These guidelines inform potential wind developers of the information DEC needs about wind farm sites to assess impacts to birds and bats. The guidelines were developed through a stakeholder process sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority which included industry representatives as well as bird and bat biologists from government agencies, academia and non-governmental environmental groups.
Wind energy development is an important component of Governor Eliot Spitzer’s clean renewable energy initiative in New York State as well as of New York’s ability to achieve the Renewable Portfolio Standard of twenty-five percent (25%) of energy produced from renewable sources by the year 2013. With increased construction of wind turbines comes increased potential for birds and bats to collide with the towers and rotating blades. The proposed guidelines outline DEC’s recommendations to commercial wind energy developers on how to characterize bird and bat resources at wind energy sites and how to document and estimate bird and bat mortality resulting from collisions with turbines. The protocols in the guidelines are intended to provide comparability of data collection among sites and between years so that the information from each site contributes to a statewide understanding of the ecological effects of wind energy generation. Protocols for both pre-construction studies and post-construction monitoring are included.
The guidelines (PDF, 135 Kb) are now available for review. Comments will be received until March 7, 2008, via mail to Brianna Gary, NYSDEC Bureau of Habitat, 625 Broadway 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4756 or via email. To provide comments or for further information, contact the Habitat Protection Section mailbox.