Resource Documents — latest additions
Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.
Author: Law, Peter; and Fuller, Mark
Anthropogenic alterations to landscape are indicators of potential compromise of that landscape’s ecology. We describe how alterations can be assessed as ‘hazards’ to wildlife through a sequence of three steps: diagnosing the means by which the hazard acts on individual organisms at risk; estimating the fitness cost of the hazard to those individuals and the rate at which that cost occurs; and translating that cost rate into a demographic cost by identifying the relevant demographically-closed population. We exploit the conservation-oriented literature on wind farms to illustrate this conceptual scheme. For wind farms, the third component has received less attention than the first two, which suggests it is the most challenging of the three components. A wind farm provides an example of a ‘spatially localized hazard’, i.e., a discrete alteration of landscape hazardous to some population but of which there are some individuals that do not interact directly with the hazard themselves but nevertheless suffer a reduction in fitness in terms of their contribution to the next generation. Spatially localized hazards are identified via the third component of the scheme and are of particular conservation concern as, by their nature, their depredations on wildlife may be underestimated without an appropriate population-level estimation of the demographic cost of the hazard.
Peter R. Law, Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Mark Fuller, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Boise, Idaho
Ecological Indicators 94 (2018) 380–385
Download original document: “Evaluating anthropogenic landscape alterations as wildlife hazards, with wind farms as an example”
Author: Hunt, W. Grainger; et al.
Raptors are exposed to a wide variety of human-related mortality agents, and yet population-level effects are rarely quantified. Doing so requires modeling vital rates in the context of species life-history, behavior, and population dynamics theory. In this paper, we explore the details of such an analysis by focusing on the demography of a resident, tree-nesting population of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) in the vicinity of an extensive (142 km²) windfarm in California. During 1994–2000, we tracked the fates of >250 radio-marked individuals of four life-stages and conducted five annual surveys of territory occupancy and reproduction. Collisions with wind turbines accounted for 41% of 88 uncensored fatalities, most of which were subadults and nonbreeding adults (floaters). A consistent overall male preponderance in the population meant that females were the limiting sex in this territorial, monogamous species. Estimates of potential population growth rate and associated variance indicated a stable breeding population, but one for which any further decrease in vital rates would require immigrant floaters to fill territory vacancies. Occupancy surveys 5 and 13 years later (2005 and 2013) showed that the nesting population remained intact, and no upward trend was apparent in the proportion of subadult eagles as pair members, a condition that would have suggested a deficit of adult replacements. However, the number of golden eagle pairs required to support windfarm mortality was large. We estimated that the entire annual reproductive output of 216–255 breeding pairs would have been necessary to support published estimates of 55–65 turbine blade-strike fatalities per year. Although the vital rates forming the basis for these calculations may have changed since the data were collected, our approach should be useful for gaining a clearer understanding of how anthropogenic mortality affects the health of raptor populations, particularly those species with delayed maturity and naturally low reproductive rates.
W. Grainger Hunt, J. David Wiens, Peter R. Law, Mark R. Fuller, Teresa L. Hunt, Daniel E. Driscoll, Ronald E. Jackman
The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho; Predatory Bird Research Group, Long Marine Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz; Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, United States Geological Survey, Corvallis, Oregon; Centre for African Conservation Ecology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, Republic of South Africa; Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, United States Geological Survey, Boise, Idaho; Garcia and Associates, San Anselmo, California; American Eagle Research Institute, Apache Junction, Arizona
PLoS ONE 2017;12(2):e0172232
Download original document: “Quantifying the demographic cost of human-related mortality to a raptor population”
Observation and comparison of tower vibration and underwater noise from offshore operational wind turbines in the East China Sea Bridge of Shanghai
Author: Yang, Chun-Mei; Liu, Zong-Wei; Lü, Lian-Gang; et al.
[Abstract] Underwater operational turbine noise emitted by China’s first offshore wind farm in the East China Sea Bridge of Shanghai was measured and analyzed in this study. Two sensors were used in the measurement: a hydrophone recording the underwater sound and an accelerometer placed in the turbine tower detecting the tower vibrations. Measurements were performed at two different types of wind turbines: a Sinovel 3 MW SL3000 turbine and a Shanghai Electric 3.6 MW W3600 turbine. The two turbines show similar tower vibration characteristics, characterized by a number of tonal components, mainly in the low-frequency domain (30-500 Hz). The peak vibration frequencies changed with the wind speed until the turbine approached its nominal power rating. Spectral analysis of the underwater acoustic data showed that the amplitude spectra had a strong correlation with the spectra of the turbine vibration intensity level, indicating that the measured underwater noise was generated by the tower mechanical vibration.
Chun-Mei Yang, Zong-Wei Liu, Lian-Gang Lü, Guang-Bing Yang, Long-Fei Huang, and Ying Jiang
Key Laboratory of Marine Science and Numerical Modeling, First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Qingdao, China
Journal of the Acoustic Society of America 2018 Dec;144(6):EL522. doi: 10.1121/1.5082983.
Author: Nguyen, Duc-Phuc; Hansen, Kristy; and Zajamsek, Branko
[ABSTRACT] In addition to the overall noise level, periodic variations in the loudness of wind turbine noise, known as Amplitude Modulation (AM), also significantly contribute to the annoyance experienced by residents living near wind farms. Due to the high dependence of AM on meteorological conditions and the type of wind turbines, the level and duration of AM are hard to predict. These characteristics have an important impact on the annoyance response of residents. The level of annoyance is expected to depend on the AM depth, the number of AM occurrences and the AM continuity. The aim of this paper is to investigate AM characteristics in the vicinity of two wind farms in South Australia. It has been found that to successfully quantify tonal AM based on the Reference Method proposed by the UK Institute of Acoustics, removing the A-weighting, changing the range of band-pass filter frequency and reducing the prominence ratio are also necessary. AM density at night-time is much higher than at day time (25% versus 15%). However, there is not significant difference between AM depth at night-time and day time. Furthermore, AM is more likely to occur when the wind turbines are operating significantly below their maximum rated power.
Duc-Phuc Nguyen, Kristy Hansen
College of Science and Engineering
Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health
Flinders University, Bedford Park, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Download original document: “Characterizing tonal amplitude modulation of wind farm noise” (22 MB)