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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.


Date added:  March 13, 2017
Germany, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Bird collisions at an offshore platform in the North Sea

Author:  Hüppop, Ommo; et al.

Abstract:

Capsule: Collisions with offshore structures in the North Sea could account for the mortality of hundreds of thousands of nocturnally migrating birds.

Aims: To assess, for the first time, the circumstances of mass fatalities at an offshore structure, including the species involved, their numbers, ages, body conditions and injuries.

Methods: At an unmanned tall offshore research platform in the southeastern North Sea, bird corpses were collected on 160 visiting days from October 2003 to December 2007. Corpses were identified to species and kinds of injury, ages, and fat and muscle scores were determined. Nocturnal bird calls were recorded, identified to species and quantified. Local and large-scale weather parameters were also considered.

Results: A total of 767 birds of 34 species, mainly thrushes, European Starlings and other passerines, were found at 45 visits. Most carcasses were in good body condition and young birds were not more affected than adults. Three quarters of 563 examined individuals had collision induced injuries. Birds in poor body condition were less likely to be collision victims than those in good condition. Mass collision events at the illuminated offshore structure coincided with increasingly adverse weather conditions and an increasing call intensity of nocturnal birds.

Conclusions: Assuming an average of 150 dead birds per year at this single offshore structure and additionally assuming that a considerable proportion of the corpses were not found, we estimate that mortality at the 1000 + human structures in the North Sea could reach hundreds of thousands of birds. Since offshore industrialization will progress and collision numbers at offshore turbines will consequently increase considerably, we recommend reinforced measures to reduce bird strikes at offshore structures, especially in the light of substantial declines in some migrant species.

Ommo Hüppop, Kathrin Hüppop, Jochen Dierschke, Institute of Avian Research, Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Reinhold Hill, Avitec Research, Osterholz-Scharmbeck, Germany

Bird Study, 2016, volume 63, issue 1, pages 73-82
doi: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1134440

Download original document: “Bird collisions at an offshore platform in the North Sea”

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Date added:  March 7, 2017
Contracts, IowaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind farm neighbor easement agreement

Author:  MidAmerican Energy

Highland Wind Energy, O’Brien County, Iowa

Excerpts:
Although Developer is taking commercially reasonable measures to minimize the side-effects of the operation and construction of the Wind Farm’s Generating Units and other related facilities on property near or adjacent to the Wind Farm … and Developer does not expect these side effects to exceed any industry standards regarding sound, shadow flicker, or television interference, Owner understands and acepts that operation of Generating Units may have some impacts on the Wind Farm’s neighbors, including the Owner’s Property. …

Agreement

1. Grant of Effects, Sound and Shadow Easements. Owner hereby grants and conveys to Developer and exclusive easement on, over, under and across all of the Owner’s Property to permit Generating Units or other wind energy conversion systems on adjacent property or elsewhere to cast shadows or flicker onto the Owner’s Property; impact view or visual effects from the Owner’s Property; and cause or emit noise, vibration, air turbulence, wake, and electromagnetic and frequency interference.

2. Construction Impact. Developer recognizes that Owner due to its location next to construction areas may be inconvenienced by construction noise and activities. Owner acknowledges Developer has informed Owner of the potential impacts of construction and agrees the compensation provided in this Agreement is adequate for the impacts described. …

20. Confidentiality. Owner shall not disclose to others (except Owner’s family, legal counsel, prospective Lenders and Assignees, and financial advisors who recognize and agree to preserve and maintain the confidentiality of such information) the terms of this Agreement. …

Payment schedule

A one-time payment of One Thousand dollars ($1,000) upon signing this Agreement; and

If a Generating Unit is installed within one-half mile of a residence existing on the Owner’s Property as of the date of this Agreement, then Owner shall be paid either (initial one of the following options):

______ OPTION 1:

An annual payment of Five Hundred dollars ($500) … Such annual payment shall be adjusted upwards by the greater of two percent (2%) per year on a compunded basis or by the percentage change, if any, in the GDPIPD [gross domestic product implicit price deflator] for the the preceding available four quarters.. …

______ OPTION 2:

A single one-time payment of Nine Thousand dollars ($9,000). …

Download original document: “Highland wind farm neighbor easement agreement”

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Date added:  February 24, 2017
Canada, Mexico, U.S., WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Fatalities at wind turbines may threaten population viability of a migratory bat

Author:  Frick, Winifred; Baerwald, Erin; Pollock, Jacob; Barclay, Robert; Szymanski, Jennifer; et al.

Abstract: Large numbers of migratory bats are killed every year at wind energy facilities. However, population-level impacts are unknown as we lack basic demographic information about these species. We investigated whether fatalities at wind turbines could impact population viability of migratory bats, focusing on the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus), the species most frequently killed by turbines in North America. Using expert elicitation and population projection models, we show that mortality from wind turbines may drastically reduce population size and increase the risk of extinction. For example, the hoary bat population could decline by as much as 90% in the next 50 years if the initial population size is near 2.5 million bats and annual population growth rate is similar to rates estimated for other bat species (λ = 1.01). Our results suggest that wind energy development may pose a substantial threat to migratory bats in North America. If viable populations are to be sustained, conservation measures to reduce mortality from turbine collisions likely need to be initiated soon. Our findings inform policy decisions regarding preventing or mitigating impacts of energy infrastructure development on wildlife.

W.F. Frick, E.F. Baerwald, J.F. Pollock, R.M.R. Barclay, J.A. Szymanski, T.J. Weller, A.L. Russell, S.C. Loeb, R.A. Medellin, L.P. McGuire

  • Bat Conservation International, PO Box 162603, Austin, Texas (W.F.F.)
  • Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Cal. (W.F.F., J.F.P.)
  • Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta (E.F.B.)
  • American Wind Wildlife Institute, Washington, DC (E.F.B., R.M.R.B.)
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Resource Center, Onalaska, Wis. (J.A.S.)
  • United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station, Arcata, Cal. (T.J.W.)
  • Department of Biology, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Mich. (A.L.R.)
  • United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Clemson, S.Car. (S.C.L.)
  • Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Distrito Federal, Mexico (R.A.M.)
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas (L.P.M.)

Biological Conservation, Volume 209, May 2017, Pages 172–177
doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.02.023

Download original document: “Fatalities at wind turbines may threaten population viability of a migratory bat”

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Date added:  February 14, 2017
Health, Law, Noise, Property valuesPrint storyE-mail story

Flat Rock Wind v. Rush County Area Board of Zoning Appeals

Author:  Court of Appeals of Indiana

‘Over the course of two hearings, the BZA had the opportunity to carefully consider the statutory setback requirement of Section 6.4 and its implications on the life, health, and safety of the surrounding landowners. It received evidence in favor of the project and in opposition of constructing the windfarm. Ultimately, and based on the evidence presented at the hearings, the BZA, in its approved Findings of Fact, explicitly found that “an additional setback is necessary to protect health and safety on non-participating properties and owners, and imposes as a condition on the grant of the special exception a minimum setback of 2,300 feet, to be measured from the center of the WECS turbine to the non-participating property line.”’

Download original document: “Flat Rock Wind v. Rush County Area Board of Zoning Appeals”

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