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Ten of the worst-sited wind energy projects for birds  

Author:  | U.S., Wildlife

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has identified 10 of the worst-sited wind energy projects for birds in the
United States, both existing and proposed, with the intention of educating the public and key decision makers about bird impacts from wind development. Many individuals and organizations have embraced wind energy without addressing the difficult questions about its potential impact on our nation’s wildlife. As a result, many wind development projects are causing significant bird mortality – at a scale that is now becoming a major source of concern for bird conservationists.

Existing and Proposed Wind Developments Posing Elevated Risks to Birds Due to Siting

Existing and Proposed Wind Developments Posing Elevated Risks to Birds Due to Siting

EXISTING and APPROVED PROJECTS

1. CHOKECHERRY AND SIERRA-MADRE
Location: Carbon County, Wyoming (Power Company of Wyoming LLC)
Why listed: Located in key breeding and foraging habitat for Greater Sage-Grouse and Golden Eagle

2. GULF WIND
Location: Kenedy County, Texas (Babcock & Brown, now owned by Pattern Energy)
Why listed: Located in a critical migratory pathway for songbirds; many raptor species are present; impacts habitat for declining grassland birds

3. KAHEAWA
Location: Lahaina District, Maui, Hawaii (First Wind, now part of SunEdison)
Why listed: One of the top known killers of Endangered birds

4. LAUREL MOUNTAIN
Location: Laurel Mountain, West Virginia (AES Energy Storage)
Why listed: Site of one of the largest single songbird mortality events ever recorded in North America

5. SUMMIT REPOWERING (AT ALTAMONT PASS)
Location: Alameda County, California (Altamont Winds, Inc.)
Why listed: Poses an ongoing threat to Golden Eagles and other birds as a result of poor siting

PROPOSED PROJECTS

6. CAPE WIND
Location: Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts (Cape Wind Associates)
Why listed: Proposed location in area with one of the largest concentrations of migratory birds in the world; high risk of catastrophic mortality events

7. LIGHTHOUSE
Location: Niagara County, New York near the town of Somerset (Apex Clean Energy)
Why listed: Vast numbers of migratory songbirds and numbers of raptors rely on this area; close to breeding habitat for declining grassland birds

8. MERRICOURT
Location: McIntosh and Dickey Counties, North Dakota (EDF Renewable Energy)
Why listed: Threat to the Endangered Whooping Crane and other federally protected birds

9. NINNESCAH
Location: Pratt County, Kansas (NextEra Energy Resources, LLC)
Why listed: Poses a high risk to Endangered Whooping Cranes through infrastructure development

10. ROCK CREEK
Location: Atchison County, Missouri (TradeWind Energy)
Why listed: Poses a high risk to migratory birds and Bald Eagles moving in and out of the Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge

Download original document: “Ten worst-sited wind energy projects for birds

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

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