Alarming bird and bat mortality rates at the Wolfe Island wind farm have an international group calling for a three-year moratorium on wind energy projects on the Upper St. Lawrence River and east end of Lake Ontario.
Save The River vice-president Stephanie Weiss said the 86-windmill farm has caused the death of 688 birds and bats, equalling eight per windmill.
That’s far higher than the estimated two to four deaths for each windmill projected over a 12-month period and sends up a “red flag” to the organization, said Weiss. “This is much higher than the average, but nobody is ready to draw conclusions.”
She said Save The River supports renewable energy development, including wind power, but it wants to see a comprehensive study about the cumulative effects on birds and bats from proposed wind farms on both sides of the border.
“It is a cause for concern, not as much for the existing 86 windmills but for the additional windmills proposed for the area,” Weiss said.
“The wind farm projects are assessed individually, but nobody is looking at what would happen if you have 400 to 1,000 more windmills all over the lake and St. Lawrence River.”
Weiss said several projects proposed on the U.S. and Canadian sides of the border should be studied for their collective threat to birds and bats.
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