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No movement yet on turbines versus bats  

Credit:  Tony Carnie, The Mercury, www.iol.co.za 9 November 2011 ~~

The eThekwini municipality is still pondering whether to erect wind turbines on the Bluff following a stormy meeting last week on the potential environmental impacts of the project.

The electricity department was hoping to showcase the turbines as a “green energy” initiative during the UN climate change talks in Durban at the end of this month.

However, it emerged that some of the proposed turbine sites were very close to a large roost of slit-faced bats at the Bluff military base. This has raised fears that hundreds of bats could be decimated by the spinning turbine blades.

Sources said a meeting was held in Durban last week between officials from the city, the provincial Environmental Affairs Department, bat experts and other environmental groups.

While there were indications that the city might shelve the project and investigate alternative sites in other areas, officials in the electricity department refused to comment yesterday and referred queries to the communications department.

In response to queries as to whether the project was off or on, deputy city manager Derek Naidoo issued a statement yesterday, stating that “the municipality has met with critical role players who have given their input”.

“The municipality is considering their submissions and the matter is still under investigation. Further information will be made available in due course.”

It is also understood that the national Environmental Affairs Department has been asked to resolve whether a full environmental impact assessment was needed before the turbines were erected.

Four second-hand 150Kw turbines have been donated to eThekwini by the German city of Bremen.

Source:  Tony Carnie, The Mercury, www.iol.co.za 9 November 2011

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

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