WINDBER – Federal regulators are taking another look at the Shaffer Mountain Wind Project, a 30-turbine wind farm proposed by Gamesa for ridges along the Somerset and Bedford county lines.
The re-evaluation comes on the heels of the September discovery of a dead endangered bat beneath an operating wind turbine near Lilly.
There is no direct link that the dead Indiana bat may have been part of the Shaffer Mountain maternity colony and died while on a flight for food. But the existing and proposed windmill farms are in the same migratory pathway, said Laura Jackson, a Bedford County resident and president of Save Our Allegheny Ridges.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in a letter to a law firm representing a number of the region’s conservation groups, says it will take a second look at the proposed Shaffer Mountain project in light of the bat found at the North Allegheny Windpower Project.
The discovery forced a halt in nighttime operation of the windmills at the 35-turbine site located in Washington and Cresson townships in Cambria County and Juniata Township in Blair County.
The Indiana bat is protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.
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