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NRG gets eagle-take permit for 137-MW California wind farm

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on Wednesday granted a five-year take permit for golden eagles at the 137-MW Alta East wind farm in Kern County, California.

The 48-turbine operational wind farm, located in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area, is owned by Alta Wind X LLC, an affiliate of NRG Yield Inc (NYSE:NYLD).

The issuance of permit comes after FWS has worked closely with the company to develop a comprehensive conservation plan.

The plan and permit are the second of their kind in the US, the Service said and urged other developers to follow suit. FWS cannot require companies to apply for eagle take permits but can investigate harm to eagles and recommend prosecution for unauthorised take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Alta Wind X was given permit to kill up to three golden eagles at the facility throughout a five-year period. The agency said that conservation plan should result in no net loss to eagle populations in the area.

In May, FWS proposed revisions to the regulations for permits for incidental take of eagles, including extending to 30 years the term of permits for wind farms with reviews every five years. Currently, the permits have a term of five years and need to be renewed.