Proposed Wind Energy Development in and Around Lake Erie: The Need to Proactively Engage for Wildlife and Habitat Lake Erie Millennium Network Conference March 1, 2006 University of Windsor Rich Greenwood, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Liaison to U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office
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Lake Erie Millennium Network Conference
March 1, 2006
University of Windsor
Rich Greenwood, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Liaison to U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office
Team Leader Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team
What is the emerging issue?
What are the needs to address the issue?
How can the needs be addressed?
Dramatic Growth of Wind Energy Proposals in and Around Lake Erie
The Need to Proactively Engage in Wind Energy to Determine How to Minimize Impacts to Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat
The Great Lakes have good to outstanding wind potential. energy projects?
Echo location does not seem to help bats avoid colliding with wind turbines. For many bats, the maximum useful distance for detecting insects is about 12 ft. Since turbine blade tip speed can be 180 mph or higher, for a bat at close range there is not much time to react.
Developer: Atlantic Renewable (now PPM)
Consultant: Curry and Kerlinger
“Wind energy can negatively impact birds and other wildlife by fragmenting habitat, both through installation and operation of wind turbines themselves and through the roads and power lines that may be needed. This has been raised as an issue in areas with unbroken stretches of prairie grassland or of forests. More research is needed to better understand these impacts.”
(See: Frequently Asked Questions, American Wind
Energy Association’s web site.)
Offshore Wind Energy Facility – Typical Layout with wind turbines. For many bats, the maximum useful distance for detecting insects is about 12 ft. Since turbine blade tip speed can be 180 mph or higher, for a bat at close range there is not much time to react.
Turbine Blade with wind turbines. For many bats, the maximum useful distance for detecting insects is about 12 ft. Since turbine blade tip speed can be 180 mph or higher, for a bat at close range there is not much time to react.
Mountaineer Wind Energy Plant
Mountaineer Wind Energy Plant with wind turbines. For many bats, the maximum useful distance for detecting insects is about 12 ft. Since turbine blade tip speed can be 180 mph or higher, for a bat at close range there is not much time to react.
Allegheny Plateau, West Virginia
NEG Micon NM72C Wind Turbines
44 1.5 megawatt turbines generate
66 megawatts of electricity.
Hub height 228 feet
Blade length 115 feet
Regulating Wind Power:
Largely responsibility of state (provincial ?) & local governments
U.S. Federal Government has a minimal regulatory role, unless federal funding or lands used: Kicks in NEPA, CWA
However regulatory agency officials often lack experience or expertise to address the environmental and wildlife impacts
State – provincial and federal laws afford generalized protections to wildlife from wind power
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is primary agency tasked with implementing wildlife-wind power protections in U.S., three federal laws:
Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act
Endangered Species Act
Provide state, provincial, and local regulatory agencies, resource managers, and the industry the resource information to assist good, sustainable decisions:
Which could include:
Mapping Areas of Low Risk to Wildlife – determine, gather and make available geospacial data/data layers
Collaborate to identify and develop consensus for what are the Priority Research & Information Needs
Determining, Analysis, and Addressing Gaps of the State of the Guidance – address how to provide adequate guidelines that are consistent (“no surprises”) based on good science
Including for: siting, Pre- and Post Construction Monitoring, BMPs, BATs, and other Assessment Recommendations & Protocols
Identify Who’s Doing What With Wind: Develop Support/Expertise
& Communication/Coordination Networks
The way forward . . .
Toward Wildlife-Friendly Wind PowerWith a Focus on Lake Erie and the Great Lakes Basin
DECEMBER 2004 GLBET MEETING
Shedd Aquarium Chicago
“ … is anyone … working with wind energy?”
Bob Russell – Great Lakes Migratory Birds Team Update
New GLBET Collaborative Wildlife ImpactWildlife and Wind Energy Aroundthe Great Lakes – Understanding Fish and Wildlife Impacts of Land-based and Offshore Wind Development: Approach, Tools, Techniques for Making Informed Decisions
Foster a better understanding of the needs and concerns, suggest a consistent approach in addressing wind development, and solicit feedback from key resource specialists – including leading scientists, managers, regulators, industry representatives, conservationists, and the public.
Who should attend?
•Local, state, provincial, federal and tribal agencies
•Researchers studying fish and wildlife issues
•Wind energy industry
Conference sessions will focus on:
•Communicating information about potential wildlife concerns of wind power generation
•Sharing resources available to help make informed decisions about where wind power facilities should be located
•Advancing knowledge of land-based and offshore wind and wildlife, including impacts to wildlife, tools and techniques, risk and impact assessment, laws and regulations, siting protocols, and monitoring
•Developing consistent research and management approaches for resource managers, regulators, scientists, decision makers, the wind energy industry, conservationists, elected officials and other stakeholders
June 27-29, 2006
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office
Illinois Natural History Survey
U.S. Geological Survey
Registration information, agenda and conference updates will be online at:http://www.fws.gov/midwest/greatlakes
Outreach – Communication Coordination for Tool Box Products – Conference Expected Outcomes: Mid-March through June
Conference – June 27-29: Toledo, Ohio
Post-Conference Follow-up for Tool Box Products
Implement Collaborative “Call to Action”
Adequate, credible information is needed for siting decisions.
Great Lakes Regional Collaborative
Species/Habitat and Sustainability Priorities
SOLEC – providing good information for good decision making
Lake Erie LaMP – Ecosystem Objectives
GAO Charge to Assist States for Wind Power to Protect Wildlife
Special Thanks To…
Great Lakes National Program Office
Gary Gulezian - Director
Karen Rodriguez – Habitat Program
Dan O’Riordan – Lake Erie Program
GLNPO-GLBET Action Work Group
Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem Team Partners
Alex Hoar – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Lake Erie Millennium Network Conference Organizers