Proposed wind ordinance resources
Editor’s note: The following items are resources presented to assist readers in researching the proposed wind ordinance to the Winnebago County 2030 Land Resource Management Plan. For more information about the proposed wind ordinance, read Editor and Publisher Frank Schier’s Editorial, “Chairman Clear-cut?,” by clicking here.
The American Wind Energy Association has developed a 178-page “Wind Energy Siting Handbook” outlining practices to avoid or mitigate the impacts of utility-scale wind installations on wildlife. You can find the entire document at www.awea.org/sitinghandbook/
Dead bats (http://www.fort.usgs.gov/BatsWindmills/) are turning up beneath wind turbines all over the world. Bat fatalities have now been documented at nearly every wind facility in North America where adequate surveys for bats have been conducted, and several of these sites are estimated to cause the deaths of thousands of bats per year. This unanticipated and unprecedented problem for bats has moved to the forefront of conservation and management efforts directed toward this poorly understood group of mammals. The mystery of why bats die at turbine sites remains unsolved. Is it a simple case of flying in the wrong place at the wrong time? Are bats attracted to the spinning turbine blades? Why are so many bats colliding with turbines compared to their infrequent crashes with other tall, human-made structures?
“Until recently, wildlife concerns regarding wind energy focused primarily on bird fatalities. But bat fatalities now outnumber those of birds due, in part, to efforts to mitigate bird deaths by wind turbines.
“Most bats killed at wind energy facilities across North America are migratory tree bats, including hoary and silver-haired bats, that are killed during autumn migration. These bats are migrating from Canada and the Northern U.S. to the southern U.S. or Mexico.
“Though wind turbines can kill bats by smacking them out of the sky, the huge spinning blades more often take out bats without touching them. Turbine blades spinning at up to 200 mph leave in their wake a vortex of low pressure, Barton said. Bats get caught in the vortex, and the change in pressure ruptures capillaries in the bats’ lungs. dBats have large, pliable lungs compared with birds, whose compact, rigid lungs better withstand pressure changes.”
“The money for these two grants will come from the Department of Energy, which is sending $2.6 million to the Great Lakes region for wind energy research and development. Half a million dollars will go to researching impacts of wind development on wildlife.”
Navitas_request — Read a PDF of the Navitas request to strike the NRI report and bird/bat studies from the proposed wind ordinance to the Winnebago County 2030 Land Resource Management Plan.
WPGF Permitted Use Ordinance _wZBA & ZC Amend_– Read a PDF of the latest version of wind farm ordinance.
Print This Article