Windmills Shut Down for Dead Bat

Al

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19,277
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
35 Windmills in western Pa. have been shut down bc one protected bat was found dead. Great. So no we will use more coal and oil.. pollute more. And ultimately probably statistically there will be human health problems bc of increased pollution. But the whole thing is beyond insane. We don't have long folks. frown
 
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4,998
Location
Milwaukee, WI
We had a planned farm here get put on hold and ultimately abandoned because the company didn't do a good enough job studying the migratory bird impact they would have. So really the economy as a whole suffers while one group of environmentalists(anti pollution) fights with another (pro birds). I'm all for being green, sustainability... etc but it has just gone too far.
 
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884
Location
San Diego, CA
Seems like there should be a reasonable way around this in terms of windmill design etc. Maybe the egg-beater style are better in terms of preserving wildlife?
 
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2,695
Location
Easton, PA
Originally Posted By: Al
35 Windmills in western Pa. have been shut down bc one protected bat was found dead. Great. So no we will use more coal and oil.. pollute more. And ultimately probably statistically there will be human health problems bc of increased pollution. But the whole thing is beyond insane. We don't have long folks. frown
your assumptions are the thing that is beyond insane. the windmills contribute a small fraction of energy to the grid; a temporary shutdown will hardly make a difference. don't think of this as 'one bat', think of it as a possible indicator of a bigger problem. like fracking that leads to flammable drinking water. lots of species have gone extinct because people didn't think of the importance of those species in the overall scheme of things. when you say we don't have long, you may be right: we'll be the ones to be extinct.
 
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1,545
Location
Washington State (East)
Originally Posted By: joaks
Seems like there should be a reasonable way around this in terms of windmill design etc. Maybe the egg-beater style are better in terms of preserving wildlife?
A guy down the road from me has an egg beater type. Its more of a giant cylinder shape I would guess. Right next to it he also has the windmill type and on almost windless days the cylinder shaped one will always keep turning... fairly fast too!!.. while the windmill is at a standstill.
 
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932
Location
USA
I'm in a related field and without knowing the details of this specific case... I suspect the failure was in the due diligence of the consultant who performed the initial environmental assessment. There is a huge push to use very cheap consultants who do not make a "reasonable and good faith" attempt at identifying these issues prior to construction. It save money early on but these kind of problems crop up years down the line and are very difficult to deal with once the permit has been approved and construction begins. Do you have the name of the specific wind farm? I can look it up and give a more detailed response as to what exactly is happening.
 
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USA
Last edited:
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4,021
Location
New England
Originally Posted By: stephen9666
Originally Posted By: mpvue
your assumptions are the thing that is beyond insane. the windmills contribute a small fraction of energy to the grid; a temporary shutdown will hardly make a difference.
That's not entirely true, depending on where you are. In Iowa, the state produces enough wind energy to equal 20% of the total electricity used. http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2011/08/05/iowa-hits-20-percent-wind-threshold/
As long as the wind is blowing strongly.
 
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8,859
Location
Texas
Originally Posted By: mpvue
your assumptions are the thing that is beyond insane. the windmills contribute a small fraction of energy to the grid; a temporary shutdown will hardly make a difference.
If you consider 20% on a typical afternoon (peak wind hours) for the city where I live "a small fraction" then I would have to disagree. Don't get me wrong, I think wind turbines are an ugly blight on the landscape, but until the "no nukes" crowd unclenches their ignorance enough to let us build some truly clean power sources, we're kinda stuck. I'd prefer wind turbines to coal emissions any day.
 
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3,742
Location
Northern California, USA
I have read that the windmills (here on Altamont Pass, CA) cost more to run, than the electricity they produce. I read that the government (you and me) pay to keep those things running.
 
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2,400
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In The Region Between
I think Eastern bats in places where there are cold winters will soon be almost extinct due to the white nose fungus, which was accidentally introduced from Europe, where bats long ago evolved resistance. Bats are valuable to the ecosystem, but if I ran the show, European bats would be introcduced to replace these local animals. You cannot save every species. Here in Southern California the government is spending millions of dollars trying to save a single species of frog in the Angeles National Forest. There must be only a few hundred left. I see no reason they can't be replaced with say, bullfrogs.
 
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5,153
Location
MW
Originally Posted By: Cristobal
I think Eastern bats in places where there are cold winters will soon be almost extinct due to the white nose fungus, which was accidentally introduced from Europe, where bats long ago evolved resistance. Bats are valuable to the ecosystem, but if I ran the show, European bats would be introcduced to replace these local animals. You cannot save every species. Here in Southern California the government is spending millions of dollars trying to save a single species of frog in the Angeles National Forest. There must be only a few hundred left. I see no reason they can't be replaced with say, bullfrogs.
They should replace these frogs with McMansions, or a nuclear plant.
 
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932
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: crw
You know, sometimes bats die all on their own. I'm just sayin...
They definitely do. It would be nice to have some more information about where this is happening and get some more details. The first post is lacking so many details, it's impossible to know what's going on. If any entire farm is being shut down for one bat, I imagine there is something else happening in the background.
 
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5,153
Location
MW
Quote:
LILLY — Night oper­a­tion of the wind­mills in the North Allegheny Wind­power Project has been halted fol­low­ing dis­cov­ery of a dead Indi­ana bat under one of the tur­bines, an offi­cial with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice said Monday. The find­ing marks only the sec­ond loca­tion where an Indi­ana bat has been found dead under a wind tur­bine. Two Indi­ana bats were found under tur­bines in the Mid-west, said Clint Riley, super­vi­sor for Fish and Wildlife’s Penn­syl­va­nia field office. “While find­ing the dead bat is not good news for any of us, it does show the mon­i­tor­ing works,” Riley said from his State Col­lege office. The find is sig­nif­i­cant because the Indi­ana bat is an endan­gered species and is pro­tected by the fed­eral Endan­gered Species Act. The 35-windmill farm was built by Gamesa Energy USA in Portage, Wash­ing­ton and Cres­son town­ships in Cam­bria County and extends across the line into Blair County.
Somebody must have screwed up when they did the environmental impact assessment.
 
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932
Location
USA
Thanks for the summary! My firm actually bid on that project but we didn't get it. I don't about this one specifically but the permit likely required monitoring because there was risk related to migratory patterns, even though none could be identified during the initial survey (I'm guessing indirect evidence). The night shut down should only be temporary until the issues can be mitigated or until mid-Nov when the bats will no longer be in the area.
 
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8,068
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted By: mpvue
Originally Posted By: Al
35 Windmills in western Pa. have been shut down bc one protected bat was found dead. Great. So no we will use more coal and oil.. pollute more. And ultimately probably statistically there will be human health problems bc of increased pollution. But the whole thing is beyond insane. We don't have long folks. frown
your assumptions are the thing that is beyond insane. the windmills contribute a small fraction of energy to the grid; a temporary shutdown will hardly make a difference.
You're missing the point. How are we supposed to embrace windpower as a "pillar of the Green economy" if a whole field of windmills can be shut down because one bird gets chopped? I have more bird strikes on my picture window at the house if I leave the blinds open after dark. Wind power is unreliable anyway because the wind doesn't always blow. Now we're going to leave even more of our energy needs subject to the whim of the Audobon Society?
 
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5,153
Location
MW
Originally Posted By: A_Harman
Originally Posted By: mpvue
Originally Posted By: Al
35 Windmills in western Pa. have been shut down bc one protected bat was found dead. Great. So no we will use more coal and oil.. pollute more. And ultimately probably statistically there will be human health problems bc of increased pollution. But the whole thing is beyond insane. We don't have long folks. frown
your assumptions are the thing that is beyond insane. the windmills contribute a small fraction of energy to the grid; a temporary shutdown will hardly make a difference.
You're missing the point. How are we supposed to embrace windpower as a "pillar of the Green economy" if a whole field of windmills can be shut down because one bird gets chopped? I have more bird strikes on my picture window at the house if I leave the blinds open after dark. Wind power is unreliable anyway because the wind doesn't always blow. Now we're going to leave even more of our energy needs subject to the whim of the Audobon Society?
You need to view this as a portfolio of fields. Individual windmills are unreliable source of power. A portfolio, however, acquires a statistical stability. But your pool of fields have to be diversified. It's very much like a stock portfolio.
 
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3,877
Location
Alberta, Canada
There is no free lunch, you can create power without some side effects, it just can't be done (in our current knowledge base anyways) These environmentalists really need to figure out what the priority is and be able to make concessions considering what we have to deal with. Human knowledge/evolution takes time.
 
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