Wind Power Means Death to Eagles

Found on Drudge report today, news about windfarm hazards.

“A California Energy Commission study estimated wind turbines in the Altamont kill 881 to 1,300 birds of prey a year, including as many as 116 federally protected golden eagles.

Miller said the county could impose conditions that would cut bird deaths in half almost immediately. To accomplish that goal, he said, all of the wind turbines in the Altamont would need to be idled from mid-November through February.

Another 350 machines that kill a disproportionate number of birds would have to be permanently scrapped, the center maintains, citing similar conclusions by biologists studying the issue for the Energy Commission.

In addition to taking wind turbines out of service, the center wants the companies that operate them to pay $6.5 million to preserve bird habitats in the Altamont.

Wind farm operators are willing to shut down only half their turbines each winter and permanently shut down or relocate about 100 turbines that pose the greatest risk to birds. The plan they have put forward to county officials commits to a 35 percent reduction in bird deaths within three years.

If the county places too many conditions on their operations, wind farm operators say they won’t be profitable. “We’ve gone as far as we can go,” said a spokesman.