TransAlta urged to shut down wind farm during migration season

by Richard Blackwell, Globe and Mail

A major conservation group is calling on TransAlta Corp. to periodically turn off turbines at its Wolfe Island wind farm in Ontario to cut down on the number of birds and bats killed by the machines.  Nature Canada says the project’s 86 turbines are among the most destructive of wildlife in North America. The organization argues TransAlta should shut down parts of the wind farm – one of the biggest in the country – during high-risk periods in the late summer and early fall, when swallows congregate in the region and bats migrate.  Read article

4 thoughts on “TransAlta urged to shut down wind farm during migration season

  1. Nature Canada says the project’s 86 turbines are among the most destructive of wildlife in North America. The organization argues TransAlta should shut down parts of the wind farm – one of the biggest in the country – during high-risk periods in the late summer and early fall, when swallows congregate in the region and bats migrate.

    I am only assuming they know what they are talking about.
    What was their “outrage” before the project went up?

  2. As you probably know, there was ZERO outrage and ZERO help from the nature organizations before this and other very sensitive projects went up. They dealt with it by ignoring the situation. Didn’t want to look “politically incorrect”. Hundreds of letters and pleas for help were completely ignored. Not even a response.

    At least TransAlta is being transparent about the bird mortality. IPC-Suez here in Harrow were supposed to release their post construction report back in December, 2010. With the blind oversight of the Ministry, they have delayed and delayed and delayed for one reason or another. Still waiting.

    • Nature Canada 101 –
      To understand Nature Canada ‘Play’ you have understand:
      1. when you can start the debate – timing is everything!
      2. what the debate will be about – deaths, after the fact!
      3. Important: show passionate concern, and outrage!

      Places everyone!

      Mr. Cheskey said his comparison of the numbers in the Wolfe Island report shows the turbines generate one of the highest rates of casualties – about 1,500 birds and 3,800 bats in a year – of any wind farm.

      But TransAlta disagrees with Nature Canada’s views. The numbers suggest that the Wolfe Island wind farm is no worse that most others, and is well within limits set by federal environmental regulators, said Glen Whelan, TransAlta’s manager of public affairs.

      “The mortality rates that we are seeing in birds and bats are within ranges reported for other wind farms across North America,” he said. For bats, the death rate is well below what is often reported in the eastern United States, he added.

      Intermission:
      Popcorn: 5 pennies

  3. Yes, MA.

    We go a long way back –> to 2004 at the AIM PowerGen dog and pony show in Straffordville when the idea of the Erie Shores Migratory Birds’ Advocates was born.

    Now, surrounded by 18 Vestas 1.65 MW IWTs within a 3 km radius of our homes we have a sense of what habitat destruction means to the widlife we were trying to rescue.

    But, with the world’s population closing in on 7 billion, we are not “an Endangered Species” and very likely, no one will rescue us to resettle in less destructive habitat.

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