WCFN opposes a bird killer, the Campobello wind project

OPEN LETTER
To: Hon. Bruce Fitch
Minister of Environment and Local Government
Government of New Brunswick
P. O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1
June 25th 2012

Dear Minister;
The World Council for Nature (WCFN) has become aware that elected representatives of the Rural Community of Campobello, N.B., are minded to approve a windpower project situated right across the Atlantic Flyway, on their island which is used as a stopover point by thousand upon thousand of migrating birds. Indeed, much of the 15x3km island of Campobello has been included in a designated Important Bird Area, the IBA Quoddy Region, and the wind turbines will be right inside it. Another part of the island is a national park, international in fact: the Campobello Roosevelt International Park. It is hard to imagine a worse location for installing giant blades revolving at up to 250 kph at the tip (1), which are known to kill many millions of birds and bats around the world (2).


If this weren’t enough, the island is narrow, stretching from North to South, causing the
Project to have a maximum impact on migrating birds, which are flying, landing and taking off

along this North-South axis. Being located near the shoreline, on a narrow passage beween two
bodies of water
(3), the 50-meter long fast-moving blades will have a maximum lethal effect on

water birds, including ospreys and bald eagles which are often seen in this area.In January, the Spanish Society of Ornithology SEO/Birdlife made public estimates that

Spain’s 18,000 wind turbines may be killing 6-18 million birds and bats yearly, many of which
of conservation concern (2). The average per turbine comes down to 333-1000 deaths annually,
which is a far cry from the 2-4 birds alleged by the American Wind Energy Association, or the 400,000 birds
claimed by the American  Bird Conservancy (ABC) for the whole United States, which has over twice

as many turbines as Spain. The explanation for this huge gap is that ABC are known to have a conflict of
interest, which makes their figure doubtful.
SEO/Birdlife are not the only bird society that blew the whistle about high mortality at wind
farms. So did Save the Eagles International (4) and Birdlife Bulgaria. Most other bird

societies have preferred the way to riches by collaborating with the wind industry, and this has

helped to maintain the public and government’s ignorance about the carnage that is taking
place. Two decades ago, before big money corrupted ornithologists, realistic estimates were made
–  e.g.: “In a summary of avian impacts at wind turbines by Benner et al. (1993) bird deaths
per turbine per year were as high as 309 in Germany and 895 in Sweden” (5). And
today’s bigger turbines, which are still moving fast and sweep much more airspace, kill even more
birds, as shown by Dr Smallwood (6).

In these circumstances it is likely that the turbines on Campobello Island, to be situated

within an Important Bird Area (IBA) on a migration route, will be killing over 1,000 birds

per turbine/year, many of which of conservation concern. As you know, IBA Quoddy
Region is a haven to globally significant populations of a number of protected bird species (7)

and serves as a vitally important staging area during migrations. Placing wind turbines within

its perimeter is tantamount to putting land mines in a school yard.

In addition, the project is no more than one kilometer away from the Roosevelt Campobello
International Park, a protected breeding ground for (among others) bald eagles and ospreys.
These birds are known to forage along the shorelines of the island, where they will meet with the
turbines. Like many other raptors, eagles and ospreys are attracted to these tall structures, on
which they sometimes attempt to perch
. The movement of the blades does not deter them – see

the video (8). It is easy to foresee there will be a massacre of these great birds, as there has been elsewhere (9).

Other ill effects will hurt the tourism industry, which is vital for the island, and the trees for

the possible forest fires caused by the turbines (10). Last but not least, the health of people
living or working up to 10 km’s from the turbines will be at risk (11). All things considered, it

is a high price to pay for a piddling amount of intermittent energy of low practical value, which
needs to be subsidized and ultimately increases everyone’s electricity bills, including the islanders’.WCFN joins Nature Canada in opposing the selection of this narrow island for a wind energy

project. The fact that, for the moment, a single wind turbine is to be erected does not mean

that others will not be added later on, when local resistance will have given up any hope of
saving the island.  It is a standard way of approaching sensitive areas in the wind farm business.
You are now aware of the threat this project will constitute for protected species present in
the IBA and the International Park, for the forest on the island, and for its inhabitants. We
reserve the right to consider you and your government legally responsible, collegially and

personally, for adverse consequences that may occur if the turbine(s) is/are built.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.

Sincerely,

Mark Duchamp

ChairmanReferences(1)  It is simple to calculate the tip-speed of turbine blades. For instance, let’s take a 2.5 MW turbine, e.g. the General Electric 2.5xl model – nominal power 2500 kW, rotor diameter 100 m, min. rotor speed 5 rpm, max.14,1 rpm http://www.thewindpower.net/turbine_en_59_ge-energy_2.5xl.php

Let’s do the numbers: diameter 100 meters x 3.14 (π R2) = 314 meters circumference x minimum rotor speed of 5 rpm = 1,570 meters per minute x 60 minutes = 94 kph at the tip

At 14 rpm (revolutions per minute), the tips go faster: 314 meters circumference x maximum rotor speed of 14 rpm = 4,396 meters per minute x 60 minutes = 263 kph at the tip

(3) – Maps: project to be located at Dunn Beach, about ¾ down to the left on the map below (link):
http://www.ibacanada.ca/maps/sites/NB037.pdf– Enlarge the map below (link) and look for Welshpool, about 1 km North of Roosevelt
Campobello International Park: https://maps.google.es/maps?hl=es&ie=UTF-8&q=roosevelt     +campobello+international+park&fb=1&gl=es&hq=roosevelt+campobello+international +park&hnear=roosevelt+campobello+international+park&cid=0,0,3116499434452762989&ei=fQTeT_GWM-Gw0QWno43eCg&sqi=2&ved=0CAgQ_BIwAA
(4) –  Save The Eagles International:   http://savetheeaglesinternational.org

(5) – PIER Study of the California Energy Commission (2002). See page 12, first paragraph –

       D. Sterner, for the California Energy Commission (December 2002). A road map for PIER
Research on Avian Collisons with Wind Turbines in California.
http://www.iberica2000.org/documents/EOLICA/REPORTS/Dave_Sterner_2002.pdf

(6) – http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/?page_id=755  —> see footnote 5

(7) – IBA Quoddy Region – Wilson’s Beach/Plage Wilson, New Brunswick.
http://www.ibacanada.ca/site.jsp?siteID=NB037&lang=EN

(8) – Video of turkey vulture perched on a moving windmill.
http://epaw.org/multimedia.php?lang=en&article=b3

(9) – Eagles killed by wind turbines: http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3071

Ospreys killed by wind turbines:   http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/?page_id=843

(10) – Wind Turbines on fire:  http://www.iberica2000.org/documents/eolica/PHOTOS/FIRES/

(11) – Explicit Cautionary Notice:

9 thoughts on “WCFN opposes a bird killer, the Campobello wind project

  1. The concerned poeple of New Brunswick should forget about Nature Canada and ABC and take a look at who is peddling the IWT influence in NB if they want real answers.

  2. The real answer is not to become a corporate citizen. With due diligence on this part of your education will help you along.

  3. We can count on old David Suzuki not to fly in an save the day. He’ll never make an appearance at an “improperly” sited industrial wind complex.

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