Study calls for 18-km wind turbine setback from lakes to protect birds

turbines-birdsBy John Miner, The London Free Press

It’s a standard that would eliminate almost all of Ontario’s current wind farms and the ones recently approved. In the wake of the release of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service migratory bird study, the American Bird Conservancy is calling for an 18-kilometre buffer around the Great Lakes for wind farms.

“It is highly problematic to build anywhere near the Great Lakes,” Michael Hutchins, director of the American Bird Conservancy’s bird-smart wind energy program, said Monday. “These losses are just not sustainable.”

Using radar designed to detect birds and bats, the Fish and Wildlife Service monitored four sites along the south shore of Lake Ontario in 2013. The results were released last month. Hutchins called the findings of a high level of bird and bat activity in the zone swept by wind turbine blades “a smoking gun” that proves the turbines should not be located close to the lakeshore.

The results from the U.S. study would apply to the Canadian side of the Great Lakes as well, Hutchins said. “There is no reason to assume it wouldn’t be as bad on the (other) side as well because these birds are making their way up to the boreal forest in Canada to breed.” Read article

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1 thought on “Study calls for 18-km wind turbine setback from lakes to protect birds

  1. I’m glad to see this article. Ontario Wind Resistance has been a sensible voice in the rush to erect more and more wind turbines. PEOPLE should not live or work any closer than TEN MILES from wind turbines, if they do not wish to become ill from the vibrations that they propagate, including audible and inaudible noise. They should also be concerned with their drinking water that may drain through the effluvia coming from dead bird pits around the turbines.

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