Wind developers deploy ultrasonic units to ‘jam’ bat echolocation

NextEra is sticking Ultrasonic Units on their Jericho, Goshen and Bluewater wind turbines for the purpose of deterring bats from flying near them.

Perhaps this wouldn’t piss me off so much if pre-construction they had absolutely no idea that bats were going to be killed by their machines.

But they did. And they built them anyways. Now what is their solution?

To “jam” (their word) the bat’s echolocation with ultrasonic frequencies. Then they won’t be able to communicate or know where the fuck (yeah I’m mad) they are flying, and will hopefully flee to some non-turbine infested area, if they still exist anywhere locally. I believe this is called “habitat displacement”, which Dr. Scott Petrie warned all the wind developers of over and over for the past half dozen years.

Ah, but NextEra and their ilk are “good green corporate citizens” – they wouldn’t take part in something so repulsive as this, would they? They did it to humans so maybe…

The problem for the wind company is not the laborious and tedious job of picking up all the dead bat carcasses (a bloody pain I suspect though), it’s the horrid “mitigation” that they are forced to do when they exceed the “kill threshold” of birds, bats and raptors set by the Ministry of Natural Resources – they are exceeding them all the freakin’ time!

Supposedly the MNR will sometimes make the wind companies that exceed their kill limits, “curtail” (shut down) their turbines during peak migration, night or in low winds when the bats are out and about. (Honestly I highly doubt anyone is watching or monitoring, but lets give them the benefit of the doubt here). That lost production really sucks for the wind companies ’cause they are loosing way too much $$. Every little penny counts for their greedy little hearts.

Again, the problem is not the killing of Endangered Species (which is what is happening, with impunity), that doesn’t bother the wind company at all or they would shut their turbines down most willingly.

Instead they employ these fancy new Ultrasonic blasters to scare those little buggers away. Because that’s what good neighbours do when they come to a land full of Endangered Species. They wreck their homes. You know, like eagle nests and stuff.

Here’s their sales pitch:

“Instead of curtailing to avoid take, deter bats from the turbine”
(“Take”, for those unfamiliar with the lingo, is “kill”. Sounds nicer, eh? Note also this is all about avoiding curtailment, not avoiding bat kill, and certainly not avoiding destruction of habitat!)

“Many bats rely on echolocation for orienting, foraging and communication – Echolocation “jamming” most effective defense against bats ever documented.”(So they recognize what the bats needs to survive, and then wallop them with a baseball bat. Note also they use the negative wording, “defence against bats”. That shows their true colours on this issue.)

“Deterrent units create a broad range of frequencies to deter different bat species”
(Oh well, wind developers know all about ‘broad ranges of frequencies’ to deter human beings, so I believe them!)

Here’s another thought. How is a wind developer, or anyone for that matter, permitted to disrupt an Endangered Species habitat like this? What exactly is the purpose of the supposed protection of the Act if wind developers are allowed to kill, harm, harass and maim them as much as they want?! Aren’t developers usually penalized for this kind of deliberate destruction?

~ Esther

15 thoughts on “Wind developers deploy ultrasonic units to ‘jam’ bat echolocation

  1. Agree – but it just goes on and on… I doubt if the true numbers of bats killed ever comes out. In our local county there was a study which showed a number of bats killed & endangered ones & noted that some would not be ‘found’ because they’d been carried away by scabvangers (sp). After that report — never saw anything atter that I don’t think the local electric cooperative liked what was reported. The scientist was independent and objective – I don’t believe wind developer/company like that.

  2. As always, a superb rebuttal to the IWT pirates.

    But, in another posting it’s fantastic to learn that IWT developers are paying out to clean up the toxic oil spills from their bat and bird shredders.

  3. It doesn’t take much to figure out what will happen to the bats when you jam their echolation with ultrasonic frequencies…. just take a look at the report from the UK where whales have beached and died due to turbines….
    I think that is at least the second time that has happened to whales and been reported on.
    It is also very interesting to read in that article that the coastal patrol has noticed that the water is clouded up with sand/silt due to the turbine vibrations…. sounds familiar to the contaminated wells situations in Chatham-Kent!!!

    • UN Bonn

      Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS).

      Also known as the Bonn Convention.

      Lays the legal foundation to conduct conservation on a global scale.

      More information available online on this topic.

      • CMS/Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

        Species Lists:

        Birds list: Click on the Aves Box
        Insect list: Click on the Insecta Box, which includes the Monarch Butterfly.

        There is also a proposed species list.

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