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Windmills to end nighttime operation after bat is killed.

Post in 'The Green Room' started by mbcijim, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

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    http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x345569257/Windmills-to-shut-at-night-following-demise-of-rare-bat

    It is 40 turbines of 2MW nameplate capacity
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegheny_Ridge_Wind_Farm

    How much does it cost to build?
    http://www.windustry.org/how-much-do-wind-turbines-cost
    "Most of the commercial-scale turbines installed today are 2 MW in size and cost roughly $3.5 Million installed."

    So 40 turbines at $3,500,000 each is $140,000,000 investment shut down for a bat a single dead bat in two years of operations.

    I have a problem with this. Do we want green energy or not? Birds and bats are going to die if you build something 400' tall and it moves. The biggest problem with the whole green movement is the internal conflicts that derive from it, and are major factors in all development. We want zero emissions but we don't want nuclear. We want solar power but we want power at night. Don't run the windmills because they kill bats.

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  2. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    I guess this would be an example of a classic "moon bat"
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  4. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    So I guess we should shut down travel by air as some birds get sucked into the engines? ;-)
  5. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    What the heck is wrong with this country. Shut down clean generation at night over 25 bats/unit/year. That electricity is being replaced by less clean sources. The rate payers are paying for turbines that can't generate.
  6. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    It would seem from the article that there are some technical solutions that could be deployed to minimize the risk.
  7. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Every new technology has consequences...some of which are unanticipated and only manifest themselves after deployment. (Some in history have been disastrous). So then, after discovery of something bad happening, we go into reactive mode, and evaluate the situation and start looking for ways to eliminate or mitigate the damage. If that means we shut down the turbines at night for a while, and let the smart scientists & engineers burn some midnight oil, well I guess that's the price we pay for placing a high value on threatened and irreplaceable species that share the planet with us and make unique contributions to our collective well-being. Apparently, we simply weren't smart enough to have anticipated this. That has happened many times before, and will happen many times into the future. And I bet we're smart enough to find ways to keep the bats mostly safe and bring the turbines back on line. I want both the bats and the wind turbines. Last I read, out in California, it was day-flying birds getting whacked by the wind turbines that were of concern. Haven't kept up on what, if anything, has been done to lessen that impact. Rick
  8. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    So the lights attract the bugs and that attracts the bats. With every plane getting a GPS why not put one on a windmill? Got to be safer/easier than a light, and you wouldn't have to pay to run the light or worry about fog and the like.
  9. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Why do you think that's an indication of something being "wrong" with the country? Some might even say exactly the opposite. Rick
  10. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    If a wetland is partially altered for building a housing development, many times a builder has to create a larger wetland then what was disturbed. The builder will sometimes donate land to a city or town for "open space" in lieu of some waiver of a zoning law. Basically take some give more back. Why not develop more living quarters for the bats to live in and increase the population. It is an unfortunate situation regardless. There are a large number of migrating birds that are killed by flying into radio tower guy wires every year.
  11. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    So if the lights are attracting bat food to the windmill, why not just change the bulbs to the yellow ones we all use on our porches during the summer months? The bugs don't see the light as well and thuse they don't fly towards it, but the towers are still plenty visible for aircraft...as a bonus, the yellow light penetrates fog more readily and yellow lights after all do mean caution, right?

    Or maybe better yet, build a bug light bait area down on the ground and put up a short range ultrasonic tone generator on the windmill itself so the bats stay the heck away from them.

    Gotta wonder how many bats are killed over a year's time by running more coal power at night when the windmills are shut down.
  12. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    So I have been working on wind turbines for 13 years and now travel around the country and have never had any one say anything about more than just a few bats or birds being found at the base of the turbne. I was at one site for 9 years and we had less than a dozen bird and bat kills in that time. They must of planted those turbines in a bat zone they should have know about before hand.
    My question is if that bat would have been hit by a car would we be walking at night?
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Rick.
  14. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I'm all for working out the kinks in new technology, but I don't see anything here that should threaten wind power development. It does seem a bit 20'th century to have to light-up every tower & turbine on the planet to reduce collisions with planes. There has got to be some pretty simple solutions here. Along with the light color & gps signals already stated, how about using strobes only, placing a brighter light source at a safe distance to attract bugs, RFID technology, the radar identification tech used on ships....on and on...

    The turbines get lots of attention because they're new, different & visible, but there are much greater slaughters of wildlife going on all the time that are either not well publicized, old news or just make us too uncomfortable to talk about. Birds for instance are continually being slaughtered by:
    Collisions with windows; everything from homes to glassy, lit-up skyscrapers & the estimate is 1 billion birds/year in the U.S alone. Bldg management and/or city workers do clean-ups near dawn so the bodies are rarely seen in cities.
    Habitat Loss;
    Predation by cats; (Fluffy is a bird-killing machine!)
    Cell tower & power-line collisions;
    Pesticide exposure;
    Vehicle collisions;
    Somewhere way down on the list is wind turbines too.
  15. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    What makes you think every plane is getting GPS? In the general aviation community, most of them have GPS; handhelds at least. In the commercial aviation community it's probably less than 50%. There's still a lot of old metal up in the skies.

    Since these towers are only 150-250 high, why light them at all? Maybe if they're close to an airport you should. Or how about picking an unused color of warning light and designating if for wind farms. Then just outline the farm in lights.

    If you fly in small plane at night, one of the first things you notice is that they're wasting a lot of electricity on low level warning lights. Also, with cell towers and all the other short stuff that's lit up, it's hard to tell what the heck is down there. Is it a string of towers, a road, an approach lighting system to an airport, etc?

    Maybe we could put a Glade Plug in type thing on every wind tower and fill it with ddt.
  16. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Before you know it they'll be tearing down perfectly good hydroelectric dams just for a coupla fish. :)

    Hopefully the windpower off at night is a temporary solution .

    I've seen some off on weekends to accommodate a neighbor who isn't there during the week.



    Are they off all night or just dusk and dawn. I didn't think bats stayed out all night.
  17. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Possibly the surviving bats have developed a sense of danger around the windmills and will live to repopulated the er, flock. The darwin angle.
  18. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    They're not hitting the towers. The change in pressure close to the blades makes their lungs pop.

    I heard a rumor that all the planes were switching over to a gps-based air traffic control. Not settled yet (because the airlines want to figure out how to get us to pay for it) but its said to save a bunch of fuel and speed things up.
  19. cdirks

    cdirks New Member

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    Some farmers in the neighboring county wanted to sue our local windfarm because they said it was changing the weather and it wasn't raining for them anymore. They didn't win the case.

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