New Tech Saves Birds, Makes Wind Turbines More Useless (OPINION)
The video above features a soaring bird of prey getting sucked into the vortex of a wind turbine blade and subsequently dying.
One of the many problems of wind turbines, is the number of birds and bats killed by them every year. The first wind farm in the nation to be sited for killing a bird was near Capser Wyoming. In that case it was a silver eagle.
If it the bird had died near an oil well the company would have faced severe punishment. But not in the case of a wind farm. For some reason they get extra protection that coal, gas, and oil do not.
A few years back AP News published an article Wind farm project near Casper anticipates low eagle deaths, as if "low eagle deaths" was a great achievement. Other energy producers are expected no bird deaths, at all, EVER. The article stated, "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released the draft study of the 46-turbine Pioneer Wind Park east of Casper, finding the expected deaths of five golden eagles and one bald eagle to be lower than some of the larger wind farms in the area." (AP News).
Rather than saving the bird population, the Obama Administration gave wind farms a 30 year pass on killing birds. That sounds horrifying to me, but you can read all about it at this link.
Enter a new idea that might save birds- MAYBE, but will also make wind farms more unreliable than they already are.
How about a new system that will identify the raptors when they get too close and shut down the turbines?
Wyoming Public Media is reporting, Chris McClure is the Director of Global Conservation Science at the Peregrine Fund -- a non-profit conservation group. He and his team tested the effectiveness of Identi-Flight systems- that's the technology that takes images and identifies birds. If it sees one, it shuts down the wind turbine.
Let's review: Wind turbines will not turn to produce energy when there is no wind. They will not turn when it is too windy. They will not turn when it is too hot or too cold. If this new system is installed they will not turn when birds are around them. So, when will they turn?