USFWS Wind Energy Meeting by hcj


									USFWS Wind Energy Meeting Albuquerque, New Mexico February 3, 2005
Research Needs Group Notes

A. Research Needs 1. Population Studies a) Migratory pathways (includes foraging/roosting, breeding, seasonal variability, movements spring, summer, and fall, and if applicable during wintertime) -chronology of flight -flight altitude -orientation to topography -timing of migration -use of resources -weather (localized bad weather patterns, El Nino, La Nina) -NEXRAD/thermal vision as a tool to help assess migration and habitat use b) Strike -tubular vs. lattice tower design -lighting (color, frequency, duration and lumen intensity, strobe [red vs. white] vs. incandescent [solid-on vs. pulsating] -spacing of turbines (clustering) vs. broad, high-wind-based placement -blade tip speed, Bird Strike Indicator, Bird Activity Monitor, smear effect -shutdowns- are they effective -turbine height and spacing between machines - bird and bat avoidance (migration, breeding, and wintering) -siting turbines to topography (setbacks from rims, cliffs, bluffs) -turbulence effect (blade tip vortices, eddies esp. affecting bats and passerines) -risk according to swept area and probability of strike -taxa of concern = birds, bats, invertebrates -frequency of sound (from the blades is this a deterrent or an attractant for some species) -use of detector/sensor with immediate shutdown of a turbine blade (is this feasible?) 2. Fragmentation Issues (presented in priority order as ranked by team)- many of these apply to both terrestrial and marine environment 1. species buffers: 5-mile buffer recommendation – is this appropriate for “prairie grouse,” what about other buffer recommendations for other species such as grassland and sage-steppe obligate songbirds, shorebirds, other spp.?

2. dynamics of siting turbines in leks and resultant impacts from predation/parasitism, diseases (West Nile virus). Can we quantify? 3. behavioral effects on ecology and life history , habitat use, breeding, feeding, foraging, roosting 4. benefits by siting turbines in agricultural areas vs. intact native (e.g., grassland) habitats 5. habitat management on site 6. infrastructure, siting near transmission grids 7. effects on terrestrial wildlife species 7a. effects on listed/rare plants 8. how do wind farms affect local weather patterns including precipitation, microclimates

B. Strategies for implementing research National Wind Coordinating Committee- Wildlife Workgroup National Renewable Energy Laboratory (DOE) universities (faculty, USGS-BRD coop units, etc.) California Energy Commission Bat Conservation International, AWEA, FPL, and USFWS’s bat/wind collaborative need a bird/wind collaborative – maybe American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon state agencies federal agencies (USGS National Wildlife Health Lab, etc.) NGO’s (Ducks Unlimited, etc.) consultants Electric Power Research Institute and Edison Electric Institute Joint Ventures bird planning groups/Bird Conservation Initiative (PIF/landbird, NAWMA, shorebird, waterbird)

C. Strategies for funding research -industry (through American Wind Energy Association, National Wind Coordinating Committee, individual companies [e.g., FPL] -cost of NEPA, mitigation fee- if proponent avoids NEPA on private land, could that cost be put into mitigation? -DOE National Renewable Energy Lab -IAFWA (state agencies) -National Fish and Wildlife Foundation -foundations in general (including private) -National Academy of Science, National Science Foundation

-NGO’s (for matching with in-kind to actual dollar contributions) -USGS-BRD Science Support Program/Quick Response Program -Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act -federal agencies (Homeland Security) where there might be a relationship with wind -new appropriations -local or county governments

D. Toolchest for Research- All tools need to be peer-reviewed -NEXRAD -marine radar (vertical and horizontal) -thermal imagery -night vision scopes -Anabat and acoustic monitoring in general where used for birds(chirp/chip calls) -GIS and GPS -ceilometers -radio telemetry -Bird Strike Indicators and Bird Activity Monitor -scavenging studies/searcher efficiency studies -blade painting -acoustic deterrence (e.g. Infrasound) -visual deterrence -physical deterrence (markers, balls, etc.) -mark/recapture studies -net capture E. Research Validity/ studies must be: -scientifically sound, credible, robust, and valid -peer review (including USFWS biologists, The Wildlife Society, Ornithological Council) -pilot studies -pre-construction monitoring – must also use sound methodology -post-construction mortality studies and behavioral monitoring must also use sound methodology - publish results in peer reviewed journals

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