Turbine operator reduces output to limit bat deaths

Source: By Henry Brean, Las Vegas Review-Journal • Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Nevada wind farm has been forced to make changes after killing more bats than allowed under a deal with the federal government.

The 152-megawatt Spring Valley Wind Energy project northeast of Las Vegas has adjusted its turbine operations at night to factor in bat migrations through the region. On nights with heavy bat activity, the turbines now kick in when wind speeds reach 11 mph, instead of about 7 mph, the facility’s owner said.

The change will reduce power output, “but we are willing to accept this in order to reduce our environmental impact,” said Matt Dallas, a spokesman for Pattern Energy.

The wind farm killed about 566 bats last year. Under a deal with federal regulators, the facility is allowed to kill 169 bats per year (Henry Brean, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Aug. 17)