We’re doing a lot. GVEA started working with qualified biologists to study wildlife patterns in the Eva Creek area as far back as 1999. “Why so long ago?” you ask. In the late 1990s, Golden Valley began site work for the Northern Intertie, which passes smack dab through the Eva Creek Wind site. Just like today, we worked closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Here are a few ways we have designed the Eva Creek Wind project in order to minimize impact to wildlife:
- Requesting that the Federal Aviation Administration allow the use of white flashing lights on the towers instead of red flashing lights; previous studies have shown that birds have less of a risk of disorientation with white flashing lights.
- Situating turbines back from the edge of the bluffs to reduce the potential for interaction with soaring birds, including golden eagles.
- Installing power lines from the wind turbines to the substation underground.
And there are more. To read them, visit pages two and three in the Public Notice of Application for Permit to the Army Corp of Engineers.
On a similar note, the following quote from the Audubon Society is interesting:
“Every source of energy has some environmental consequences. Most of today’s rapidly growing demand for energy is now being met by natural gas and expanded coal-burning power plants, which are this country’s single greatest source of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause global warming.
If we don’t find ways to reduce these emissions, far more birds—and people—will be threatened by global warming than by wind turbines.
Our challenge is thus to help design and locate wind-power projects that minimize the negative impacts on birds.”
GVEA is working closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and experienced avian biologists to minimize any impact to wildlife in the Eva Creek area. At the same time, we’re extremely excited about the opportunity to bring 24-megawatts of clean, green, renewable energy onto our electric grid.