Study

Efficacy of an operational minimization experiment to reduce bat fatalities at the Pinnacle Wind Farm, Mineral County, West Virginia, 2013

  • Published source details Hein C.D., Prichard A., Mabee T. & Schirmacher M.R. (2014) Efficacy of an operational minimization experiment to reduce bat fatalities at the Pinnacle Wind Farm, Mineral County, West Virginia, 2013. Bat Conservation International report.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Increase the wind speed at which turbines become operational (‘cut-in speed’)

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Increase the wind speed at which turbines become operational (‘cut-in speed’)

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2013 at a wind farm in a forested area of West Virginia, USA (Hein et al 2014; same site as Hein et al 2013) found that increasing the wind speed at which turbines become operational (‘cut-in speed’) resulted in fewer bat fatalities than at conventional turbines. Average bat fatality estimates were 54% and 76% lower when cut-in speeds were increased to 5 and 6.5 m/s respectively (0.5 and 0.3 bats/turbine/night) than at conventional control turbines (1.3 bats/turbine/night). The difference in fatality rates between the two treatments was not significant. Five bat species were found (see original report for data). Each of 12 turbines was randomly assigned to one of two treatments (cut-in speed increased to 5 or 6.5 m/s) or as a control (conventional cut-in speed of 3 m/s). Treatments were rotated between turbines nightly over 72 nights in July–September 2013. Turbines started/stopped operating when the average wind speed over 10 minutes (measured at a weather tower) was above or below the cut-in speed. All turbines were prevented from turning (‘feathered’) below the cut-in speed. Daily carcass searches were conducted along transects in plots (126 x 120 m) centred on each of the 12 turbines. Carcass counts were corrected to account for searcher efficiency, removal by scavengers, and unsearchable areas within plots.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references

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