WINData provides services to facilitate site permitting and avian and wildlife impact mitigation in compliance with United States Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS“) guidelines with regard to impact issues. Reduction of risk begins with the initial site selection screening. Existing information is used to select sites that appear, based on a variety of available information,to be environmentally benign and have lower levels of avian and wildlife use. Our specialists determine species known to occur in the area, that may be specifically listed by the USFWS as threatened or as a “species of special concern”.
Once a site is chosen, additional site-specific studies can be conducted to determine whether portions of the site have relatively higher or lower avian use levels. That information is used in the siting of individual turbine locations. The reduction of avian risk is an extremely site-specific issue that is frequently referred to during the site design process.
In addition to reducing avian risk through siting decisions, the selection of technology and careful planning to minimize avian perching opportunities on wind farm equipment are essential. The use of tubular, rather than less-expensive lattice, turbine towers; the use of perch-free smooth nacelles; the undergrounding of power collection and communication cables; the use of tall towers and slowly rotating turbine blades all contribute to reducing avian risk on the site.
Turbines are set back from rim edges approximately 50 meters to avoid a zone of raptor use as well as of the rim edge. Similarly, based on its development experience, WINData uses tubular (rather than less expensive lattice) towers and underground power collection cables, in its plant layouts, to avoid creating avian perching opportunities.
Finally, WINData plant designs use large capacity wind turbines to reduce the number of turbines and increase the spacing between turbines and rows of turbines. The slower rotational speed for blades of the large turbines and the tall towers that raised the blades high above the ground may be particularly important factors in reducing avian risk.