Friday, April 08, 2011

N.D. wind farm canceled due to bird concerns

Bird-advocacy groups scored a victory in their ongoing battle with wind power companies when Xcel Energy Inc. announced that it had canceled a $400 million North Dakota wind farm. "The 100-turbine project was expected to generate as much as 150 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power about 60,000 homes," Scott Streater of Environment & Energy Daily reports. The project stalled after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raised concerns about its effect on federally protected whooping cranes and piping plovers.

"Though the wind farm was to be sited on private land and required no federal land-use permits, it remained subject to laws like the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act," Streater writes. FWS recommended project planners create a habitat conservation plan for the migratory birds, but "apparently they didn't feel that was something they needed to do," said Jeff Towner, field supervisor for the agency's North Dakota field office in Bismarck. In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Xcel said FWS's concerns led to "uncertainty in the cost and timing in mitigating this impact," which in turn prompted the decision to cancel the project. (Read more, subscription required)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding me. There are more birds killed each day by baseballs than wind farms. These people are the same that voted for "Hope and Change". By the way, how is that working for us?