A trial of NRG Systems’ Bat Deterrent System at the Pilot Hill Wind Project in Illinois yielded an overall reduction in bat fatalities of 67 percent and greater reductions with species commonly affected by wind projects.
The results of the trial were announced on March 27, 2019, by EDF Renewables, the developer/owner of the Pilot Hill Wind Project, at the AWEA Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance Seminar in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Located in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, the 175-MW Pilot Hill Wind Project was made possible by a 20-year power purchase agreement with Microsoft Corporation and has been in commercial operation since 2015.
Testing of NRG’s ultrasonic acoustic Bat Deterrent System was conducted at Pilot Hill between August and October of 2018; 15 out of the facility’s 103 turbines were outfitted with Bat Deterrent Systems. A 5.0 m/second cut-in speed curtailment was simultaneously applied at the deterrent-equipped turbines.
“Our goal with this trial was to gauge the efficacy of combining curtailment with NRG’s Bat Deterrent System to reduce bat mortality at wind turbines,” said Michael Azeka, director of Environmental Strategy at EDF Renewables. “The results of this trial are very encouraging and suggest that this approach to minimizing bat impacts is a compelling one.”
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