Acciona develops North American bird and bat scheme

UNITED STATES: Developer Acciona has adopted an avian and bat protection plan for its US and Canadian operations.

The Swooping Crane is among the species where Acciona is developing wind projects

The Spanish company said the scheme draws on siting guidelines drawn up by the federal Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee and sent to interior secretary Ken Salazar in April.

Like the committee guidelines, Acciona’s plan is based on a multi-stage or "tiered" approach.

At each tier, the company asks questions to determine the suitability of a given development site. The answers to those questions determine if Acciona should undertake the next evaluation tier, or abandon the site.

It will also guide decisions on operations, re-powering and decommissioning, Acciona said.

Fifteen sensitive species and sub-species fall within areas where Acciona is developing or operating wind farms, according to the plan.

In Canada, the species are the northern bobwhite, Acadian flycatcher, barn owl, chimney swift, eastern loggerhead shrike and two sub-species of piping plover.

In the U.S., the species are the lesser prairie chicken, sage grouse, Indiana bat, whooping crane, golden eagle, bald eagle, golden cheek warbler and interior least tern.

The federal committee had recommended that the Department of the Interior institute incentives to get developers to adopt the siting guidelines.

However, members of the committee have complained that the department has not responded to the recommendations.  

The Avian and Bat Protection Plan