Wind plant plans raise fears for eagles

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Scientists have warned that wind power can pose a danger to bird life in Norway, and in particular to several rare species of eagle. The national ornithological society (NOF) is calling on the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Administration (NVE) for environmental guidelines to control wind development along the scenic west coast. The warning applies specifically to a controversial project at Stadland, Sogn og Fjordane, where plans to build a 70 MW installation of 35 turbines have already been rejected by the district officer for the probable effects on an area "of national and international importance for natural landscape, cultural heritage, tourism and outdoor recreation." The ornithologists are most concerned for the populations of sea eagles and golden eagles, according to the Bergens Tidende newspaper, warn the project is almost certainly a violation of several international bird habitat conventions. The issue has also been raised at Smøla, More og Romsdal, the proposed island site of one of Norway's most ambitious wind projects and home to 60 breeding pairs of sea eagle. Regional officials there have reportedly urged that plans for up to 100 turbines be cut back to no more than 20.

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