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Turbines idled to protect migratory birds
1 February 2009
Japanese electricity wholesaler J-Power says it will idle turbines at a wind farm being developed in Fukui Prefecture during certain time slots to protect migratory birds. The firm says that every day from October to March, turbines at the plant, being built near the city of Awara, will be turned off for an hour at dawn and for 70 minutes at dusk. Birds often fly between their nesting and feeding grounds at these times and it is feared they will collide with rotating blades. It is the first time a Japanese wind farm operator has agreed to regularly halt operations for bird conservation. Most wind power producers across Japan charge utilities between ´9-11/kWh ($0.101-0.123/kWh) for output, with many recently at the lower end of the range amid increased competition. J-Power declines to comment on what rate it charges, but says revenue loss from accommodating birds will not be significant.
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