The wind farms in Altamont Pass in northern California are the heart of the killing ground of bald and golden eagles. Other birds die by the thousands, too. Osprey, owls, hawks, falcons, all fall at the foot of the wind turbines, or Franken Towers.
After much litigation, as reviewed in Broken Wing: Birds, Blades and Broken Promises, new turbines are coming, with new and increasing bird deaths. All this after paying a few thousand dollars in fines to the local AS folks.
These new wind turbines are repowering turbines. Repowering refers to the replacement of old, smaller turbines with new and larger (both in size and rated capacity) turbines. New larger Franken Towers will replace the old lattice towers. The new turbines will kill far more efficiently. They are taller and wider and have greater revolutions, greater speed.
Dead birds are counted in terms of number of deaths per megawatt per year. The 3 to 5 Estimate (Altamont Adjusted Average) equals the number of fatalities per year per MW based upon Maximum Nameplate Capacity (556 MW for Altamont). The estimate, hence, is for anywhere from 1,668 birds killed per year to 2,780 birds killed per year in the Altamont Pass area. And we know those estimates are low.
Permits have been granted for 5,400 wind turbines, which together have a rated capacity of approximately 580 megawatts (MW), distributed over 37,000 acres (150 square kilometers) of rolling grassland hills and valleys in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA).
Montezuma Hills Wind Farms
Here are the wind farms built up around the Montezuma hills region in California:
The Montezuma hills region with over 900 MW in wind turbine capacity will never again see bald and golden eagles successfully nesting within miles of these turbines. In the nearby 86 square miles of Altamont, the nesting golden eagles were eradicated decades ago. Insiders have told me there have been some attempts to nest, but these have failed due to adult mortality.
Adult birds are slaughtered by these Franken Towers. Their chicks die unfed in their nests. The other parent usually dies as well.
Eagles have been eradicated here. Goldens, too. Both endangered species.
How much longer must we destroy our avian brethren as sacrifice to the climate warming god?How much longer must we destroy our avian brethren as sacrifice to the climate warming god? Click To Tweet
For your information, here is a map that features all the wind farms in the United States, including the most concentrated area of wind turbines:
The above map of wind farms in the United States contains 1,328 total wind farm locations, including: in service, under construction and proposed locations. All locations have a combined wind power capacity with potential for generating up to 87,624 MW. Source: http://en.openei.org/wiki/Map_of_Wind_Farms.
Good news? — Altamont Winds, a wind power provider that operates about 800 turbines in the Altamont Pass — where thousands of birds are believed killed by them each year, is shutting down its operations (San Jose Mercury News, October 31, 2015).
Broken Wing: Birds, Blades and Broken Promises, an incredible account of the broken promises of the wind industry, is available now as a Kindle ebook on Amazon.