Scientists at the University of Calgary claim that reducing wind turbine speed in low wind periods significantly reduces bat mortality at wind farms. “Biologically, this makes sense as bats are more likely to fly when wind speeds are relatively low. When it’s really windy, which is when the turbines are reaping the most energy, bats don’t like to fly. There is a potential for biology and economics to mesh nicely,” says Co-Author Robert Barclay.

TransAlta, which participated in the research, has already applied the low wind mitigation strategy to the 38 turbines identified in the study area. “This new mode of operation is now in place and will be applied to new wind farms,” says TransAlta’s Jason Edworthy. (Source: EScience Ne ws, September 28, 2009)

Contact: Robert Barclay, Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, (403) 220-3564, barclay@ucalgary.ca, www.ucalgary.ca; Jason Edworthy, Director, Community Relations, TransAlta, (403) 267-2000 jason_edworthy@transalta.com, www.transalta.com