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What We Do/Bats & Wind Energy

From our Partners


"In the fall of 2003, Bat Conservation International (BCI) initiated a meeting with industry leaders and government agencies to explore approaches for addressing the problem and reducing fatalities.  The Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) was formed in 2004, as a partnership among government agencies including DOE and USFWS; wind industry members through the industry association, AWEA; and BCI and its supporters to work together to address this problem.  With BCI serving as the research manager, BWEC initiated research that led to a better understanding of the causes for the fatalities and the subsequent development of wind plant operational strategies to reduce them by ~50 to over 90%, with a very small sacrifice in energy capture.  Under BCI's insightful research leadership, the BWEC is now performing research to perfect an acoustic deterrent that has the potential to warn bats away from operating turbines with no sacrifice in energy production.  In only 6 short years under BCI leadership, the BWEC has opened a potential pathway to solve what could have been a major problem for the growing wind industry.  This demonstrates how successful breakthrough research can be accomplished when government, industry, and environmental organizations like BCI cooperate, pool their resources, and work together to solve challenging environmental problems." – Robert W. Thresher, PhD, PE, National Renewable Energy Lab Research Fellow

"The BCI-led Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) plays a vital role in bringing together an alliance of state and federal agencies, industry representatives, academic institutions and nongovernmental organizations united in their common goal of finding solutions to minimize bat-mortality at wind energy facilities.  This partnership has been instrumental in leading research efforts that support the development of policy, guidance, best management practices, and mitigation for wind power developments.  BWEC has been instrumental in getting the principle players together to talk openly about the issues and develop reasonable alternatives that meet industry needs as well as those of the permitting agencies." – Michael Herder, Associate District Manager, Bureau of Land Management, Ely District, Nevada

"In my opinion, BCI's Bats and Wind Energy Program plays an indispensable role in facilitating cooperation between the wind industry and biologists on the development of science-based solutions for reducing bat fatalities at wind energy facilities." – Brian Cooper, Vice President and Senior Scientist, ABR Inc., Forest Grove, Oregon

"In 2003, Bat Conservation International (BCI) worked with partners to form the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC).  The BWEC consists of a Science Advisory Committee and a Technical Advisory Committee.  BCI regularly brings the committees together allowing state, federal, and wind industry biologists to discuss research needs with key scientists, who in turn design research projects to get answers to biologists needs.  A prime example is the recent and ongoing curtailment studies.  These studies will be invaluable to land management agencies as they move forward with wind energy development.  This research will allow land management agencies to incorporate the best available science into their permitting process to insure bat conservation and wind energy development."  –  Dennis L. Krusac, Endangered Species Specialist, USDA Forest Service, Southern Region

"Since 2004 when the BCI-led Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC) was formed, we've seen an exponential growth of scientific knowledge about bats.  BWEC also is leading development of effective measures to mitigate impacts to bats to an acceptable degree.  While much work remains, BWEC has contributed greatly to an improved understanding of  how bats interact with wind energy facilities and to the greater good of enabling a meaningful shift to a cleaner form of domestic energy generation." –  Stu Webster, Director of Permitting and Environmental, Iberdrola Renewables

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Last Updated: Monday, 22 August 2011
Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International