Feds looking to expand permits for the killing of bald eagles…by wind farms

posted at 3:21 pm on May 10, 2012 by Morgen Richmond

Don’t worry, they are only talking about “programmatic” killing. Via Lachlan Markay at the Foundry:

A draft regulation first filed in April would allow businesses to apply for 30-year permits allowing them to kill bald eagles in the course of other legal activities. The length of those permits would be a six-fold increase over the five-year window allowed under current law.

The USFWS explains at FederalRegister.gov:

“We have reviewed applications from proponents of renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar power facilities, for programmatic permits to authorize eagle take that may result from both the construction and ongoing operations of renewable energy projects. During our review, it became evident that the 5-year term limit imposed by the 2009 regulations (see 50 CFR 22.26(h)) needed to be extended to better correspond to the timeframe of renewable energy projects.”

Current law allows permitting for “programmatic” killing of bald eagles, which “is recurring, is not caused solely by indirect effects, and that occurs over the long term or in a location or locations that cannot be specifically identified.”

The USFWS notes that permits “may authorize lethal take that is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity, such as mortalities caused by collisions with rotating wind turbines.”

At the risk of over-sensationalizing this, legally-sanctioned, “programmatic” killing sounds an awful lot like a euphemism for…genocide. And I suppose it is, at least from the perspective of the eagles, if they had one anyway. But I suppose it should also be noted that the only reason this sort of regulation is even necessary is because the bald eagle is a protected species under federal law. And if they weren’t, they could be slaughtered by wind farms at-will, no permit required. You know, like the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of birds from other non-protected species which meet an untimely fate on the blade of a wind turbine each year.

I really wonder if this were put up to a vote how many Americans would be willing to condone the slaughter of these birds given that current levels of wind generation account for barely over 2% of electricity generation here in the U.S.? Certainly not a majority, I’d wager, and that’s without even adding in the higher financial costs of producing and delivering this energy. This is why government bureaucrats use euphemisms like “programmatic taking” when discussing this ugliness, or just avoid the topic altogether if they can.

By the way, any guesses as to whether there might be other forms of energy production which avoid this issue all together? From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (pdf):

What types of projects would need a programmatic permit?

We anticipate issuing programmatic permits for wind, solar, and other energy projects, as well as electric utilities, timber operations, and others. We expect that most oil and gas operations are better able to take measures to prevent ongoing eagle mortalities, so we do not expect many will need to seek permits. However, permits may be issued to any type of entity that cannot avoid taking eagles.

Yeah.


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Kill and eagle- Fine and possibly jail time..

Kill a baby: become a feminine hero.

Through the looking glass.

melle1228 on May 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Want to know what a nation under judgement looks like?

tom daschle concerned on May 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

The Leftist War on Nature continues!

visions on May 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Obama is not happy destroying the country, he also wants to kill our national emblem

birdwatcher on May 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Green on green.

Next up: Build more nuke plants to power electric cars.

Zombie on May 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I wonder if Obama ever ate Bald Eagle?

mwbri on May 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

The wholesale killing of Bald Eagles seems unpatriotic to me.

Anyone else get that feeling?

BigGator5 on May 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

The wholesale killing of Bald Eagles seems unpatriotic to me.

Anyone else get that feeling?

BigGator5 on May 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

But, but it is for the good of the collective//

melle1228 on May 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

First it was doggy burgers.
Now it is Eagle Patties.

What will he want to stir fry next?

The Rock on May 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM

smart wind farm owners maintain a nice pack of security dogs that help keep the area nice and clean…

so this makes me think that there are a bunch of dumb wind farm owners or nosy neighbors out there reporting these matters to the gubmint.

gatorboy on May 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Its for the children…

coldwarrior on May 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

First it was the dogs, now bald eagles…where will it stop?

d1carter on May 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

But I suppose it should be noted that the only reason this sort of regulation is even necessary is because the bald eagle is a protected species under federal law.

And the Feds have shut down a highly productive area of California farm land in order to purportedly save a small fish that no one sees. Victor Davis Hanson is going to be incensed by this.

rbj on May 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

If you’re going to cite the American Bird Conservancy as your expert source on how many birds are killed by wind farms, you better be willing to accept this absurd supposed fact, also.

Just sayin’

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

…and yet they have destroyed a whole farming community in California for a minnow.

Baxter Greene on May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Let it be noted that leftist greeniacs spent years advocating for a huge wind farm at Altamont Pass here in northern California, eventually pushed through its construction…and now those same leftist greeniacs are outraged that the wind farm massacres migrating hawks, buzzards and eagles, and have successfully gotten it mostly shut down.

They have met the enemy, and it is them!

Zombie on May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Will we see PETA vs. Sierra Club?

Nope… cause Marxists of a feather flock together.

Destruction of Capitalism trumps all.

mankai on May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

This is beyond parody. Liberals are morally bankrupt.

dominigan on May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Can’t they limit wind turbine to Chicago? No bald eagles to kill, plenty of wind, and lots of liberals to pay the increased electricity bill.

Archivarix on May 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Feds looking to expand permits for the killing of bald eagles…by wind farms

What about permits for the killing of bald eagles to serve as Obama’s dinner? I hear it makes a great second course to follow dog.

steebo77 on May 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

So why exactly is the Keystone pipeline being stalled by Hussein ?

burrata on May 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

The real story here is that you need a government permit to account for suicidal eagles.

I can only imagine how many endangered insects met their end on my windshield. I hope the EPA doesn’t find out.

Hollowpoint on May 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

The wholesale killing of Bald Eagles seems unpatriotic to me.

Anyone else get that feeling?

BigGator5 on May 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

That was the first thing that came to my mind when I read the headline .

burrata on May 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

So if I shoot an eagle for dinner, or if it drowns in a puddle of oil on my properrrrrrt, I go to jail – but if I can get the eagle to fly into my windmill I’m good to go…..
Makes total sense….///

dentarthurdent on May 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

fat fingered property

dentarthurdent on May 10, 2012 at 3:36 PM

If you were raised to hate America, you probably will also hate the symbols, at least subconciously. Except for perhaps a couple poems, I doubt that you’d ever find anything written by Obama that didn’t express his hatred for America and its culture. It has occupied his entire being from his dog eating youth till now.

Buddahpundit on May 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Anyone else get that feeling?

Yup.

crazy_legs on May 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I’ve always wondered what to do if I saw an endangered owl trying to kill and eat an endangered mouse on my property – now I know to just throw them both into the windmill…////

dentarthurdent on May 10, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Can we take this to conclude Obama wants to kill bald eagles?

Ukiah on May 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

What happens if an Eagle dies in a Windmill while trying to eat a Spotted Owl?

Oil Can on May 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Hollowpoint on May 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

+1

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

So why exactly is the Keystone pipeline being stalled by Hussein ?

burrata on May 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM

..Pay-to-play from the environ-lobbyist.

Baxter Greene on May 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

True Story: Subsidized wind farms are so anti-American they kill bald eagles.

T. Boone Pickens could not be reached for comment.

BKennedy on May 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Dead Eagles for Obama

faraway on May 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Can we take this to conclude Obama wants to kill bald eagles?

Ukiah on May 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

He is doing it for Sasha and Malia .
Everytime he sees their faces at the dinner table, he knows they are not proud of the darn bald eagles , so he decided to make them proud .
Afterall , he did plug that hole for them !!

burrata on May 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

A “permit to authorize eagle take”?

Eagle take? I thought they called it “harvesting.”

Anything except calling it “killing” will do, I suppose. It’s all the same to the eagle.

KyMouse on May 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Thus, the OBOZO regime gets to kill two birds with one stone: 1. protect their eco-nut crony capitalists and 2. destroy a symbol of America and its greatness.

TeaPartyNation on May 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Folks around the San Gorgonio Pass have been calling these monstrous eyesores “Cuisinarts for birds” for years.

Did you know that you need to pave approximately 45 acres for every MW of windmill-generating capacity?

And that the San Gorgonio Pass, once one of the most spectacular gateways to Southern California’s Colorado Desert, is now cluttered with enough windmills for a generating capacity of 359 MW?

Do the math: they had to pave 14,360 acres of land to block a major bird migratory route, destroy an awesome scenic vista, and produce far less than their touted MW capacity, so these cuisinarts for birds (and bats), all 4000 of them, would have a place to stand.

Talk about paving paradise to put up a parking lot.

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Hold on they get to killed a protected species but the timber industry was put out of business by the Spotted Owl – turns out it was a predator reducing the Spotted Owl numbers not the logging industry….but Big Wind can operate, and get a wavier to kill Bald Eagles?

The bald eagle will still be protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
US Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Bulletin 2008 and 2009 highlights.pdf.

Protection for northern spotted owls, which are listed as an endangered species, led to setting aside millions of acres of Pacific Northwest forestlands in the 1980s and huge declines in logging.
Despite those measures, spotted owl numbers have shown a 40 percent decline in the last 25 years. The presumed causes of the declines are ongoing effects of lost old-growth habitat before the 1990s and increased competition from barred owls.

Dr Evil on May 10, 2012 at 3:44 PM

We all know that the only birds that count are those that have oil on them and do NOT die by the tens of thousands.

Far more serious in the unintended consequences department is the millions of bats that are killed. This could allow an insect explosion and drastically denigrate our food stuffs. Of course, starving the citizenry is a tried and true tactic of the totalitarian collectivist.

jukin3 on May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

FYI Spotted Owl taste like chicken.

Dr Evil on May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Environmentalists: We favor protecting the environment….except when we don’t.

Bitter Clinger on May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

obama hates and wants to destroy everything good about America, including the Bald Eagle – obama is the enemy.

Pork-Chop on May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

What about Golden Eagles? Is it OK to slaughter them also?

birdwatcher on May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The reported sighting of one spotted owl can shut down a whole forest from logging. The symbol of America, however, is apparently expendable.

I loathe the left with the heat of a thousand suns.

ICBM on May 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Kill an eagle…require a permit.

Kill your baby with the help of some “family planner” in a lab coat…permit? None needed. That would suppress a woman’s right to choose.

coldwarrior on May 10, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Turkeys are smiling…

For now.

Electrongod on May 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

This is disgusting.

Thus, the OBOZO regime gets to kill two birds with one stone: 1. protect their eco-nut crony capitalists and 2. destroy a symbol of America and its greatness.

TeaPartyNation on May 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Sure looks that way.

dogsoldier on May 10, 2012 at 3:51 PM

The USFWS notes that permits “may authorize lethal take that is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity, such as mortalities caused by collisions with rotating wind turbines.”

So how will this be enforced ? Will the wind-mill operators be audited periodically to see how many BE they have killed ? Will there be fines if they overshoot their quota ?
Will BE killing be traded like carbon credits ?
Will Holder’s Department of Jihad be raiding wind farms , just like guitar factories ?

burrata on May 10, 2012 at 3:52 PM

I guess that I should be careful now when I am out and about. I could get attacked by a windmill.

retiredeagle on May 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM

True Story: Subsidized wind farms are so anti-American they kill bald eagles.

T. Boone Pickens could not be reached for comment.

BKennedy on May 10, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Nor could Rick Perry.

steebo77 on May 10, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Far more serious in the unintended consequences department is the millions of bats that are killed. This could allow an insect explosion and drastically denigrate our food stuffs.

jukin3 on May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Yup. California has 25 bat species, 18 of which “are rare and/or considered Species of Special Concern by Department of Fish and Game, Species of Concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or Sensitive by the U.S. Forest Service.” And the windmills chew them up.

They shut down the entire agricultural industry of the San Joaquin Valley (and other parts of California’s Great Central Valley) over a minnow.

The wildlife only matters when it’s an unfavored industry.

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

No useless wind farms…
no birds uselessly die…easy!

KOOLAID2 on May 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Yes, birds sometimes die when they fly into windows. Several birds fly into the windows of my single-story house every year (and they’re just regular glass, not the mirrored type). Should we stop putting windows in homes and office buildings? That will mean that more people die (in fires, etc.), and that we use more energy (to create artifical light for the windowless buildings).

The difference between windows that kill birds and windmills that kill birds is that we don’t need windmills.

AZCoyote on May 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I guess that I should be careful now when I am out and about. I could get attacked by a windmill.

retiredeagle on May 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM

We all should. The blades fall off. Among other things. There’ve been 1208 windmill-related accidents since the 70′s, the number escalating each year. Over 150 accidents last year.

The UK, Scotland, NZ and other places require these things to be set at least 2km from residences.

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I would get banned for saying what I want.
Growing up never saw any, now all the time… in fact one flew past our picture window literally 4 feet from me eye level. One of the coolest things ever.

MontanaMmmm on May 10, 2012 at 4:12 PM

A few years ago I was in Margaretville, NY which is an incredible place filled with beautiful wild life (can you tell I love animals). Anyway I had the honor of seeing 2 adult eagles and their baby in a tree, and I can tell you they are magnificent. Unfortunately, was not quick enough with the camera and they flew away. I will never forget it.

They are the perfect symbol of our country. Which is why of course Obama wants them slaughtered.

FLconservative on May 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Incredible. Wind power can’t exist without subsidies. It’s an economic boondoggle, an unproductive waste. If the windmills kill just a single bald eagle, it’s not worth it. Shut them down.

All for global warming climate change. What a bunch of leftist propagated bull-hockey that is. The two central foundations of the theory have been refuted, but amazingly the theory still stands — thanks to the lib MSM pushing the leftist propaganda. There is nothing wrong with the climate. Currrent temps are not in any way unusual — the hockey was debunked. Further, there is NO empirical evidence that CO2 effect climate scale temps. None. See algor repeat the key ipcc deception on CO2 in this share-worthy 3 minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg

anotherJoe on May 10, 2012 at 4:20 PM

AZCoyote on May 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I’m talking about the numbers. Do you actually believe 300 million to a billion birds are killed each year by skyscrapers? If not, then maybe the wind farm numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, also, given that they come from the same source.

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I’m talking about the numbers. Do you actually believe 300 million to a billion birds are killed each year by skyscrapers? If not, then maybe the wind farm numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, also, given that they come from the same source.

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Google is your friend. You can find a whole lot of videos showing windmills killing eagles. They are Cuisinarts of the air.

theCork on May 10, 2012 at 4:31 PM

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM

That said, I’ve seen birds bump into buildings lots and lots of times without killing themselves.

theCork on May 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM

theCork on May 10, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Logic is your friend. Anecdotes are not studies. I saw a lot of great gruesome auto accident videos in drivers’ ed – proving that, what, cars kill millions of people a year?

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Do the math: they had to pave 14,360 acres of land to block a major bird migratory route, destroy an awesome scenic vista, and produce far less than their touted MW capacity, so these cuisinarts for birds (and bats), all 4000 of them, would have a place to stand.

Talk about paving paradise to put up a parking lot.

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I don’t know where you get that figure for paved acres. Your “parking lot” link says the concrete is for the windmill base. In other words, it is mostly underground to anchor the structure.

We have many windmill “farms” here in Iowa. They’ve been placed in fields, and the farmers grow crops right around them. Not a parking lot at all.

FWIW – I’ve never seen any birds near the turbine blades. Which suggests to me that the biggest issue with bird kill is site selection.

DakotaBoy on May 10, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Just off the top of my head, I recall the Endangered Species Act being used as a bludgeon against the construction of a dam in Tennessee (the snail darter), the timber/logging industry (the spotted owl), the farming industry in California (the delta smelt), Texas ranchers (some kind of lizard, as I recall), and homeowners in the Midwest (prairie dogs). Every one of these is of vastly greater significance to the economic growth of this nation than the “wind industry” but because the latter is itself a sort of politically protected industry species (i.e., “green”) that is favored by the political elite and therefore is entitled to “waivers.” It is not unlike Obamacare in that regard. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, how inefficient it is, whether the overwhelming majority of Americans want it or not. Our effete political “leaders” in Washington have decided to foist these and similar liberal brainfarts upon the hoi polloi, the producers, the very ones who are the actual engine of the economy. They can use a snail darter as an excuse to kill a dam, a spotted owl to kill the timber industry, the delta smelt to kill California farmers, and a lizard to kill the ranching industry because those are “old school” and don’t have the glitz and glamour of being “green.” But the bald eagle? Well, they’ll use it to kill anything – anything except “green.” Just another example, if one were really needed, of the dishonesty and hypocrisy of “leaders” who have never produced anything that was worth paying good money for.

Harrell on May 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I understand your point, and I have no idea exactly how many birds are killed worldwide by either windows or windmills each year. I also don’t know how anyone could ever calculate an accurate number. But I do know that windmills are an unreliable and inefficient way to generate energy, and that seems to me to be reason enough to do away with them, even apart from the dead bird issue.

AZCoyote on May 10, 2012 at 4:42 PM

The problem with wind turbines and large predatory birds such as bald eagles is that the supporting posts make attractive nesting sites, where they have a bird’s-eye view of prey on open ground surrounding the wind turbine.

In nature, eagles tend to build nests on high rock outcroppings and ledges on cliffs, where chicks would be safe from attack by other predators. They have also been known to adapt to human presence by nesting on roofs of tall buildings, platforms on poles supporting high-tension wires, and platforms on radio or cell-phone towers.

A large predatory bird, like an airplane, always takes off from a nest upwind, in order to get the most airspeed (lift) for the least groundspeed (running start). A large bird such as an eagle could never take off downwind in high winds, because its wings would provide no lift, and the bird would drop out of the sky. Wind turbines have vanes which keep the turbine pointed upwind to maximize power efficiency. So a bird nesting on a wind turbine pole will always take off upwind, straight into the path of the turbine blades, and the faster the wind blows (and the turbine turns), the more precisely the bird must time its leap. One poorly-timed jump, and “the eagle has landed”, splat like Don Quixote from his horse.

Instead of giving wind farms “permits” to kill eagles, why doesn’t our all-intrusive Government require wind turbine operators to install ultrasonic emitters which would repel or scare predatory birds, and prevent them from nesting there?

Steve Z on May 10, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Funny thing.

In the California Central Valley, farmers are being denied water for their crops, all due to pumps in the delta possibly killing some delta smelt.

So farmers are closing down, people are moving out, jobs are lost due to what’s essentially a baitfish, that perhaps some will be killed by turning on pumps to move the water south to valley farmers.

But wind farms can be allowed to kill bald eagles and now in greater numbers.

Yeah, funny thing…

RedbonePro on May 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM

FWIW – I’ve never seen any birds near the turbine blades.

DakotaBoy on May 10, 2012 at 4:35 PM

So there are NO SURVIVORS???


LOL!!!

landlines on May 10, 2012 at 4:45 PM

RIP EVERY EAGLE MURDERING WINDMILL OFF THE FACE OF MOTHER EARTH !!

WINDMILLS ARE LIKE UGLY ZITS ON MOTHER EARTHS BEAUTIFUL FACE !!

DRILL FOR OIL

BigSven on May 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

I don’t know where you get that figure for paved acres.

DakotaBoy on May 10, 2012 at 4:35 PM

One of the articles cited stated “70 square miles” if that’s better for you. But I did the math, based on the cited figures (all linked to articles) as follows:

1 MW generating capacity = 45 acres of paved footprint for the requisite # of windmills to generate 1MW

generating capacity of the San Gorgonio Pass windmill farms = 359 MW

ergo:

359 MW x 45 paved acres/MW = 14,360 acres of pavement.

The article cited implies that this is surface acreage, although it might comprise the total concrete used in the separate foundation pads for some 4,000 windmills, only a portion of which shows on the surface. But the pads are wider than the widest sections of the windmills themselves, which are as close together as safe spacing allows (you certainly couldn’t drive a tractor/tiller between them) and 14,360 acres is still a lot of concrete displacement of natural terrain– above or under ground. I drive through this pass often, have toured the wind farms, and they are densely arrayed. However you look at it, that’s still also a lot of paved area, hence the reference to a parking lot.

(Although the scientists think it has more to do with the windmills stirring up the evening air, there is that recent discovery that windmill farm surface areas are warmer than than surrounding areas– renewable energy’s ironic contribution to global warming!– which is something that has long been known about parking lots.)

It actually sounds like Iowa wind farms are more spacious, whereas the San Gorgonio farms (which also are probably earlier technology than Iowa’s) are compressed into a relatively narrow area to harvest the wind that blows through the mountain pass.

And, you’re right, how stupid to assume that birds would fly OVER the 4,000+ft. snow-covered peaks rather than through the passes, and so block them with windmill farms.

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

If Bald Eagles can be killed, can they now reverse ban on DDT? Or is that asking for too much?

Renee on May 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

If you’re going to cite the American Bird Conservancy as your expert source on how many birds are killed by wind farms, you better be willing to accept this absurd supposed fact, also.

Just sayin’

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 3:28 PM

That statistic doesn’t seem absurd at all. It’s estimated that there are roughly 200 to 400 billion birds on the planet.

You-Eh-Vee on May 10, 2012 at 5:18 PM

and 14,360 acres is still a lot of concrete displacement of natural terrain– above or under ground. de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

That’s a lot of hardscape. I wonder what that does to spring run off? California has wildfire season of course I am sure windmills blowing wind won’t have an effect on wildfires/

Dr Evil on May 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Logic is your friend. Anecdotes are not studies. I saw a lot of great gruesome auto accident videos in drivers’ ed – proving that, what, cars kill millions of people a year?

notropis on May 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

33,808 in 2009.

If you’re going to throw out statistics from published studies AND numerous films, what do you have left? Intuition?

theCork on May 10, 2012 at 5:33 PM

One of the articles cited stated “70 square miles” if that’s better for you. But I did the math, based on the cited figures (all linked to articles) as follows:

1 MW generating capacity = 45 acres of paved footprint for the requisite # of windmills to generate 1MW

* * *

But the pads are wider than the widest sections of the windmills themselves, which are as close together as safe spacing allows (you certainly couldn’t drive a tractor/tiller between them) and 14,360 acres is still a lot of concrete displacement of natural terrain– above or under ground. I drive through this pass often, have toured the wind farms, and they are densely arrayed. However you look at it, that’s still also a lot of paved area, hence the reference to a parking lot.

* * *

It actually sounds like Iowa wind farms are more spacious, whereas the San Gorgonio farms (which also are probably earlier technology than Iowa’s) are compressed into a relatively narrow area to harvest the wind that blows through the mountain pass.

* * *

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Thanks for your comments. I have a few more.

First, the windmills in Iowa and Southern Minnesota are spaced quite far apart. The two that I’ve been close to were probably more than 100 yards away from the next closest. Maybe some are closer. Many are definitely farther apart. They are set in the field with only a gravel or dirt path going to them.

Second, the article where you got the 45 acres doesn’t say that ground is covered in concrete. Since it talks mostly about plans for a Texas wind farm, I figured it relates to something like we have in Iowa, although it appears the acreage is a national average.

Third, we just don’t see a lot of birds flying 100′ or more above our corn fields.

I’m not in favor of subsidized windmills. But I also think that people ought to understand that not all wind farms are alike. Some may be less inefficient or less environmentally destructive than others. If we go off making half-cocked generalizations we’re no better than the leftists.

DakotaBoy on May 10, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Destruction of Capitalism trumps all.

mankai on May 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

.
That’s just one part. Destruction of the United States is the main short-term goal, on the way to the ultimate goal;One World Government.
What ever it takes to achieve One World Government, is what “trumps all.”

listens2glenn on May 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

The 45 acres probably refers to the average size of the airspace footprint of a typical 1.5MW turbine, i.e. land area cleared of obstacles like trees and brush…not paved with asphalt or concrete. The ones in the pass are smaller turbines and as you said the wind patterns also allow them to be closer spaced.

Cheers!

Cloture on May 10, 2012 at 6:15 PM

You couldnt make this stuff up.

newportmike on May 10, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Yes, birds sometimes die when they fly into windows. Several birds fly into the windows of my single-story house every year (snip) The difference between windows that kill birds and windmills that kill birds is that we don’t need windmills.

AZCoyote on May 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Another difference is that the homeowner can take measures to end the problem. I first became aware that birds could fly into my windows and damage themselves when a dear little sparrow cracked its skull on the window right over this desk.

That’s when I turned my windows into what looks like a crafter gone berserk by taping holographs, silvery bows, funny flowers, all over. I get strange looks from visitors, whose opinions don’t matter, but nary a bird has since harmed itself at my house.

And here’s my favorite spring video:

http://biggeekdad.com/2011/03/decorah-eagles-webcam/

timmytee on May 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM

DakotaBoy on May 10, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Yes, the 45 acres in the article I cited was a national average, derived from the specific Texas site and others, and easier to use for calculation than other sources to which I could have linked.

We could calculate approximate paved surface area for a 4000 windmill farm using U.S. Dept of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) own calculator: 4000 windmills x .25 acres = 1000 acres of surface area, or “footprint” (assuming the windmills to be 1000 kW generators and not larger, which would require a larger footprint). NREL defines “footprint” as the land surface area required for turbine towers, roads, and support structures– i.e., paved or poured– none of which, obviously, is arable or particularly sightly. And doesn’t begin to account for how much concrete is buried under ground.

No, not all windmill farms are alike. My post was a specific objection to the San Gorgonio Pass windmill farms. They are unmitigated visual, literal clutter, completely marring what ought to be one of the most spectacular and breath-taking mountain and desert vistas in the country, which you could view from your car as you drove from one of the densest urban areas in the country, through the narrow pass of a coastal mountain range, and descended thousands of feet into the stark, silent, pristine beauty of the desert. Most people don’t find deserts particularly beautiful, but I always have, and I’m glad they’re putting these eyesores up around Death Valley. And they do kill:

… the history of modern wind turbines is short and only a single study has been sufficiently comprehensive and long-lasting to produce a thorough analysis of population impacts. This is the study of the golden eagle in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in the Coast Range Mountains of California. Here, wind energy development began in the 1970s and when the number of wind turbines peaked in 1993, 7 300 turbines were operational within an area of about 150 km2 . An estimated 35 000–100 000 birds, 1 500–2 300 of them golden eagles, have been killed by collision here during the past two decades … the golden eagle population in the Altamont region is declining and that at least part of this decline is due to wind farm mortality (Thelander and Smallwood, 2007) … (source: Eurpoean Environmental Agency Technical report No 6/2009: “Europe’s onshore and offshore wind energy potential An assessment of environmental and economic constraints,” p. 71. ISSN 1725-2237)

No, not all windmill farms are alike, but we didn’t need this one.

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Cloture on May 10, 2012 at 6:15 PM
de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Further to previous posting:
From second article cited (on San Gorgonio Pass):

The largest of these windmills stands 150 feet tall with blades half the legend of a football field. The compartments at the top containing the generator, hub and gearbox weigh 30,000 to 45,000 pounds. A wind turbine’s cost can range upwards to $300,000 and can produce 300 kilowatts

Based on NREL’s calculator, a 3kW turbine requires a .75 acre footprint. So triple what I calculated above. A 4000 windmill farm requires a footprint (scraped, paved or poured) of 3000 acres. Not counting all the 3-5 turbine spacing between turbines.

Let’s call it a composite couple of parking lots.

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Forget the NREL calculator, it’s not calculating correctly or I’m not doing it right. Leave it at .25 acre footprint/turbine x 4000 turbines=1000 acre footprint (pads, roads, buildings) for a 4000 turbine windmill farm).

If anyone really wants to figure this out, here’s the NREL publication “Land Use Requirements of Modern Wind Power Plants in the United States.”

From “Conclusions,” pp. 22-23:

Although there is no uniformly accepted single metric of land use for wind power plants, two primary indices of land use do exist – the infrastructure/direct impact area (or land temporarily or permanently disturbed by wind power plant development) and the total area (or overall area of the power plant as a whole).

Based on the collected data, direct impact is mostly caused by road development, as opposed to the turbine pads and electrical support equipment. For 93 projects representing about 14 GW of proposed or installed capacity, the average permanent direct impact value reported was 0.3 ± 0.3 hectares/MW of capacity. Fewer projects (52 representing 9 GW of capacity) provide temporary direct impact data, with an overall average of 0.7 ± 0.6 hectares/MW of capacity. This implies a total direct impact area (both temporary and permanently disturbed land) of about 1 ± 0.7 hectare/MW, but with a wide variation in this area.

We also found reported total-area data for 161 projects representing about 25 GW of proposed or installed capacity. Excluding several outliers, the average value for the total project area was about 34 ± 22 hectares/MW, equal to a capacity density of 3.0 ± 1.7MW/km2.

And I’ll leave it at that.

de rigueur on May 10, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Do libs have an endless supply of mind altering drugs that keep them humming along with their backwards logic? I assume the drugs keep them from listening to themselves – or have to be counteracted with more drugs.

sdbatboy on May 10, 2012 at 8:18 PM

These will be called “green deaths“.

The good kind.

profitsbeard on May 10, 2012 at 8:39 PM

These will be called “green deaths“.

The good kind.

profitsbeard on May 10, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Sanger-style Planned Parenthood. Soylent Green pills. Now, Green Deaths. Truly, liberalism is a death cult.

Out, Dahmer spot! Out, I say!

RushBaby on May 10, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Environmental Marxism.

If wind turbines or solar panels were a serious source of electricity, the America-hating left would be against it.

petefrt on May 11, 2012 at 7:52 AM

bringing ‘genocide’ into this is beneath HA standards…

NORUK on May 11, 2012 at 10:23 AM

How about we have “programmatic” killing of wind farms and permit the Bald Eagles to live. Just a suggestion that makes more sense that the EPA.

georgeofthedesert on May 11, 2012 at 5:11 PM