The track of the bat

Changing the speed of wind turbines when the wind is low may help greatly reduce bat fatalities caused by the turbines, according to a study by Bat Conservation International. The group partnered with Iberdola Renewables, using the energy company’s wind power project in southwestern Pennsylvania to conduct the experiments. BCI found that 53 to 87 percent fewer bats died when the turbine speeds were slowed, with little power loss.

“Given the magnitude and extent of bat fatalities worldwide, the conservation implications of our findings are critically important,” the report stated. “However, more studies are needed to test changes in turbine cut-in speed among different sizes and types of turbines, wind regimes and habitat conditions to fully evaluate the general effectiveness of this mitigation strategy.”