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Windmill14jan16 darryl2


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Eagle and other avian die for renewable energy.

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Windmill14jan16 darryl2

  1. 1. Presentation to the Alameda County East County Board of Zoning Adjustments Regarding the Altamont Winds Repowering Project Darryl Mueller 14 January 2016
  2. 2. Lack of Respect for Science • “Our turbines don’t kill birds,” he said. “The birds accidentally run into the turbines. I don’t care if the scientists disagree.” • Altamont Winds company President Rick Koebbe (Bay Area News Group By Jeremy Thomas and Doug Oakley, April 2015) ( company-donated-thousands-officials-who-voted-its)
  3. 3. Faulty, Inconsistent or Deceptive Avian Fatality Data • Manipulation of data to reflect less loss • Fatality data has been averaged and divided until the actual fatality numbers are reduced to hundredths of a percent • Injured vs dead • Injured birds are not counted in the fatalities despite the fact they often subsequently die of their injuries (Windpower Company Compliance with Mitigation Plans in Altamont pass Resource Area, Smallwood, 2008, • “Repowering would likely reduce fatality rates especially if considered on a power generation basis”. Avian looses again? ( 07C/TN202560_20140623T154444_Exh_3137_Smallwood__Karas_2009.pdf)
  4. 4. Fatality Estimates (Supplemental Environmental Impact Report - 2018 CUP Extension) TABLE 3-3 ESTIMATED AVIAN FATALITIES AT FULL PROJECT CAPACITY (85.8 MW) BASED ON 2008-2010 BIRD YEAR ADJUSTED FATALITY RATES SPECIES ANNUAL ESTIMATED FATALITIES ESTIMATED FATALITIES 2016 – 2018 ESTIMATED FATALITIES 2013 – 2018 American Kestrel 26.9 80.8 137.8 Burrowing Owl 25.8 77.5 132.2 Golden Eagle 3.7 11.1 19 Red-Tailed Hawk 17.4 52.2 88.9 Total Focal 73.8 221.6 377.9 TABLE 3-4 ESTIMATED AVIAN FATALITIES AT FULL PROJECT CAPACITY (85.8 MW) BASED ON 2005-2011 BIRD YEAR ADJUSTED FATALITY RATES SPECIES ANNUAL ESTIMATED FATALITIES ESTIMATED FATALITIES 2016 – 2018 ESTIMATED FATALITIES 2013 – 2018 American Kestrel 35.9 107.6 183.5 Burrowing Owl 47.4 142.3 242.6 Golden Eagle 4.7 14.6 24.9 Red-Tailed Hawk 26.8 80.3 136.8 Total Focal 114.8 344.8 587.8 TABLE 3-5 COMPARISON OF ADJUSTED SPECIES FATALITY TOTALS , BASED ON AN AVERAGE FATALITY RATE (FATALITIES PER MW PER YEAR) SPECIES AVERAGE FATALITIES PER MW (2005–2010/ 2008–2010/ 2005-2011 2005-2012/ 2008- 2012) PROJECTED NUMBER OF FATALITIES UNDER THE 2013 FEIR PROPOSED PROJECT PROJECTED NUMBER OF FATALITIES UNDER 2013 FEIR BASELINE CONDITIONS PROJECTED NUMBER OF FATALITIES UNDER 2013 FEIR ALTERNATIVE 3 PROJECTED NUMBER OF FATALITIES FOR YEARS 2016- 2018 American Kestrel 0.496/0.443/0.590.577/0.571 85.5–113.9 51.6–68.7 137.8–183.5 80.8–107.6 Burrowing Owl 0.721/0.425/0.780.70/0.52 82.1–150.6 49.5–90.9 132.2–242.6 77.5–142.3 Golden Eagle 0.085/0.061/0.080.081/0.75 11.7–16.4 7.1–9.9 19–26.4 11.1–15.5 Red-Tailed Hawk 0.449/0.286/0.44/0.411/0.35 55.2–86.7 33.3–52.3 88.9–139.6 52.2-81.9
  5. 5. Historical Inaccuracies in Reported Data • 1989-1990 • Draft document indicates estimated 61 golden eagles killed by wind turbines, Final indicates 39 were golden eagles; published 20% of 141-170 (28-34) medium to large raptors were golden eagles (Wind turbine Effects on the Activities, Habitat, and Death Rate of Birds, prepared by Bioscience Analysis, Inc for Alameda County…) • Oct 2015 KQED PBS ( • “According to County estimates 35 Golden Eagles were killed in 2013” (narrator) • Annual Fatality Detections in the APWRA by Species, Monitoring years 2005–2013 ( • 14 Golden Eagle fatalities in 2013 (Table 3‐5. page 3-10)
  6. 6. Faulty Data in Reports Used for Decisions by Board • It appears County Staff does not review the documents provided by contractors for accuracy as pointed out in the presentation made to the board in November 2015. For example: • There are no lights on the old Kennentech 56/100 turbines located west of Dyer Road therefore the new turbines WILL create new lighting. • The distances from the proposed turbines to the residences on Dyer Road are incorrect. • Reply to Environmental Checklist for Summit Winds Repowering Project by Smallwood (reference Smallwood reply in EBZA Hearing Responses 11/19/15) • It seems he did not site the turbines as claimed by Altamont Winds, Inc • If he didn’t, who sited the Summit Winds turbines?
  7. 7. Search Area Parameters Unclear in Documentation • What are the search area parameters for the new turbines with 138 meter blade tips and the results from previous surveys? • Where is it demonstrated that the search has met the requirement to account for 80% of the carcasses as indicated in the 2007 CEC requirements? • Higher Tip Speed • No data demonstrating the catapult distance for a bird hitting the turbine such as the Suzlon97 which has a tip speed of 185 mph • How far would that catapult a bird?
  8. 8. Mitigation by Power Pole Refit • KQED PBS October 2015 ( • “the Altamont is within or adjacent to one of the densest golden eagle nesting populations in the world” Doug Bell • Mitigation for golden eagle loss is power pole refit within 140 miles of the project • Smallwood and Thelander identified electrocution as contributing cause in approximately 1.3% of avian deaths (Wind Power Company Compliance With mitigation plans in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, K. Shawn Smallwood, Ph.D)
  9. 9. Repowering with more efficient and bird friendly turbines • it appears that there is a greater risk of fatal collisions with taller turbines. This is a real problem, as larger wind turbines may provide more efficient energy generation. Consequently, it is expected that new wind farms will contain even bigger turbines, which will result in even more bird deaths.. • (Reference: Scott R. Loss, Tom Will, & Peter P. Mara (2013). Estimates of bird collision mortality at wind facilities in the contiguous United States Biological Conservation, 168, 201-209 DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.10.007)
  10. 10. Repowering with more efficient and bird friendly turbines • 100 kW turbine has 226.98 square meter blade sweep area • 1 kW requires 2.27 squares meters of blade sweep (Kennentech 56/100) • 2.1 MW (2100kW) turbine has 7389.83 meter blade sweep area • 1kW requires 3.52 square meters of blade sweep (SuzlonS97) • It takes 21 old 100kW turbines to equal the kW of 1 new 2.1 MW turbine but it takes 33 old turbines to equal the blade sweep of 1 new turbine. • Therefore to equalize the benefit of the new turbine it should produce 3300 kW instead of 2100 and is actually 30% less efficient • How can the new turbines be considered more efficient? • How can the new turbines be avian friendly when the blade sweep area that birds can run into is 33 times as large as the old?
  11. 11. For Profit Companies Providing Data • The SRC and monitoring team were established by Alameda County as a condition of its September 2005 renewal of the operating … Among the permit conditions was an “intensive, scientifically-rigorous and independent” monitoring program of the avian deaths • the new 2013 guidelines are voluntary, not mandatory, and that the Fish and Wildlife Service was relying "almost exclusively on self-reporting by for-profit companies to tell them whether or not they've killed threatened or endangered species." • APWRA Repowering Final PEIR – Table 3.4-14 Vasco Winds fatality rate for golden eagle based on updated information received from NextEra Energy Resources
  12. 12. Elected Officials Disregard Expert Opinion • Board of Supervisors Overturned EBZA Decision in appeal • Supervisor Nate Miley said he relied on the company's report -- not the county's official numbers -- about bird deaths and expects the county will be sued over the decision. • "I'd be willing to sit down and hear from these researchers and have them give me their concrete information around why they feel the information we received from AWI is erroneous," he said. "Maybe I just needed to have done more homework." • thousands-officials-who-voted-its
  13. 13. Alameda County Follow Through • The East County Board of Zoning Adjustments unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Ogin Inc. to build the first phase of 40 shrouded turbines in the Altamont Wind Resource Area east of Livermore. • Groundbreaking’ Altamont wind turbine project moves forward • “From a study point of view, it’s perfect,” said independent researcher Shawn Smallwood, who has been counting fatalities for Ogin since 2012. “That corridor is the worst in the Altamont for killing birds.” 2014 • Decision delayed on ‘bird friendly’ wind turbine experiment for Altamont Pass • The three-member East County Board of Zoning Adjustments on Thursday delayed voting on permits for the 40-turbine Sand Hill Wind project, citing concerns over “limitations” in the project’s bird mortality study, the scenic impact of the turbines and the precedent the project could set for the technological future of the Altamont Wind Resource Area. 2014 • “I think we need an experiment, but why does the rest of Alameda County have to see it?” said board member Jim Goff. “We’ve got so much rural area, I don’t know why we have to go through a scenic corridor.” • Where and when is the new experiment?
  14. 14. Reduction of Budget for Avian Monitoring • Board of Supervisors Budget Memos • Alameda County is preparing for the transition to a repowered environment in the Altamont Pass and the anticipated removal of old-generation turbines in 2015. • As part of this transition the Alameda County Board of Supervisors has directed staff to reduce the budget for the Monitoring Program for the 2014- 2015 bird year by approximately 50%. While the Monitoring Program is funded at $588,851 for 2013-14, $294,423 will be available for the Program in the 2014-15 year. • The Board of Supervisors then voted to extend Altamont Winds CUP out to 2018 without repowering
  15. 15. Searches • The CEC Guidelines (California Energy Commission and California Department of Fish and Game 2007) recommend that the width of the search area should equal the maximum rotor tip height (i.e., the height of the blade tip when positioned at 12 o’clock), to be specified in the project-specific monitoring plan. Poor not enough. • ERI completely left out 80% search area, to find this you must find 100%. Only after you establish the 100% can search area diameter be found. • Then Searches must be every 48 hr., see 48 hr. search study. 80% carcass scavenged after 5 days.
  16. 16. Comparison of Search Area in Relation to Early Searches 17 138 138 50 138 400 KEN 56/100 SUZLON S97 USING CEC GUIDELINES SUZLON S97 USING KEN 56/100 SEARCH RATIO Projected Search Area Blade Tip Search Area
  17. 17. Suzlon S97 Dimensions The Project will select a turbine with characteristics similar to those of the Suzlon S97 model: a 2.1 MW turbine with a hub height of 90 meters (295 feet), a rotor diameter of 97 meters (318 feet), a total height of 138.5 meters (454 feet), and a minimum distance from ground to rotor tip at 6:00 position of 41.5 meters (136 feet). (Summit Wind Repower Project – Project Description 3.1)
  18. 18. 33 New S97 2.1 MW to replace 569 56/100 • 33 new S97 2.1 MW Blade sweep is 2,624,909.70 is the same as adding turbines 508.24 old turbines. 569 +508=1077.24 • 1077.24 of the old 56/100 sweep is the equal blade sweep as 33 S97 • The equal swap in blade are is 17.43 new S97 2.1 MW • Tip speed of the old 56/100 is 143.10 mph • Tip speed of the new S97 2.1 MW is 185.09 • Is this about replacement to save avian or adding MW in a Rural Residential area. • The increase is 89% more + higher tip speed blades.
  19. 19. USFWS Letters • Letter to S. Rivera. July 24, 2014 Local area golden eagle kill is 12 % • Letter Board of Supervisors 2/19/15 recommend Alameda County Deny permit Altamont Winds. Altamont Winds refusal of Eagle Conservation Plan. • Altamont Winds unpermitted eagle take and it’s associated actions. • Letter to 12/10/2014 to S Rivera, 67 Golden Eagles reported even with reduced search area, reduced turbine number search, increased 35-41 days search interval. • 48 hour search proves 80% carcass gone in 5 days. • Increased search interval, reduce the search diameter = less carcass!