Bird Mortality at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area: March 1998--September 2001

Karin Sinclair, Karin Sinclair (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Over the past 15 years, research has shown that wind turbines in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (APWRA) kill many birds, including raptors, which are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and/or state and federal Endangered Species Acts. Early research in the APWRA on avian mortality mainly attempted to identify the extent of theproblem. In 1998, however, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) initiated research to address the causal relationships between wind turbines and bird mortality. NREL funded a project by BioResource Consultants to perform this research directed at identifying and addressing the causes of mortality of various bird species from wind turbines in the APWRA.With 580 megawatts (MW) ofinstalled wind turbine generating capacity in the APWRA, wind turbines there provide up to 1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of emissions-free electricity annually. By identifying and implementing new methods and technologies to reduce or resolve bird mortality in the APWRA, power producers may be able to increase wind turbine electricity production at the site and apply similar mortality-reductionmethods at other sites around the state and country.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages411
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Work performed by BioResource Consultants, Ojai, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-500-36973


  • Altamont Pass
  • avian issues
  • bird mortality
  • California
  • raptors
  • wind energy
  • wind turbine


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