Collision Risk Modeling - A Tool for Assessing Risks to Raptors at Wind Energy Facilities

Research output: NRELFact Sheet

Abstract

In January 2022, the International Energy Agency Wind Task 34 - Working Together to Resolve the Environmental Effects of Wind Energy (WREN) - organized a forum to discuss aspects of raptor collision risk with wind turbines. The forum included experts in raptor biology and physiology, collision risk modeling, wind energy development, and atmospheric scientists from seven countries. They represented a range of international stakeholder groups including academia, government agencies, national laboratories, and wildlife consultants. This educational brief summarizes the discussion during the forum and written comments from those who could not attend. Relevant literature was used to provide additional context when needed. For several species of raptors, such as golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) and white-tailed eagles (Haliaatus albicilla), collision risk with wind turbines continues to be a concern among stakeholders. These concerns include the potential population-level impact related to collisions, compliance with regulatory mechanisms for protected species, and the ability to generate renewable energy. To make siting and operational decisions, stakeholders require some level of certainty of the risk associated with a proposed project. Understanding this risk, in part, requires species-specific data on raptors and how they perceive and interact with wind farms or individual wind turbines. Collision risk models (CRMs) are a tool, often used in environmental impact assessments, that can provide estimates of risk relative to specific turbines or an entire wind farm. However, questions associated with the uncertainty in CRM estimates remain.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/FS-5000-84747

Keywords

  • collision risk
  • land-based wind
  • raptors
  • wind energy

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