Arizona wind and solar projects found to steer clear of bird and bat mortality
Renewable energy is considered critical in the effort to reduce impacts of climate change, but large wind and solar projects can also have environmental consequences.
Researchers have found high bird and bat mortality around some California wind and solar facilities.
But conservationists are watching new developments in Arizona, and so far the state has avoided major problems.
Tice Supplee of the Audubon Society says that her group has worked with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to identify migration corridors for birds, which has helped with planning new projects.
“Wind and solar projects have tended to avoid those locations, especially, when it’s evident that they’ve been designated for migrating birds like hawks and eagles,” Supplee said.
She says that Coconino County has developed guidelines for these projects that could serve as a model for other counties.