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Wind farms must shut down for 5 months a year to protect parrots

An orange-bellied parrot perched on the edge of a feeding bowl. This species is listed as an endangered species.

Margo Keiskult | In Stock | Getty Images

Plans for a large new wind farm in Australia were approved this month on the condition that turbines would be shut down for five months a year to protect parrot species.

Tasmania’s Environmental Protection Agency said in its environmental assessment report for the Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park that the board had “decided to approve the proposal” for the project. The project has up to 122 wind turbines and is overseen by ACEN Australia.

One of the conditions for approval concerns what the Australian government says is an orange-bellied parrot. Endangered.

“Unless otherwise approved in writing by the EPA Board, all WTG [wind turbine generators] We must shut down during the Northern OBP Transition Period (which includes March 1 through May 31) and the Southern OBP Transition Period (which includes September 15 through November 15),” the EPA said. I’m here. Document Say.

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In a statement last week, EPA Board Chairman Andrew Pole said the organization had concluded that “significant mitigation measures” were needed regarding the “potential impact on orange-bellied parrot populations.”

This is due to the need to account for the “limited knowledge of Robins Island’s importance in the annual north and south migrations” and the national recovery plan for the species.

“This will [project approval] Condition FF6 imposes a shutdown period during a total five-month transition in which the turbines are not in operation,” added Paul.

Robins Island is located in the waters off the northwest coast of Tasmania, a large Australian island. If all goes according to plan, the total capacity of the proposed wind farm could be as high as 900 megawatts.

CNBC reached out to ACEN Australia through the Robins Island Project website but received no response prior to publication. Ayala Corporation, the parent company of ACEN Corporation, the majority owner of ACEN Australia, did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

in a facebook post, Project developers said they welcomed approval from the EPA, adding that further approval from the Circular Head Council and the federal government’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water is required. These were scheduled for early 2023, they said.

In a comment reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ACEN Australia Chief Operating Officer David Pollington described the switch-off condition as “completely unexpected”.

According to ABC’s report, Pollington said the company “needs to consider its options going forward.”

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Amid global plans to increase wind power capacity in the coming years, the interaction of wind turbines with the natural world, including marine and avian life, could become an important area of ​​discussion.

The UK-based Royal Society for Bird Conservation warned that wind farms “can harm birds through disturbance, migration, acting as barriers, habitat loss and collisions”, adding that “the impacts are simply It can result from a single development and cumulative multiple projects,” he added.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says some wind projects and turbines could become bat and bird casualties.

“These deaths may contribute to declining populations of species that are also affected by other human-related impacts,” they note. We are researching ways to reduce the impact of wind turbines.”

Brussels-based trade association Wind Europe says the impacts of the project can be prevented “by properly planning, locating and designing the wind farm”.

“The impact of wind farms on birds and bats is very small compared to the impacts of climate change and other human activities,” he added.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/16/wind-farm-will-need-to-shut-down-five-months-a-year-to-protect-parrots.html Wind farms must shut down for 5 months a year to protect parrots

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