Iberdrola Renewables releases first company-wide Avian and Bat Protection Plan calling for Wildlife and Habitat Protection
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October 29, 2008
PORTLAND, Ore. Iberdrola Renewables today released the wind industry's first company-wide Avian and Bat Protection Plan. The Iberdrola Renewables plan is modeled in part after the 2005 Avian Protection Plan template developed by some 30 electric utility companies, numerous electric cooperatives and rural utilities, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to address impacts of transmission and distribution lines on birds. The Iberdrola Renewables plan applies those principles to its wind fleet and addresses bats as well as birds.
Currently, 836 species of migratory birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Many birds and bats are also protected by the Endangered Species Act and other federal and state wildlife statutes. The Iberdrola Renewables plan establishes internal processes that will help the company responsibly develop wind energy while addressing wildlife concerns.
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service commends Iberdrola Renewables for seeking ways to minimize bird and bat deaths at their wind turbine facilities while pursuing renewable energy development in an environmentally responsible way," said Service Director H. Dale Hall. "Through their avian and bat protection plan, drafted in consultation with the Service, Iberdrola Renewables is the first wind energy company to incorporate a voluntary set of principles in a formal plan to reduce wildlife impacts. The plan's principles, similar to ones originally developed by the electric utility industry to minimize bird electrocutions and power line collisions, will reduce risk to birds and liability under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act."
Service staff from the Migratory Bird Program and the Office of Law Enforcement also has been working with the company's U.S. wind permitting director for nearly a year to develop and refine the plan.
Iberdrola Renewables' plan contains a corporate policy about wildlife protection and establishes a process for contact with agencies and non-governmental organizations early in the site assessment stage of project evaluation. It also sets up internal policies for pre- and post-construction monitoring and proper site design, impact assessment, permit compliance, nest management, training, mortality reduction measures and mitigation. It supports Iberdrola Renewables' efforts on research and includes sections on quality control, public awareness, cost and implementation. The plan is available electronically at
"Environmental protection is integral to how we conduct company business," said Terry Hudgens, CEO of Iberdrola Renewables. "Implementing this plan will help us reduce our impacts on birds and bats and help us do a better job of expanding wind energy as an important source of electricity in the United States."
"Creating this plan has been a process of examining all aspects of how we develop and operate our wind projects," said Andy Linehan, Iberdrola Renewables' wind permitting director. "Implementing it will lead to real and important changes in our processes that will reduce impacts to wildlife."
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
Iberdrola Renewables is currently the world's leading provider of wind power with 8,500 MW of wind power in operation globally now. www.iberdrolarenewables.us.