NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Post Construction Fatality Surveys for the Prairie Rose Wind Energy Facility Rock County, Minnesota Final Report April 15 to June 13, 2014 and August 15 to October 29, 2014

Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2015
Document NumberIP-6830/WS-10-425
InstitutionWestern EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST)

Enel Green Power, North America operates the Prairie Rose Wind Energy Facility (Prairie Rose), located in Rock County, Minnesota. This facility began commercial operation in December 2012 and consists of 119 1.68-megawatt (MW) GE wind turbines, with an overall capacity of 200 MW of electricity. The turbine towers are 262 feet (ft; 80 meters [m]) high with a 256-ft (78-m) blade diameter, resulting in rotor swept heights of 138 to 387 ft (42 to 118 m) above ground level.

Monitoring studies designed to estimate bird and bat fatality rates attributable to wind turbine operation was conducted from April 15 through October 29, 2014. Monitoring included carcass removal and searcher efficiency trials to estimate potential sources of bias. Fatality estimates were generated for bats using methods consistent with the approach outlined by Shoenfeld (2004) and Erickson et al. (2005).

The adjusted bird and bat fatality rates for the survey period of April 15 to October 29, 2014, (excluding the summer season) were 0.44 bird fatalities per megawatt (MW) per study period and 0.41 bat fatalities per MW per study period, respectively. These estimates are within the range reported for bird and bat fatality rates at other facilities in the Midwest. Fatality estimates for both birds and bats may be underestimated due to a power shut down from August 18 to August 28, 2014, for maintenance. Overall risk to birds and bats from collision is low for Prairie Rose. No state or federally endangered, threatened, or sensitive species were identified during fatality monitoring in 2014.

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TagsMinnesota; Land-Based Wind; Birds (general); Bats (general); Raptors (general); 2015; Report