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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected nine projects totalling US$ 6.2 million that will reduce environmental compliance costs and environmental impacts of land-based and offshore wind energy.
The US$ 6.2 million will be invested in three areas:
1) Three projects will receive US$ 2.3 million to further the advancement of smart curtailment strategies to minimise energy loss from curtailment and wind farm environmental impacts to bats.
  • Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) will field-test their new technology which makes automated decisions to curtail wind turbines based on real-time wind speed and bat acoustic data.
  • American Wind Wildlife Institute will develop and evaluate a predictive bat risk model that correlates bat risk with various environmental and weather variables, and integrate this model into a smart curtailment program in wind turbine software.
  • Stantec Consulting Services will develop a predictive model that links measured bat risk factors to the effectiveness of smart curtailment regimes.
2) Three projects will receive US$ 1.4 million to advance the commercial readiness of bat deterrent technologies to minimize the need for curtailment.
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory will improve the effectiveness of an ultrasonic acoustic deterrent that will keep bats away from wind turbines.
  • General Electric Renewable Energy will evaluate the relative effectiveness of ultrasonic deterrence versus wind turbine curtailment for different bat species.
  • Iowa State University will design a passive, blade-mounted ultrasonic bat deterrent device capable of producing a broad spectrum of ultrasonic tones.
3) Three projects will receive US$ 2.5 million to develop and validate pre- and post-construction monitoring and mitigation solutions for the offshore wind environment to ease regulatory barriers to deployment.
  • SMRU Consulting will develop a network of easily-deployed coastal buoys to monitor North Atlantic Right Whales. The project will validate models of noise produced by offshore wind construction activities.
  • Oregon State University will design, build, and test an autonomous monitoring system to accurately detect avian and bat collisions with offshore wind turbines. The system will combine microphones and 360º cameras with analysis software to detect and verify impacts.
  • Western EcoSystems Technology will further develop and test an advanced bat and bird collision detection system which combines turbine blade vibration sensors with cameras to quantify impacts.
With cost-share by the project partners, the projects will total US$ 9.5 million.
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