GREENBRIER COUNTY, W.Va. – Endangered bats in two West Virginia counties now have an edge when it comes to survival.

Beech Ridge Energy signed off on a permit with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In order to reduce the number of Indiana Bat and Virginia Big Eared Bats, both on the endangered species list, killed by wind turbines, the company will implement new procedures as part of a Habitat Conservation Plan.

Meagan Racey is with the USFWS. She said the company, which already has built 67 turbines, was give the green light to build 33 more last week. That brings the total up to 100, provided they take steps to save the bats.

“To adjust operations at time when bats are most active,” according to Racey.

That, of course, happens after dark.

“So what they’ll do is adjust turbines when wind speeds are low. This is below 4.8 meters per second, for five hours per night, between sunset and sunrise, in the late summer and early fall,” explained Racey. “This is the time when the bats are most likely to encounter the turbines.”

Racey said the Beech Ridge Project is one of the first of its kind pilot program.

“Our plan is to continue working with wind companies like Beech Ridge Energy and use this plan to help us work with other companies to reduce effects to protect wildlife as much as possible.”

The Habitat Conservation Plan also calls for Beech Ridge to do research off-site to find other ways to protect the bat species.

The permit is good for 25 years.

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Comments

  • Rodney Hytonen

    Why don't they just cage the blades?
    And no, profitability can NO LONGER be even 'a' goal of our energy philosophy!

  • Ragweed

    I just don't like 'em.

  • jfk

    ,,,if these things are really killing all of these bats maybe a mosquito (caring a deadly disease) that wasn't eaten by a bat because it was eaten by a turbine will bite someone that needs bitten.

  • WhgFeeling

    I disagree with subsidies for any energy company or that matter any company whatsoever. BUT it does help diversify our energy sources. I also think they are really neat to look at and a great example of engineering.

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      They make no dent in our energy consumption. Dotting our beautiful landscape with these monstrosities is ridiculous. If they did, the oil companies lobbyists would have bought the patents long ago and shelved them just like they politically manage the electric battery segment. We should all be driving lithium or equivalent battery efficient vehicles now that operate for days or miles. But the oil companies will continue to quietly block their mass usage so the can continue to gouge consumers.

      • WhgFeeling

        IF they make no dent and/or they have no value, then why would they be continued to be erected? Sorry that makes little to no sense to me. Even without the subsidies there has to be some value to them.

  • Hillbilly

    Well, you cannot get any "cleaner" power than this. Its all esthetic, the looks of it. And the endangered Indiana bats they speak of, have never been proven to exist in that part of the country... only that is was "possible" they were there. White nose fungus has killed millions of bats and shows no signs of slowing down. These things are no uglier than abandoned strip mines in the same area. Go look under any one of them and I do not think you will find many dead creatures.... I have.

  • Grammar Spelling

    All this for a marginal energy stream. Time and time again wind power has proven to be unreliable and expensive, it's existence wholly dependent upon subsidies. In the not too distant future these towers will be nothing more than rusting hulks blighting our countryside and costing taxpayers for their removal. In the meantime creatures of the air die by the hundreds of thousands while protectors of the environment look away from their own genocide.

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      I was so upset when I first saw them dotting the mountain too as I made my way to other counties for some rest and relaxation. I was simply appalled. The majestic views that I was used to seeing are now gone. When the hell are we gonna start protecting this state logically. Coal and gas mining and exploration, I get that one. Hunting and recreation, I get those too. But erecting these monstrosities across mountain and ridge tops......we it is the most intrusive and invasive mistake ever allowed. So I guess it is time to show the lobbyist ridden legislature that we are "mad as he'll and not gonna take it anymore." Do I have any supporters out there in our great state?

      • Forest Gump

        I think they're sort of pretty. Like giant flower petals blowing in the wind. I could look at them for hours. And that's all I got to say about that.

      • WhgFeeling

        Whose property are they erected on.......Yours? Apparently not. What oen does with their own property is their business not yours or mine.

        • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

          So you support the building of anything on ones property? Nuclear waste facilities, ammo dumps, etc. if so, you are an idiot. Regulation or control to some extent is needed or people will allow anything for the almighty dollar.

      • Jason412

        Natural gas drilling dumps over 1000 chemicals into our streams from the fracking water. Look up "washington pa fish kill'. While I support natural gas the way they are going about it is detrimental to the enviroment. When I lived om OH/WV/PA border you could turn the bathroom faucet on and smell the gas. Why are there no agencies fixing this?

        Its obsurd to act like the natural gas industry isnt screwing wildlife a lot harder then windmills. When the water is polluted it travels, a windmill is stationary

      • Rodney Hytonen

        No - you don't.

        Nothing is more intrusive than industrializing whole towns and driving out the inhabitants - and poisoning those who can't afford to move.

        Go stand for half a hour or so downwind of one of the thousands of cancer ponds the frackers abandon
        (or worse, shove MORE poison down the ground, in injection wells, than even the remaining 90% of frackig fluid they leave down there now - AT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PSI PRESSURE.)
        You will call in sick the next day.
        Then go try to sleep across the street from a 24/7 NOISY, fire-belching COMPRESSOR STATION, and breathe the painful, acrid, toxic CARCINOGENIC air, near pads, storage AND compressors, that gives your baby and grandmother NOSEBLEEDS every night.

        And very soon EVERYWHERE (not just most places like now,) will be near a pad, leaking storage facility or well, cancer pond, or compressor station. And it will hurt to breathe the air, again as many places NOW; and like much of PA, the water will give you sores if you shower in it.
        And you call windmills "disruptive?"
        Have you tried to drive the roads of what's left of small northern and central WV towns and FORMERLY rural farm areas, lately? If so, congratulations for surviving it. Read the news - more and more do not.

  • wvtd

    they can take their turbines and stick them........