Wind Energy Project Modified for Bats

After the precedent setting ruling by a federal court late last year that an industrial wind energy project in West Virginia will kill and injure endangered Indiana bats, AWI and other parties to the lawsuit have reached an agreement that will provide for more protections for bats and additional wildlife, while allowing some elements of the project to go forward.

The parties engaged in discussions following the court’s invitation that they do so, in an attempt to determine whether an agreement could be reached as to terms for further turbine operation, while the wind energy company seeks an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for the project from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). As part of the agreement, a total of 31 of the 122 wind turbines, which were originally slated for the project, will not be constructed thereby eliminating potential impact of such turbines on Indiana bats and other wildlife. The parties further agreed that pending the issuance of an ITP from the FWS, certain turbines may be operated, but only during the part of the year when Indiana bats are in hibernation (November 16-March 31) and only during daylight hours through the remainder of the year. Additional details of the agreement can be found on AWI’s web site.