On March 13, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected nine projects totaling $6.2 million that will reduce environmental compliance costs and environmental impacts of land-based and offshore wind energy.
Funded by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Wind Energy Technologies Office, these early-stage research projects are key to development of wind energy as part of DOE's "all-of-the-above" energy strategy. Technologies that reduce the impact to bats, birds and other wildlife can lead to less "curtailment" when wind turbines need to be shut down. In turn, this will lead to greater annual energy production and lower wind energy costs.
The projects will develop technology solutions to environmental siting and operational challenges to reduce wind project permitting time and costs, increase the certainty of project development outcomes, and provide more deployment options at reduced costs.
Three projects will receive $1.4 million to advance the commercial readiness of bat deterrent technologies to minimize the need for curtailment. General Electric Renewable Energy of Greenville, South Carolina will evaluate the relative effectiveness of ultrasonic deterrence versus wind turbine curtailment for different bat species.