Dead Bat Scales Back Cambria County Wind Farm's Production
Correction: This article initially stated Gamesa operated the wind farm. In fact, it is owned and operated by Duke Energy.
The wind turbine might have won this battle, but the bats are winning the war.
Following the discovery of a dead Indiana bat under a turbine at a Cambria County wind farm, operator Duke Energy has halted nighttime operations until mid-November, when most bats will go into hibernation.
Indiana bats are endangered, as this Tribune-Democrat article explains.
LILLY — Night operation of the windmills in the North Allegheny Windpower Project has been halted following discovery of a dead Indiana bat under one of the turbines, an official with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday.
The finding marks only the second location where an Indiana bat has been found dead under a wind turbine. Two Indiana bats were found under turbines in the Mid-west, said Clint Riley, supervisor for Fish and Wildlife’s Pennsylvania field office.
“While finding the dead bat is not good news for any of us, it does show the monitoring works,” Riley said from his State College office.
The find is significant because the Indiana bat is an endangered species and is protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.
The 35-windmill farm was built by Gamesa Energy USA in Portage, Washington and Cresson townships in Cambria County and extends across the line into Blair County.
Last week, StateImpact examined Pennsylvania’s booming wind industry, and the role the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act played in creating it.