Our work

Development of a renewable energy bird mitigation framework

Birds and bats have been identified as being particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of renewable energy facilities. In response to this risk, the Alberta government released a Bat Mitigation Framework for Wind Power Development in 2013. This framework outlines procedures for evaluating project-specific bat mortality risk, as well as mortality thresholds for bats once a facility is operational. Further, if the specified mortality thresholds are exceeded once operation has commenced, the mitigation framework specifies strategies for adapting project operations to reduce mortality risk.

With increasing interest and incentives for developing wind energy projects in Alberta, the provincial government was exploring the need for a similar mitigation framework for birds. In response to this need, our team was retained by the provincial government to conduct a scientific and jurisdictional review.

This review identified and described existing bird mortality mitigation frameworks for wind energy projects, compiled reported bird mortality rates for wind projects across North America, and documented current approaches for mitigating bird mortality risk. Specifically, the report provided an overview of the most common collision risk models employed by jurisdictions around the world, and outlined guild-specific mortality thresholds for evaluating risk to bird populations in Alberta.