MidAmerican Energy Announces Plans to Make Turbines Safer for Eagles and Bats

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IOWA  --  MidAmerican Energy knows its wind turbines can be dangerous to wildlife and now they have a plan they say will correct the issue.

On Thursday the energy provider announced it is asking the federal government to approve a plan to modify use of the turbines to protect wildlife.  The turbines can be especially deadly to bats and bald eagles who collide with spinning blades.

To protect bats, including two protected species in the state of Iowa, MidAmerican is proposing to change the time, speed and dates when turbines are used.  By slowing down the speed the blades spin at night and during summer months when bats are active they believe deaths can be averted.

To protect bald eagles the company says more education is needed.  They plan to technicians on how to search for eagles in the area near turbines.  They also will educate landowners on clearing away dead animals near turbines that could attract eagles.

The plans have been filed with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  MidAmerican is asking the government to approve a number of allowable "takes", or animal deaths, for a 30 year period while their proposals are put into place.

In a press release Vice President Jenny McIvor said:

“We understand that even though wind energy is clean and renewable, it impacts wildlife.  That’s why we’ve worked so hard and spent $15 million to study wildlife impacts at our wind facilities and tailor a conservation plan that specifically addresses those impacts.”

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