An online map designed by the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) combines wind resource data with wildlife and environmental information to assist wind developers as they consider sites.
The map, called a “Landscape Assessment Tool” (LAT), provides information about the environmental, wildlife, and wind resource characteristics of a given geographic area to help with preliminary screening of wind power development sites and conservation strategies. Providing the wind resource data was renewable energy consulting and information services company AWS Truepower, LLC. Wind resources for the map are based on 80-meter heights, the typical hub height of wind turbines for the entire continental U.S.
“The data that AWS Truepower has provided for the AWWI/TNC Landscape Assessment Tool reflects the latest knowledge in wind resource assessment,” said AWS CEO Bruce Bailey. “We are delighted to help develop a tool that will be useful to wind power developers and the conservation community alike.”
AWWI Executive Director Abby Arnold explained that the tool offers “early, general guidance” to assist with the preliminary screening of geographic areas for potential wildlife risks, and to help with the design of any conservation plans and mitigation strategies that may be called for. “AWWI is working with partners to make this a ‘go-to’ tool to support wind energy development while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat,” she said.
AWWI and The Nature Conservancy said they are continually working to enhance and expand the LAT, and are currently exploring a range of interactive applications. The LAT is one of several initiatives that AWWI and AWWI partners are undertaking to facilitate timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Carl Levesque is the Communications Editor at AWEA. This article first appeared in the AWEA Windletter and was reprinted with permission from the American Wind Energy Association.