The American Wind Wildlife Information Center (AWWIC) is a first-of-its kind initiative to expand the analysis of wind-wildlife data to provide actionable insights that benefit not only future wind energy operations, but also the future of wildlife conservation.
The Challenge: Improve Risk Analysis, Reduce Costs
Improved understanding of wind energy’s impacts on wildlife is a priority if we are to advance wind energy development while protecting wildlife and habitat.
For more than 20 years, wind energy companies have collected data to assess risk and impacts to wildlife from wind energy projects. Some of the data are publicly available, but other data remain confidential and are privately owned.
The Approach: Leverage Data Through Collaboration
The AWWIC database is the most comprehensive database of post-construction fatality monitoring data from U.S. wind projects. AWWIC expands the availability of wind-wildlife data for scientific analysis by working with industry collaborators to incorporate both publicly available and contributed data while maintaining confidentiality. The AWWIC database contains data from 225 projects and over 340 post-construction studies.
- Collects and organizes existing data
- Improves risk assessment
- Increases cost-effectiveness of project siting studies
- Creates a model for data sharing & analysis conclusions
The Results: Reduced Uncertainty, More Efficient Permitting and Operational Strategies, and Improved Conservation
Credibility: Empirical data can lead to policy changes
Reduce Costs: Targeted data collection; Reduced monitoring where risks are low; Focused minimization and mitigation efforts
New Insights: Tools to learn from data in new ways
Analysis of AWWIC data is underway to identify regional variation in collision risk to birds and bats to inform project risk assessments. Upcoming reports can be used to:
- Guide recommendations on what species should be the focus of project siting studies
- Determine which habitat characteristics should be assessed to best predict impact for different regions of the U.S.
- Inform how much post-construction monitoring is needed to confirm impact predictions
Western Meadowlark by Kathy and Sam, Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0
This report summarizes bird fatality data and sets the foundation for further studies of what bird species are at risk, and where and why they are at risk.
Mexican Free-Tailed Bats Exiting Bracken Bat Cave By USFWS Headquarters, Flickr, licensed under CC BY 2.0
This first report of analyses of AWWIC data summarizes bat fatality data and sets the foundation for understanding which species are at risk, where, and why.