The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) hosted the 11th biennial NWCC Wind Wildlife Research Meeting last week in Broomfield, CO. This year’s meeting set a record for attendance, with over 400 registrants representing the wind industry, consulting sector, federal and state agencies, academia, and conservation organizations.
“Our dedication to improving knowledge and finding solutions for wind and wildlife is what brings us together,” began Abby Arnold, AWWI Executive Director, during her opening remarks. “Today, the race to produce clean energy from wind, an emission and water free technology that provides 88,000 jobs in the U.S. and contributes to our national security while mitigating climate change, could not be more urgent.”
“Climate change poses one of the greatest threats to wildlife now, and responsibly building out our renewable energy portfolio will be critical,” said Joy Page, Defenders of Wildlife. Key policy issues were discussed by a featured panel, who highlighted the need to address climate change by developing wind power and the challenge as conservationists to balance that urgency with conserving wildlife.
“The challenge is to find that balance between the production of renewable energy and maintaining our rich and abundant wildlife resources,” continued Scott Smith, Wyoming Game & Fish Department. “How do we trade the life of a songbird or a bat for the existence of the polar bear?” asked Noah Matson, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “How do we save wildlife while saving the planet?”
This collaborative meeting was packed with research findings and new studies offering progress to wind and wildlife stakeholders. Over the three-day meeting, participants heard from 37 presentations and 60 posters, sharing and learning from the most recent science in the wind-wildlife community. “Bringing together professionals from all areas of engagement with wind energy and wildlife, from project development and operations to scientific research and policy implementation, is what makes this meeting unique,” said Dr. Taber Allison, Chairman of the NWCC Wind Wildlife Research Meeting and AWWI Director of Research and Evaluation.
Jocelyn Brown-Saracino of the U.S. Department of Energy announced the results of a recent funding solicitation on eagle impact minimization technologies, with awards to six teams including two to AWWI’s critical technology verification projects seeking to validate cost-effective commercial detection and deterrent systems. AWWI is thrilled with this continued support from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Thank you to all AWWI Friends and Partners, meeting sponsors, exhibitors and participants for making the 11th NWCC Wind Wildlife Research Meeting a tremendous success. For more information on the Wind Wildlife Research Meeting visit www.nationalwind.org.