Curtailment of wind turbines during low wind speeds (i.e., below a set cut-in speed) is a leading solution in the reduction of bat fatalities caused by collision with turbines. This approach, referred to as blanket curtailment, has been found to significantly decrease fatalities up to 93%. In the U.S., concerns for impacts to federally listed species often result in recommended blanket curtailment every night during the fall migratory period and sometimes during the spring and summer months. Although blanket curtailment has been shown to decrease bat fatalities, it also results in a loss of energy production that is concerning to industry.
A solution to this is smart curtailment, a strategy that considers real-time bat activity and weather conditions to maximize energy production when bats are not present or there is a low level of risk. One type of smart curtailment relies on sensor-based technology like an acoustic detector to monitor for bats.
To minimize bat fatalities while maximizing energy production, Natural Power has developed EchoSense®, a smart curtailment technology.
In 2020 and 2021, we tested the effectiveness of the EchoSense® system. To see the results of this study, which were shared at Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute conference in 2022, see the presentation.