Migratory Bird Friendly Wind Farm

While wind farms kill a small fraction of the birds compared to the huge numbers domestic cats destroy each year, if wind power related avian fatalities can be avoided, it’s got to be a good thing. 
  
The 202 MW Peñascal wind farm in Texas, operated by the Spanish firm Iberdrola Renewables, has found a way to protect migrating birds at times of peak activity.
  
Before construction commenced, Iberdrola Renewables engaged wildlife biologists who spent thousands of hours studying the site and avian patterns in order to determine turbine placement to provide maximum efficiency while balanced with the lowest risk to wildlife. 
  
A Merlin avian radar unit was also implemented to detect major bird migration activity. Merlin technology was originally developed for the US Air Force and NASA as a precision bird detection radar system to provide real-time information to controllers and launch managers to reduce bird-aircraft strike risk. 
 
Merlin’s dual vertical and horizontal scanning radars provide detailed data on bird and bat movements for the area surrounding a wind farm out to 3-4 nautical miles and up to 10,000 feet in altitude. The Merlin Scada functionality allows the system to operate as a real-time "early warning", monitoring and risk mitigation system providing advance alerts to the wind farm operators of approaching birds. 
 
In the implementation at Peñascal, when high numbers of birds are close to the wind turbines under low visibility conditions, the turbines will automatically be shut down until those conditions pass.  
 
The Peñascal wind farm consists of  84 Mitsubishi wind turbines and produces enough clean, renewable energy to power 70,000 homes.