Great Lakes Science Center Wildlife Wind Turbine Interaction Study

In May 2006, a 146-foot high, 225 kilowatt Vestas wind turbine was installed in the southwestern corner of the Great Lakes Science Center property in Cleveland, Ohio. The wind turbine is used as a functional educational exhibit at GLSC and was placed just outside the main entrance of the facility.

Because avian and bat mortality is known to occur in association with wind turbines, the Great Lakes Science Center has requested Davey Resource Group and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to assist them in performing a three-year avian mortality, detectability, and carcass removal study. Davey has also been contracted by Great Lakes Science Center to conduct a one-year availability study within the designated study zone.

A 50-meter radius was laid out around the wind turbine and 20 transects, 5 meters apart, were measured within this area. Features such as lampposts, signs, trees, and transect markers were mapped with a Global Positioning System (GPS). Employee volunteers from the Great Lakes Science Center were trained by Davey Resource Group to walk the transect lines in a systematic fashion and search for bird and bat carcasses.

The Great Lakes Science Center contracted Davey Resource Group to complete an availability study within the study area. Systematic sampling, limited to a height of 30 meters above maximum turbine blade height, helps determine bird usage within 3 zones of potential collision.

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