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Wildlife & Wind Interactions

Wildlife & Wind Interactions

Both land-based and offshore wind projects interact with animals; our research aims to better understand wildlife and habitats they live in. PNNL is working to accelerate the power-producing potential of offshore and land based wind by studying the environmental effects of wind energy. This includes developing technologies and databases that provide researchers and wind developers with better data around wind energy and wildlife interactions. One example of this is ThermalTracker; an open-source software program that allows for continuous monitoring of wildlife in offshore locations. This knowledge will help to expedite permitting processes and will ultimately ensure the safe deployment of land-based and offshore wind development.

To speed deployment of wind and marine energy, PNNL marine scientists and IT specialists added wind energy-oriented material to the Tethys searchable database—a robust online resource for marine and wind energy effects on wildlife. The wind portion of the database, is called WREN Hub. WREN (Working Together to Resolve Environmental Effects of Wind Energy) Hub provides users with quick access to information about the environmental effects of wind energy devices and systems. The database includes maps and over 1,800 scientific papers on wind and wildlife interactions. WREN Hub users can easily search for scientific papers and reports pertinent to that area of research. Data are compiled using advanced filter and keywords.

WREN Hub also serves as a platform for collaboration and outreach. Wind energy stakeholders meet quarterly via webinars so scientists can present their latest research. WREN Hub users can connect with practitioners, link to related databases, and look at regulations that govern wind development around the world. White papers on the interactions between wildlife and wind energy are being prepared and will be distributed broadly. The objective for this free and open resource is to ease some of the challenges wind energy operators face, and increase the safe, widespread deployment of renewable energy worldwide.

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