Wind Energy

WEST employs recognized experts in wind energy–wildlife interactions, including direct project experience providing the wind energy industry and agencies with expert consultation for Eagle Conservation Plans, fatality rate prediction, and resource equivalency analysis, including work with the American Wind Wildlife Institute and the American Wind Energy Association. We maintain one of the most comprehensive libraries of national and international wind power research in the US. This database allows our teams to predict relative risk and then design unique studies for cost-effective and scientifically sound projects.

We are exceptionally qualified to help clients navigate the requirements of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines (Guidelines) and Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance as well as state guidelines. Our wind industry experience implementing hundreds of site studies at wind energy facilities all across the US combined with long-standing relationships with federal, state, and local agencies, provide our clients with an unmatched level of service.

Our team members served on the Federal Advisory Committee that developed the recommendations that served as the foundation of the Guidelines, authored chapters of the pivotal guide on Studying Wind Energy/Wildlife Interactions, and published numerous research studies on wind energy-wildlife interactions in peer-reviewed journals. We have developed risk-based approaches for advising clients on study needs that comply with the Guidelines and satisfy client- and project-specific needs while remaining cost effective.


Developing an efficient protocol for monitoring eagle fatalities at wind energy facilities
Eric C. Hallingstad, Paul A. Rabie, Andrew C. Telander, J. A. Roppe, and L. R. Nagy

Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Selection, Survival, and Wind Energy Infrastructure
Chad W. LeBeau, Greg D. Johnson, M. J. Holloran, J. L. Beck, R. M. Nielsen, Mandy E. Kauffman, E. J. Rodemaker, and Trent L. McDonald

Predicting Eagle Fatalities at Wind Facilities
Kimberly Bay, Kristen Nasman, Wallace P. Erickson, Kenton Taylor, and Karl Kosciuch

Project Highlights

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Prairie Grouse and Wind Energy Development Research

Over the last decade, WEST has been on the forefront in research that investigates the effects of wind energy facilities on grouse behavior by implementing the first-ever research studies that evaluate population-level effects of wind energy facilities on greater sage-grouse, lesser prairie-chickens, and sharp-tailed grouse. These studies are multi-year studies that have occured in Kansas, Wyoming, and South Dakota, where individuals are tracked via Global Positioning System transmitters to record movements and population fitness parameters. The overall goal of this research is to establish the population-level effects of wind energy development, grouse seasonal habitat selection, demography, and lek attendance. These studies represent the only situation in the US where the response of these grouse populations to the infrastructure associated with wind energy development has been investigated. The results of these studies will better inform management actions surrounding prairie grouse conservation.