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The Wind Program today announced $2 million in funding to advance technologies that address wind development’s potential impacts on wildlife. This funding will help address environmental siting and permitting challenges associated with responsibly developing and operating wind energy facilities in locations with sensitive bat species.
Wind energy developers typically conduct multiple years of pre-construction surveys and environmental impact studies to determine where to site facilities and to minimize their impact on the surrounding environment. As wind energy continues to grow as a renewable source of energy for communities throughout the country, new techniques and technologies are needed to ensure that potential impacts on bats can be avoided or minimized. While some options exist to help reduce the impact of wind turbines on bats, many are in the early stages of development and need further design, prototyping, and testing. Those that are in more advanced stages of development need to be demonstrated at operational wind facilities.
Projects under this funding opportunity will advance the technical readiness of bat impact mitigation and minimization technologies and support the field testing and evaluation of technologies that are already in the advanced stages of development. These technologies, if proven successful, will provide wind developers and operators with the necessary tools to minimize wildlife impacts as well as regulatory and financial risks. Successful technologies will also provide regulators with increased certainty that wind development can co-exist with bats in a sustainable way.
Applicants must submit a concept paper by November 21, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. EST to be eligible to submit a full application. The submission deadline for full applications for this funding opportunity is January 7, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. EST. More information about applying for this funding opportunity can be found in the funding opportunity announcement.
The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. For more information on funding opportunities for wind power research, development, testing, and deployment, see the Wind Program's Financial Opportunities webpage.