In our ongoing coverage of local bird deaths, we have some good news to report: future generations of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and other local birds will be spared death by wind turbine. Recent research from a Sacramento biologist suggests that a raptor holocaust has been occurring along the Alameda-Contra Costa County border where over 9,300 birds are killed each year.
As part of a settlement between the Audubon Society, Californians for Renewable Energy and NextEra Energy Resources (who operate some 5,000 turbines in the area), nearly half of those unsightly devices that consistently assault our senses as we drive along 580 West will be replaced by newer, more bird-friendly models. Because the newer turbines are more efficient, many of the older 1980's models will be decommissioned altogether. The project is expected to be complete by 2015 and includes $2.5 million for raptor habitat restoration from NextEra Energy, which is about $270 penance for every dead bird.