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Practicing good stewardship: Wind Wildlife Research Fund advances next round of collaborative research projects

Practicing good stewardship: Wind Wildlife Research Fund advances next round of collaborative research projects

Thirty-one leading wind energy companies, through the Wind Wildlife Research Fund, have announced their 2020 research projects. Wind energy is already the most environmentally friendly way to generate large amounts of electricity, and the U.S. wind industry is striving to improve on its already-strong record of good stewardship.

Wind companies representing more than 63 percent of the total installed U.S. wind capacity have invested in the Fund to advance new projects in 2020. All these initiatives will expand our understanding of the connection between wind energy and wildlife, helping wind companies protect wildlife while increasing electricity production. Several of the 2020 projects are a continuation of research begun in 2019. This year’s projects have a specific focus on bats, eagles and prairie grouse.

The Fund, launched in 2019 and managed by the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI), is a unique industry-led initiative that pools resources to advance collaborative research on wind-wildlife issues. Fund studies use a variety of host sites and leverage expertise, data, and technological and financial resources from many collaborators. The goal of this research is to produce scientifically robust solutions that will enable the continued expansion of wind energy, while also increasing our understanding of wildlife protection.

“In 2020, the Fund is investing in research projects that will assist in answering urgent questions facing wind energy in order to reduce constraints to expanding clean energy while advancing conservation techniques,” said Kyle Boudreaux, NextEra Energy and Chair of the Fund Advisory Council. “Fund participants will continue to assimilate what we are learning, identify knowledge gaps, and create opportunities to leverage our collective resources in order to advance wind-wildlife research.”

The results of the 2020 research projects will be used to inform regulatory and business decisions. All research is conducted by independent third-party investigators, thoroughly reviewed by scientific experts, and the results are published. The results from 2019 projects will be available here beginning this spring.

Climate change remains the largest threat to many forms of wildlife, so increasing carbon-free energy sources plays an important role in ensuring those species can thrive. The Fund projects will help achieve this goal.

The Fund’s activities and priorities are guided by an Advisory Council composed of the Fund’s major contributors and align with AWWI’s National Wind Wildlife Research Plan. All Fund participants work together to select the projects, and each individual company determines their level of support for each research project. To learn more about the Wind Wildlife Research Fund, contact AWWI Executive Director Abby Arnold at aarnold@awwi.org.

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Sam is AWEA’s Media Relations Manager. He is the primary media contact for the organization and authors top messages, talking points, press releases, advisories, blogs and other materials for public consumption. Sam previously worked as an energy reporter, covering renewable energy and carbon markets. He received a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio.

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