Clay Wind Turbine - June 13 Print E-mail

Seven-month report on the Wind Turbines: lots of power and no birds.

The electrical output of the 900 kilowatt turbine at Clay High School has been enough to power the entire campus for the last seven 7 months with an average campus demand of 6,036 Kilowatts per day. We have been generating between 75% (December 2012) and over 101% (February 2013) of the campus demand. Eisenhower production has been 10-15% greater than our conservative predictions with significant money, energy savings and environmental stewardship.

Furthermore we have been conducting a bird and bat impact survey to determine the risk to wildlife that turbines pose. Over 40 hours of student searcher time and over 107 hours of University internship hours have been logged in this spring migration season. (For more data, go to the Clay High School website To date we have found no bird carcasses in the search areas.

turbine scoreboard 6-13 Turbine 6-13 

Highlights of the first seven months of operation of Clay’s turbine

• Significant energy cost-cutting, money savings for the district.
• Preventing 2,394 tons of greenhouse gas Carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere.
• Reduced sulfur dioxide by _____ tons. • Reduced Nitrous Oxide by_____ tons.
• No Bird impacts at Ike or Clay turbines. Zero.
• These values are 20 percent higher when we factor in Eisenhower’s turbines.
• There have been no complaints about sound or shadows affecting residents, bike path users or sports teams indicating that large wind turbines are compatible with multiple use sites.

Data of the first nineteen months of operation of Eisenhower’s turbines from

• 461,098 Kilowatts produced. Enough to power 481 homes,
• 584,211 lbs of CO2 (greenhouse gas) prevented.
• money savings = $43,343
• 599 lbs of NOx (acid rain causing contaminant) prevented.
• 1,521 lbs of SO2 (acid rains causing contaminant) prevented.

Caine Kolinski and Dennis Slotnick are coordinating bird and bat research on a daily basis. Data has been collected for 8 weeks. High school students and an independent researcher from The University of Toledo have found no birds fatalities or at Clay High or Eisenhower School. As scientific research suggests, we are doing searcher efficiency studies and scavenge rates to determine how well our research team can spot the carcass or whether a fox, raccoon, cat has carried off the body. This study is being conducted during the heaviest migration of the year, 2.5 miles from Lake Erie. “Of course we would like to have several years of data to be make a scientifically valid claim that no birds are struck by turbines, but so far it looks very safe for our avian friends,” said Mr. Slotnick, Honors Biology and Environmental Science teacher at Clay High School. Only red bat was found under the turbine last November.

The national average for bird and bat mortality for wind turbines is two per year.* Compare that number with cars: 1,000,000 birds per year (one million), communication towers: 82-3,199 birds per year, cats: 100,000,000 (one hundred million) and cars, 1,000,000 (one million). Sources: Government Accountability Office, National Audubon Society.

So far our research indicates that bird and bat mortalities very rarely caused by wind turbines, shattering the myths that have recently been perpetuated we are even below the national average.

Besides the Eisenhower and Clay turbines, Jerusalem and Starr schools have rooftop solar panels installed and will be connected shortly, soon to provide over (2.2) megawatts of power per year to our district.

“It is an inspiration for many of us in the Oregon Schools to be daily using electricity that it is a completely renewable non-polluting energy source” , said Mr. Slotnick. “Now with the bird and bat data coming in, we are even more confident that wind turbines are environmentally, safe even this close to the migratory pathway along Lake Erie”.

*Nearly all bird kills occur on one outdated wind farm at Altamont, California where 2-5 thousands birds die from old, fast and low elevation scaffold tower turbines. If you exclude that data, the number of bird killed in the US by wind turbines is practically zero. (Source: Mother Nature Network)