State Sanctioned Slaughter: Wind Farm Operator Gets Licence to Kill Rare & Endangered Bats

The wind power cult have no difficulty in justifying the destruction of pristine landscapes; the dismemberment of once cohesive, rural communities; the creation of toxic waste lands in China (where the rare earths essential to wind turbines are processed); crushing power prices that punish the poorest and most vulnerable in society; and barely shrug at the slaughter of millions upon millions of birds and bats, across the globe.

The usual approach by wind power outfits is to get the state to sanction their inevitable bird and bat slaughter.

In the US, their licenses to kill rare and endangered Eagles are euphemistically called “take permits”. As if the holder of the licence was organising a payment-free collection of something from the corner store.

In Victoria, Australia, an outfit owned by the New Zealand government, Tilt Renewables has been challenged about the morality of wiping out rare and endangered grey-headed flying foxes, with impunity.

If any other Victorian was caught causing the death of just one of these critters, they would face fines of up $37,310 and/or 2 years in prison. Serious stuff.

However, like every other wind power outfit around the world, Tilt Renewables has rigged the system so it gets off entirely Scott-free.

Local councillors are unhappy about the carnage, but Tilt has already stitched up a deal with Victoria’s State government so-called environment department (DELWP) to avoid any prospect of prosecution for wiping out the last of Victoria’s grey-headed flying foxes. If it sounds corrupt, that’s because it is.

Moyne Shire councillors worried about number of dead bats at wind farm
The Standard
Ben Silvester
12 September 2022

Councillors say they are worried about the number of dead bats being found at a wind farm in the north-east corner of Moyne Shire.

The issue arose as councillors reviewed the second-year report of the Bat and Avifauna Management (BAM) Plan for the Salt Creek Wind Farm at the September council meeting.

The report showed 67 bat carcasses had been found during the wind farm’s second year of operation.

Council energy project manager Michelle Grainger said that was an increase on the year-one deaths.

“The second year of reporting has showed increased mortality for both birds and bats, probably an increase of three or four per cent,” she said.

The report said the most worrying element was that 13 of the carcasses were grey-headed flying foxes, which were listed as vulnerable.

The report said the true number of flying fox deaths caused by Salt Creek turbines was probably more than triple the number of carcasses found by searchers.

Cr Damian Gleeson said he wasn’t comfortable with the rise in deaths.

“This isn’t a report that you’d read to your kids … 67 carcasses … I want to see action and ensure that mitigation is going to take place,” he said.

Cr Gleeson asked who had responsibility to keep the deaths under control. Ms Grainger said the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning provided technical expertise, but it was the council’s job “to administer and enforce the planning permits” for the wind farms.

Cr Gleeson said the council needed to start taking that job more seriously.

“I think it’s about time we started caring,” he said.

“If this time next year report three comes through and it’s 150 (deaths), I’ll be saying you’ve got to turn your turbines off at night time.”

Cr James Purcell suggested that rather than “endorse” the report, the council should “accept” it and wait to see whether flying fox deaths rose in the next report.

Grey-headed flying fox numbers have suffered in recent years because of mass deaths caused by heat stress, which is why it is now listed as vulnerable, making any additional turbine-related death a “significant impact”.

The flying fox deaths at Salt Creek forced the wind farm developer, Tilt Renewables, to create a specific grey-headed flying fox management plan, which lists a range of “potential mitigation measures”.

The measures deemed worthy of further investigation included logging nearby Sugar Gum forests (which are a favourite tree of the flying fox), periodically turning off the turbines, and offsetting turbine-related deaths by limiting flying fox deaths from heat stress.

Investigations found that cutting down or lopping local Sugar Gums was “not likely” to limit flying fox activity around the wind farm, while turning off the turbines risked the facility’s power production capacity and was not proven to prevent flying fox deaths.

The most appealing and effective strategy according to Tilt, and endorsed by DELWP, was to accept a level of turbine-related deaths.
The Standard

Wind farm gets licence to kill endangered bats.


October 27, 2022 at 01:33AM

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