CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The operator of a southern West Virginia wind farm estimates that several dozen endangered bats could die by flying into turbine blades during a 25-year period.
The estimated death toll comes as Beech Ridge Energy requests a federal permit that would allow the "incidental take," or killing, of endangered bats that collide with the turbines. A decision could come by year's end.
So far, Beech Ridge says it hasn't found any dead Virginia big-eared or Indiana bats at its wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties.
Even with efforts to minimize the risk, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says some deaths are possible.
Beech Ridge estimates the death toll could reach 53 Indiana bats and 14 Virginia big-eared bats over a quarter century.