Tall turbine trouble

Turbine plans have two bureaus weighing sustainability against environmental safety.

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The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability submitted a draft of recommendations to the Portland Planning Commission, calling for turbines taller than the tallest buildings allowed in a district. But the plans also exempt the system from design review, a concern to the Bureau of Environmental Services, who are concerned about the large turbines’ impact on birds and bats.

“We’re all for sustainability,” Dave Kliewer, division manager for environmental policy at Environmental Services, said. “What we’re concerned about is that we don’t know enough on wind turbines in a single-building context to know enough about (effects on) birds or bats.”…

The Planning and Sustainability proposal acknowledged the Environmental Services concerns, and responded that wildlife studies make sense for big, expensive wind farms, but not for small, urban systems. Besides, the proposal continues, birds often smack into windows, and “window surfaces of buildings are currently not reviewed for their avian impact as part of design review.

Read the full story at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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