Texas Tech University

Wind Energy Environmental Assessment

The burgeoning wind energy industry on the Llano Estacado of Texas is generally considered environment friendly. However, conflicts can arise for some wildlife species that may collide with turbines or avoid previously occupied habitat where turbines have been constructed.

Tech University professor Clint Boal is working with several governmental agencies to discover ways to mitigate these wildlife – wind energy conflicts. His research has focused on movement patterns and mortality rates of golden eagles due to wind energy, migration ecology of Swainson's hawks and potential conflict as wind energy develops in Central and South America, and more locally on displacement of some species.

The research Boal and his students and colleagues are performing is important in that it increases our understanding of perceived and realized conflict, and works toward identifying mitigations measures that may be taken to help ensure wind energy is truly environment friendly.