When the Lowell Mountain wind project went online, little brown bats were not an endangered species. Now they are and killing them is illegal. But GMP says changing wind currents at the turbines can cause some bats to die. Utility officials estimate it kills about seven bats a year, four of which are the endangered bats. GMP says it takes measures to protect the bats but it cannot stop the turbines altogether.
"First of all we are generating renewable energy up there and then we do operate the plant in a way to really help protect the bats by not generating in some low wind conditions when the bats would be around to protect them," explained Dottie Schnure of Green Mountain Power.
GMP will also be donating $18,000 annually to a fund that help endangered bat species.