Wind Farms and Wildlife

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to a wind farm’s impact on wildlife. We dispel some of them here.

You have a choice when it comes to your energy provider and you should be commended for choosing Green Mountain Energy® electricity. Not only is it cleaner than typical system power, its generation has a minimal negative impact on wildlife. Consider the following:[1]

Wind energy development is carefully planned around wildlife. Individual bird deaths due to wind development will never be more than a very small fraction of those caused by other commonly-accepted human activities including: domestic cats (at least 10 million per year), buildings (550 million per year), and pesticides (67 million per year).

•A reasonable, conservative estimate is that out of every 100,000 human-related bird deaths in the U.S. today, wind plants cause just three.

Other electric generation sources are far more damaging to the environment and wildlife:[2]

•Acidic deposition in soil and water from fossil fuel power plant pollution leads to a decline in forests and water quality.

•Toxic mercury can bioaccumulate in wildlife near coal plants, especially fish, birds, and mammals.

•Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels alter the climate, contributing to large migratory bird losses.

Less wind energy means more energy generated from other sources, most of which are damaging to the environment or wildlife. Your choice of Green Mountain Energyelectricity helps spur the demand instead for cleaner energy sources.  You’re helping us change the way power is made!



[1] Rhetoric vs. Reality: Wind Energy and Birds.  American Wind Energy Association, March 2011 http://www.awea.org/newsroom/realstories/release_030111_2.cfm

[2] Comparison of Reported Effects and Risks to Vertebrate Wildlife from Six Electricity Generation Types in the New York / New England Region.  NYSERDA, March 2009. http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/~/media/Files/Publications/Research/Environmental/Report-09-02-Wildlife-report-web.ashx