91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Consumers Energy submits plans to limit endangered bats that might be killed at wind farm

DSC_3411 (2).jpg
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
A wind farm in central Michigan. The newest wind farm is in Hillsdale County.

Consumers Energy has proposed a plan for its newest wind farm to limit the number of bats killed by spinning turbine blades.

The Crescent Wind Project in Hillsdale County is 60 wind turbines. Consumers Energy has submitted a draft habitat conservation plan and a draft environmental assessment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The plan outlines how Consumers plans reduce the number of endangered bats that could be killed and its plans for supporting habitat for bats at two sites.

Consumers needs the plans approved in order to receive a permit for limited, unintentional bat killings by the spinning turbine blades.

“They will have this incidental take permit and the action won’t be illegal. And then in return for that take, they’re doing some mitigation and also some avoidance techniques,” said Georgia Parham, spokesperson for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The move to renewable energy is resulting in wind turbines and solar farms in rural areas.

Over a 30 year period, Consumers would be permitted up to 145 deaths of two endangered bats — 96 Indiana bats and 49 northern long-eared bats. The company said it plans aim to minimize the number of deaths.

“They’ll do that by adjusting the operation of their wind turbines to avoid times when bats are most commonly active,” said Parham.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comments about the plan until February 27th. To see the plan and assessment and submit comments ,go here and enter FWS-R3-ES-2022-0147.

Consumers Energy said it could not offer a comment by our deadline.

Consumers Energy is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
Related Content