Avian Solar Work Group
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2015
Contact: Danielle Mills
Avian Solar Work Group Formed to Study the Relationship between Birds and Solar Energy
Solar industry, scientists, and conservation organizations collaborate to direct research
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Large-scale Solar Association announced today the formation of the Avian Solar Work Group, a collaborative group of environmental organizations, academics and solar companies that will advance coordinated scientific research to better understand how birds interact with solar facilities.
Given the threat that climate change poses to avian species, participants will work with the shared interests of protecting avian species and developing solar projects in an environmentally responsible manner. The Avian Solar Work Group will strive to better understand and address avian interactions with solar projects with an approach that blends collaboration, issue identification and action.
Our understanding of the relationship between solar power projects and birds is limited. Participants will develop and prioritize research questions designed to improve our understanding and inform the siting, development and operation of solar facilities to protect birds. State and federal agencies will also be invited to participate in order to ensure coordination and alignment of the research findings, which will be shared with agencies and the public.
“Industry, agency and other actions related to avian mortality at utility-scale solar projects should be based on facts and science. Currently, there is insufficient data regarding avian mortality and causation at solar facilities to make specific conclusions about avoidance and mitigation,” said Shannon Eddy, Executive Director of the Large-scale Solar Association. “We look forward to collaborating with members of the Avian Solar Work Group, including our colleagues in the conservation and academic communities, to develop focused research that will allow us to move forward in the most informed and environmentally responsible way possible.”
“Audubon California wants the best science to understand the recent avian mortality discovered at solar sites. The deaths of these birds are a great concern to us and therefore we support the Avian Solar Work Group’s efforts to advance scientific research on this issue,” said Garry George, Renewable Energy Director, Audubon California.
``This is a win-win approach,’’ said Katie Umekubo, Staff Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council. ``As solar power – and other clean, renewable energy sources – continue to grow and play an increasing role in helping combat climate change, we must be mindful of any unintended consequences of their development and operation.’’
Entities participating in the Avian Solar Work Group include:
Defenders of Wildlife
Large-scale Solar Association
Natural Resources Defense Council
NextEra Energy Resources
University of California Los Angeles, Center for Tropical Research
About the Large-scale Solar Association
The Large-scale Solar Association (LSA) is a non-partisan, solar advocacy association whose purpose is to support market penetration of utility-scale solar technologies through appropriate policy mechanisms. Member companies in the LSA represent leaders in the utility-scale solar industry and share a common understanding of and concern in the issues facing development of the solar industry. For more information, visit www.largescalesolar.org.