Now, a wind energy project in Solano County may become the first in the United States to commit to protecting golden eagles under federal law. To make amends for the golden eagles likely to be killed by its turbine blades, the 100-megawatt project near Rio Vista, known as Shiloh IV, would agree to modify power lines in Monterey County to prevent golden eagles from being electrocuted.
The proposal is contained in a draft conservation plan released Thursday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with protecting eagles and other migratory birds. The proposal is open to a 45-day public comment period, with adoption expected early in 2014.
“It really does set a precedent in that it does show the service can work with the wind industry,” said Eric Davis, assistant regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Renewable energy is here to stay, and we need to ensure eagles and other wildlife are here to stay as well.”