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Commerce issues RFP for bat fatality study in southeast Minnesota

A request for proposals has been issued by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources for a contractor to conduct a study that will measure bat and avian fatalities caused by wind turbines in southeastern Minnesota and to test changes in turbine cut-in speeds that may help decrease fatalities.

The RFP, titled “Study of Bat Fatality and Effects of Changes in Operational Cut-in Speeds at Commercial Wind Farms in Southeast Minnesota,” is led by Commerce in coordination with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The study has a dual purpose: 

(1) to aid bat conservation strategies in Minnesota, and 
(2) assist/inform the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in determining permit conditions for commercial wind farms (more than 5 MW). 

The study is expected to last four years and cost $730,000; a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service will fund most of the study.

The deadline to respond to the RFP is Feb. 4, 2013. A copy of the RFP is available here.