Karen Smith, vice-president of the AOC, introduced our guest speaker, Teran Smith, her daughter who is Associate Director-Origination with a Portuguese-based renewable energy development company called EDP. Teran spoke mainly about wind energy.
She cited an Audubon study that predicts that climate change will in the near future adversely affect about one-half of all birds in the U.S. With that in mind, wind energy is particularly valuable as it produces no greenhouse gas or chemicals, does not use water and uses a relatively modest amount of land.
One slide that was particularly informative compared bird deaths from contact with wind turbines (about 200,000 per year) with other hazards. Outdoor cats were the worst culprits, killing an estimated 3 billion birds annually.
Teran delivered a very interesting and informative program.
Teran also presented some pre-siting issues considered by her company and others, such as wildlife, wetlands, airspace and even aesthetics like sound and the “flicker” of sunlight caused by moving blades. They strive to support wildlife conservation and protection by avoiding, minimizing and mitigating their company’s effects on the environment.