Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Duke Energy Release Bat Conservation Plan for North Allegheny Wind Facility in Pennsylvania

November 28, 2018

Contact(s):

Meagan Racey, Meagan_Racey@fws.gov, 413-253-8558



As renewable energy continues to develop across the northeast, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with industry to reduce the effects of utility-scale wind turbines on threatened and endangered wildlife.

North Allegheny Wind, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duke Energy Renewables, Inc., has prepared a habitat conservation plan at its North Allegheny Wind 35-turbine wind facility in Blair and Cambria counties for the long-term conservation of the endangered Indiana bat. The Service has reviewed the plan and completed an environmental assessment. Both documents and the permit application are available for public review for 30 days.

The plan would cover 25 years of operation and includes measures to avoid and minimize impacts to Indiana bats, primarily through feathering turbines during high-risk periods. Impacts that cannot be avoided will be mitigated through a contribution to Pennsylvania’s Indiana Bat Conservation Fund (IBCF). The IBCF provides an in-lieu fee program to fund actions that promote the conservation and recovery of the Indiana bat. Funds have been used to permanently manage and protect summer, swarming and winter habitat for Indiana bats. To date, over 2,100 acres of Indiana bat habitat has been protected using IBCF.  

White-nose syndrome has devastated the Indiana bat population in Pennsylvania. The intent of this partnership with Duke Energy is to reduce the number of bats impacted by  the operation of this facility, and through mitigation, to have the opportunity to implement more conservation activities, such as cave and land protection.

The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to “take,” meaning harm or kill, threatened or endangered wildlife, such as the Indiana bat. Some otherwise legal activities, such as wind turbine operation, have the risk of incidentally taking protected species. An incidental take permit allows for those activities to continue, as long as the applicant undertakes reasonable and practical measures to avoid, minimize and mitigate take of protected species.  

Habitat conservation plans provide frameworks for partnerships between the public and private sectors in endangered species conservation. These plans identify the impacts to wildlife from a project or program; the steps the applicant will take to reduce or compensate for such impacts; what alternative actions were considered; and how conservation efforts will be funded.

The draft habitat conservation plan will publish in the Federal Register on November 28, 2018. The public comment period for the plan will be open for 30 days. Instructions on how to submit comments are available at www.regulations.gov under docket # FWS-R5-ES-2014-0047.

You can find a copy of the notice and a project map at the Pennsylvania Field Office website.

Duke Energy Renewables

Duke Energy Renewables primarily acquires, develops, builds and operates wind and solar electric generation facilities across the U.S. The portfolio includes nonregulated renewable energy, as well as energy storage assets.

Duke Energy Renewables’ utility-scale wind and solar assets total about 2,900 megawatts (MW) – across 14 states – from 21 wind and 64 solar projects. The power produced by these projects is primarily sold through long-term contracts to utilities, electric cooperatives, municipalities, and commercial and industrial customers.Visit Duke Energy Renewables  for more information.

Duke Energy Renewables is part of the Commercial Renewables business unit of Duke Energy(NYSE: DUK).

More information about the company is available at http://duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Centerincludes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illuminationfeatures stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedIn,Instagram andFacebook.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.