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Scientists at Normandeau offer a wide array of ecological services in order to meet the needs of the wind power industry. We have vast experience in permitting and agency consultation, and can assist with scoping to identify sensitive issues related to wind power projects, allowing for the development of baseline work plans and surveys that identify potential obstacles to licensing and permitting of projects. Specific services for the wind energy industry are listed below.

Avian Studies

Bat Studies

Wetland Studies

Wildlife and Natural Community Studies

Rare Species and Critical Habitats

Permitting and NEPA Documentation

Public Involvement

onshore wind.Normandeau Associates, Inc. specializes in ecological services for onshore wind energy development. For over 40 years we have earned a reputation for excellence in understanding and solving complex natural resource and permitting issues within the energy industry with staff that have worked on over 120 wind projects across the nation in 21 states. Providing wind energy clients with sound scientific data and expert permitting guidance are specialties of our firm. In addition to private sector wind project developers, we also provide consulting services to the federal Department of Energy and Department of Defense (DOD), Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and various smaller-scale wind energy projects proposed or sponsored by local municipalities.

Normandeau provides solutions, services and technology to meet the extensive needs of developing and implementing a land-based wind energy project. We have considerable experience in permitting and agency consultation, and can assist in project scoping to identify sensitive issues related to wind power projects, allowing for the development of baseline work plans and surveys that identify potential obstacles to licensing and permitting of projects. Our services relevant to the wind industry are shown in the following table, organized relative to the current U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Land-Based Wind Energy Guidelines:

Wind Project Phase USFWS Tier Project Phase Objectives Services Normandeau Provides
Preliminary site evaluation Tier 1 Landscape-scale screening of potential wind energy project sites conducted primarily in the form of GIS-based analysis of publicly-available data regarding major influential elements to a project. Site screening for rapid site assessment using GIS and co-occurrence mapping; analysis of relevant environmental variables including land use, altitude, roads, transmission line proximity, geology, wetlands, rare species or communities; mapping of significant wildlife habitats and features.
Site characterization Tier 2 Project specific site evaluation (similar to a fatal flaw analysis) that identifies potential presence of T&E species based on habitat suitability, and identifies the critical issues that will need to be resolved in order to have a successful project. Rare, Threatened and Endangered species expertise, GIS and mapping services, early desktop studies of known sensitive issues.
Field studies and impact prediction Tier 3 Field studies for sensitive resources identified during the Site Characterization are prioritized according to the data needs identified for each project. The data needs are driven by data gaps and/or the degree of influence each sensitive resource has on project success. Detailed investigations to include wetland delineation and functional & values assessment, wildlife, bat and avian studies, habitat analysis, and rare species/habitat surveys using innovative tools developed by Normandeau to include ReBAT® (bat acoustics), USFWS Bayesian Eagle Modeling, ReCON (Condor Alert System), spatial risk modeling, and mortality predictions.
Permitting   Develop permit applications and supporting documents as necessary to comply with federal, state and local permit requirements.  Provide client support through the agency and public review processes. Familiarity with permitting requirements and staff at many state agencies and federal districts; NEPA expertise, BGEPA, and Endangered Species Act expertise; avoidance, minimization and mitigation strategies; meeting coordination and stakeholder facilitation.
Post-construction studies to estimate impacts Tier 4 Post-construction mortality studies estimate the actual impact of a wind project and allow comparison to the predicted impact (from Tier 3 studies) to determine if mitigation actions are sufficient. Design and implement post construction monitoring programs; environmental, habitat and plant/wildlife impact analysis and reporting.
Other post-construction studies and research Tier 5 Infrequently Tier 4 studies may be supplemented by additional research. The research would be triggered by the need for additional analysis of Tier 4 impacts, assessment of demographic impacts, or adequacy of mitigation actions. Tier 5 is most likely to be conducted for species that are regulated by other wildlife laws (e.g. ESA, BGEPA) as part of compliance with these other laws. Development of Habitat conservation Plans (HCP), innovative post construction monitoring studies, wetland and wildlife impact assessments, permit applications, compensatory mitigation strategies.
Other Wind Energy Related Project Services   Community outreach, public involvement, education, and Federal program support (BOEM) Strategic planning, community outreach using written and web-based materials, and mediation.

As a science-based environmental consulting firm with over 40 years of experience providing land-based wind energy project services, Normandeau stands out for its ability to guide you to sound, defensible and reasonable science-based decisions for project and regulatory compliance. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your project needs.

 

Avian Studies

Normandeau conducts field studies for a variety of avian resource concerns such as breeding-season, spring and fall migration, and raptor surveys. Data can provide species composition, relative abundance, and frequency of bird use. We can also assist with the development of post-construction monitoring plans. Normandeau has subcontractor capabilities for avian radar and NEXRAD studies. Normandeau also developed the Remote Condor Observation Network (ReCON™) as an early detection system that provides energy facility operations centers with real-time alerts of an approaching condor.

Bat Studies

Normandeau's bat biologists and technology team developed ReBAT® (Remote Bat Acoustic Technology), a state-of-the-art acoustic monitoring system that increases the effectiveness of bat acoustic monitoring. We also have extensive experience with Anabat. We are also working with multiple clients on developing automated operational mitigation measures for wind farms using ReBAT®. In addition, Normandeau has a team of certified Indiana bat mist-netting and telemetry specialists. We offer all the services needed to address pre and post operational issues with bats.

Wetland Studies

Normandeau employs a large number of highly trained and certified wetland scientists. We conduct wetland delineations, prepare functions and values assessments, impact assessments, and develop permit applications and compensatory mitigation strategies. We have extensive experience completing large scale delineations of wind power sites, and associated development features such as transmission line corridors, access road alignments, operations and maintenance facilities, and meteorological tower sites.

Wildlife and Natural Community Studies

Normandeau conducts habitat and population surveys of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians to determine habitat suitability, species diversity, and relative abundance. We can evaluate plant communities through both remote sensing and ground surveys. We conduct field studies to provide quantitative analyses of natural, disturbed, and stressed communities. Read more here.

Rare Species and Critical Habitats

Normandeau conducts special field investigations to evaluate habitats for potential rare species and their habitats, or unique/exemplary natural communities. We have completed hundreds of studies for numerous federal- and state-listed threatened or endangered plants and wildlife. Read more here.

Permitting and NEPA Documentation

Normandeau has extensive experience preparing federal and state permits, as well as numerous environmental documents pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality regulations. We have managed many large scale permitting efforts involving numerous issues from a variety of disciplines. We coordinate these complex efforts for our clients, producing high quality and timely documents.

Public Involvement

Our experienced public involvement professionals facilitate project development by helping clients identify issues and articulate messages. Our public involvement staff can engage the public to pinpoint concerns and develop consensus-based solutions. Our public involvement services include strategic planning, stakeholder relations, meeting coordination and facilitation, community outreach using written and web-based materials, and mediation.