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MidAmerican Energy filed a plan in the summer of 2018 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, proposing a series of measures to help minimize how wind turbines may impact bald eagles and four bat species.

The company’s habitat conservation plan reflects insights gleaned from the most extensive research effort of its kind, spanning four years and covering most of MidAmerican Energy's wind fleet.

The plan aims to help protect four bat species, including two that are federally protected, by modifying nighttime wind turbine operations during certain months, and making additional operational changes at four wind farms where researchers found signs of increased bat activity in the area.

The proposed changes involve adjusting a turbine’s “cut-in” speed, or the wind speed at which a turbine begins to spin and produce energy. Studies show the adjustment can minimize bat fatalities. The changes will slightly decrease electric generation output.

The plan also proposes measures to reduce impacts on bald eagles that may be present near MidAmerican Energy wind farms. It calls for training wind turbine technicians on wildlife search protocols during turbine visits, and educating landowners about removing animal remains that may attract eagles near wind turbines – reducing the odds of an eagle coming in contact with a wind turbine.

In addition to modifying wind turbine operations, MidAmerican Energy proposes to establish a $4.4 million bat conservation fund and a $1.6 million eagle conservation fund to support statewide mitigation projects to offset any impacts to those species.