Reducing Environmental Impact
Wind energy is clean, inexhaustible and requires no water for operation. It offers an environmentally-friendly source of power to help us reduce reliance on the dirty and depleting fossil fuels that threaten our global climate. Ogin is taking the wind industry’s commitment to protect the environment even further.
- Avian impacts: Wind energy’s effect on birdlife has been reduced in recent years by improved turbine siting practices. Statistics show that several other sources (such as tall buildings, power lines, communications towers, even ordinary housecats) pose proportionately far greater threats to birds than wind energy. Nevertheless, this concern persists. Ogin believes that its lower, shrouded turbine design could further reduce or avoid avian impacts. The reason: its compact design uses a very small 13m-diameter rotor, with a shroud that poses both a physical and a visual barrier to inadvertent entry by birds. To test this hypothesis, Ogin is currently sponsoring a rigorous three-year before-after, control-impact study – the gold standard for assessing environmental impacts – at a California site known for heavy bird use.
- Bat impacts: The recent collapse of US bat populations due to newly-introduced diseases poses a major ecological threat. Protection of remaining bats has become an urgent matter. Ogin’s compact shrouded turbine sits well below the airspace most commonly used by these important and valuable insect-hunting creatures. Ogin is working with bat experts to understand how its design will be perceived by bats and how to minimize any impacts it may cause.
- Radar impacts: The size, height and lightning protection systems of tall conventional wind turbines can sometimes interfere with civilian, military and weather radar systems. Experts believe the lower height, shrouded design and all-composite blades in Ogin’s turbine will reduce this impact. Ogin is working with experts to assess and model the radar signature of its turbine design to minimize conflicts with these systems and enable safe, conflict-free access to new areas for clean energy development.
- Balance of plant impacts: The Ogin Turbine requires less ancillary construction activity including road widening and contouring, as well as transmission line construction. Closer turbine spacing shrinks overall project footprint. As a result, projects can be completed with reduced impacts on built environments and local natural habitat.