Inuvik’s soon to be fully constructed Wind Turbine will not paint a blade black as a risk of collisions with avians was determined to be low.
A 2020 research paper by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research found that painting one blade black on a wind turbine can reduce avian deaths by up to 72 per cent. The study ran from 2006 to 2016, with seven years recording data on blades without a change of colour and three more with a single blade painted black. Scientists theorize the slight change in colour is enough for birds to see the blades and navigate around them.
However, NTPC spokesman Doug Prendergast said the Inuvik Wind Turbine will not follow suit because there is no need.
“A total of 30 bird species were observed during surveys conducted in the spring and fall of 2017 and 2018,” he said. “The total species count was low given the high diversity of species known to use the Mackenzie River delta for migration. Geese and swans were the most abundant species observed from High Point during spring and fall migration; however, few groups were observed within a 1 km radius of the proposed turbine location. Most of the observations were several kilometers to the west of High Point above the Mackenzie River delta.
“As a result of this information, it was determined that the risk to birds was low. There has been no need identified to paint the blades of the turbine.”
The base of the Inuvik Wind Turbine has been mounted and the blades are expected to be set up in the coming weeks.