Overview and applicability of collision risk models for siting wind facilities
Presentation Description: Models are a heuristic tool used to understand how a system works and to predict outputs based on a series of input parameters. Empirical models are built with observational data to understand how the input parameters affect the outputs. Once a model is built, it can often be extrapolated to other areas to be used as a predictive tool using input data to predict outputs that are not known. This approach is in contrast to mechanistic models which are built through a series of mathematical equations used to mimic the details of the actual system. One application of both empirical and mechanistic models is to predict wildlife mortality at wind facilities by predicting collision risk based on preconstruction monitoring data on abundance, behavior, and wind facility characteristics. Collision risk model use model inputs including abundance, behavior, wind turbine characteristics, and topography. This presentation will provide an overview and comparison of collision risk models used to study wind-wildlife impacts, compare select collision risk models, and provide recommendations on selecting a collision risk model based on the species of concern and wind facility specifications. Information gleaned from the collision risk modeling process can inform and guide decision making to reduce bird and bat collision impacts.