This December The Nature Conservancy’s Site Wind Right mapping tool was named the winner of the annual “Environmental Protection” Good Practices award from Renewable Grid Initiative (RGI), a European organization focused on energy transmission system operators and non-governmental organizations.
According to RGI, Site Wind Right was given the Good Practices award “because it brings a valuable contribution to the reconciliation of renewable energy with nature and biodiversity. The sophisticated spatial planning tool developed by the project detects land areas with the lowest conflict potential to help inform wind development siting decisions, thereby minimizing the impacts on species and wildlife habitats in a timely and resource-efficient manner. Additionally, the practice proved transferable and – due to excellent stakeholder outreach methodologies – successful in reducing opposition to wind projects.”
“We are humbled that The Nature Conservancy’s ‘Site Wind Right’ Map was chosen by a jury of peers as RGI’s Environmental Good Practice of the Year for 2021,” said Nathan Cummins, Great Plains Renewable Energy Strategy Director at The Nature Conservancy. “Site Wind Right is a science-based tool that was built through many years of collaboration across the Central United States to assist energy buyers and planning authorities incorporate nature into renewable energy siting decisions. Through utilizing Site Wind Right, we can accelerate a clean and green energy future.”
Released in July 2020, Site Wind Right allows renewable energy buyers, utilities, state agencies, and renewable energy developers identify areas for developing renewable energy faster and more cheaply in 17 Central US states, by avoiding important natural areas and wildlife corridors. A key finding of Site Wind Right was that wind power sited in the central United States, away from important natural areas, could match all current U.S. electric power generation.
Data and mapping is available from Site Wind Right on a state-by-state basis. Visit www.nature.org/SiteWindRight to learn more and use the mapping.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.