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Bat deaths drop at Nevada wind farm

ELY — The number of bats killed by turbines at a wind farm in White Pine County is down sharply from a year ago, according to federal land managers.

Paul Podborny of the federal Bureau of Land Management’s Ely District Office said 23 bats have died at the Spring Valley Wind Farm so far this year compared with 103 bat deaths over the same time period last year.

He told The Ely Times that 533 bats in all were killed by the farm’s wind turbines in 2013, triple the amount allowed by federal regulators.

He attributed this year’s decrease in bat deaths to Pattern Energy’s move to increase the wind speed required to spin a turbine from 7 mph to 11 mph.

Mexican free-tail bats migrate through Spring Valley each year.

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