Wind farms ignite controversy in Scotland and California

A proposal to build the world’s biggest on-shore wind farm on Scotland’s rugged Isle of Lewis is triggering a pitched battle. Lewis Wind Power, a joint venture between British Energy and construction group AMEC, claims the project would create hundreds of jobs and generate enough electricity to meet the annual needs of 1.1 million people, as well as meet 6 percent of the U.K.’s renewable-energy targets. Opponents, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, claim that the farm would damage an environmentally sensitive peat bog and harm wildlife. Meanwhile, in California, the Center for Biological Diversity is suing power companies responsible for the Altamont Pass wind turbines over what they claim are the deaths of thousands of eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, and other protected birds. They are asking that substantial raptor habitat be set aside by the companies. “We absolutely support wind power, but it is long past time for turbine owners to make a serious effort to stop the raptor slaughter at Altamont,” said the center’s Jeff Miller.