Environmental Science

NREL conducts wind-wildlife interaction research to develop monitoring, modeling, and minimization solutions that are effective for both land-based and offshore applications.

Man holds eagle near wind turbines.

NREL collaborates with government agencies, academic institutions, environmental groups, and industry stakeholders to identify and prioritize wildlife issues that face land-based and offshore wind energy facilities. Our technical experts work with stakeholders to promote decisions that meet both conservation and industry goals, including lowering financial risk while minimizing wildlife interactions.

Partner With Us

See a summary slide deck of NREL's wind-energy-related environmental science capabilities, research, and projects. Explore more below.

Learn more about how to work with us.

Environmental Processes and Impact Assessment

NREL combines decades of field research experience, computational capabilities, and infrastructure to advance technologies such as thermal video cameras and multicomponent systems that can monitor wildlife impacts at wind energy facilities. We also develop models that integrate biological, meteorological, and wind turbine data to inform siting and operational decisions.

Areas of Expertise

  • Utility-scale research studies
  • Computational modeling and statistical analyses
  • Wind turbine instrumentation, measurements, and data collection
  • Spatial analyses

Species-Specific Scientific Investigations

NREL investigates behavioral and physiological drivers of risk to assess interactions with land-based and offshore wind turbines. Our research-based approach optimizes monitoring and minimization strategies, providing a suite of technologies to meet the various needs of the wind energy and wildlife community.

Areas of Expertise

  • Wildlife biology and behavior
  • Partnership networks
  • Environmental reviews and modeling

Cost-Effective Mitigation

NREL leads multi-stakeholder collaborations to address complex issues related to wildlife interactions at wind turbines, and to ensure all perspectives are represented. Our engagement and outreach activities foster dialogue among partners and promote decisions that meet both conservation and energy production goals.

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental impacts of wind and marine energy
  • Environmental monitoring programs and effective mitigation strategies