In the race to generate and distribute renewable energy, developers must clear numerous regulatory hurdles. For many projects, this may include obtaining a voluntary “incidental take” permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA).
The BGEPA incidental take permitting program has frustrated both developers and operators due to, among other things, uncertainty of costs, timing, and outcomes. Recently, developers choosing to obtain an eagle “incidental take permit” for activities such as wind energy development received some good news—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) increased its bald eagle population estimates, which should create opportunities for additional wind development, or at least reduced regulation, in areas now deemed to have more bald eagles.