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Wind energy company kills 150 eagles in US, pleads guilty

Eagle
AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File
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This Jan. 5, 2020, photo shows a bald eagle in Philadelphia. NextEra Energy subsidiary ESI Energy was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution after at least 150 eagles were killed over the past decade at its wind farms in eight states.

A wind energy company has been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution after killing at least 150 eagles over the past decade at wind farms across the U.S. including in Arizona.

NextEra Energy subsidiary ESI Energy pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act during a Tuesday court appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Prosecutors say the company was warned its wind farms would kill birds but proceeded anyway without getting a required permit.

They say the company also ignored advice about how to minimize the deaths.

NextEra President Rebecca Kujawa says collisions of birds with wind turbines are unavoidable.

It’s illegal to harm eagles under federal law.

The Florida-based NextEra is planning a 60-turbine project on hundreds of acres east of Valle in Coconino County.