Matthew Netherland, a Boy Scout from Clarkston, Mich., found an interesting way to achieve Eagle Scout: he partnered with General Motors to convert donated Chevy Volt battery covers into housing for more than 2,000 bats at Consumers Energy power plants.
Netherland, 16, and a group of helpers created a series of 30 bat boxes made from the scrap battery covers donated by GM.
“I thought it would be nice to give them a place to stay,” Netherland told MLive. “They have a place to stay for the winter.”
Consumers Energy will install 22 of the bat houses at select properties.
“The battery covers from the electric-powered vehicles are being kept out of landfills, and by being utilized as bat homes they allow biodiversity to thrive along the river habitats that produce renewable energy,” said Rich Castle, Consumers Energy’s natural resource manager for hydro generation.
Each box is about 3 feet long and 1 foot wide and is capable of fitting more than 100 bats.
“We’ve worked with renowned bat experts on our bat house design and are grateful that we can partner with others who share our passion for conservation and will help us make a lasting impact,” said Emily McDonald, environmental engineer for GM. “The Volt covers are made with durable material and will result in wildlife nesting opportunities for a long time.”
The Wildlife Habitat Council recognized the improvements made by Consumers Energy and GM for their dedication to preserve natural resources around their properties. To date, GM has built more than 520 wood duck, bat and bluebird nesting boxes from Volt battery covers, with many spread out among its facilities’ grounds.