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Wind Farming Explained

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Wind farming - Can I get involved?

How does it work?
Following is a guide to the 'nuts and bolts' of establishing a wind farm. It should answer most questions about the basic steps in development but is by no means a comprehensive overview. Please contact our office for further information on any aspect of the process.

Is my land suitable?

The first step in establishing a viable wind farm is identifying suitable land. This is generally land in coastal or elevated areas which has the best capacity to capture consistent wind and make the project economically viable. The land should also have good opportunities for grid connection. This means that land close to electricity grids is preferable but not exclusive. It is possible to establish a new connection but the viability of this would need to be assessed depending on the expected yield of the farm. A minimum of around 250 acres would be required to establish an economically viable farm.

Will it affect my livestock?
Wind farming can be done in conjunction with conventional farming of livestock and there is no evidence to suggest that wind farming has any adverse affects on stock. Generally a wind farm only uses around 1 percent of the total land area including access roads etc.

How big are the turbines?
Each turbine is around 80 metres tall and about 3 metres wide. This varies however on the make and type of the machine.

How do you assess suitability?
Once a suitable site has been identified, we would then conduct some preliminary assessment of the viability of the farm. This would include a rough outline of where turbines may be placed and what the expected yield of the farm would be i.e. How many megawatts of electricity would be produced? We would also have to assess what the implications of the farm might be i.e. will it be too close to houses? how will it effect the local community? And what impact will it have on the landscape? Most councils already have guidelines for development and we can usually answer most of these questions without too much research.

What can I expect to get for the lease of my land?
When we have answered all of the preliminary questions, we would then approach the landowner or landowners and discuss the option of leasing the land for the purpose of wind farming. The landowner is paid a percentage of the gross operating profit of the wind farm once it has been established. This percentage varies dependent on the approximate yield of the farm and would be thoroughly discussed and outlined before any lease would be signed. There is no cost at any stage to the landowner.

Once agreed, our solicitors would then draw up a contract specific to the land which all involved landowners would then be required to sign. Generally a lease is for twenty years with the option to renew at the end of the lease.

What happens when I sign up?
When we have a signed contract, we would then commence work on an environmental impact statement. We would also need to apply to the council to erect a wind testing mast if more information is required on wind regimes for the area. It usually takes around six months to put together an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which we would submit to the council. We would ideally work in unison with the council throughout this entire process. The environmental impact statement is a very comprehensive report which assesses all aspects of the wind farm's expected impact including expected impacts of construction.

How long will it take?
If the council approves the wind farm, we would then begin construction of the farm which takes around 12 months depending on the site. Once up and running we would fully manage and maintain the farm for the duration of the lease. At the end of the lease, the turbines would be dismantled and removed or may be replaced or retained if the lease is renewed.

 

NOISE DATA SOUND DEFINITIONS AND LEVELS

Sound Definition

Level

  Threshold of pain   120
  Jet aircraft (250 metres overhead)   100
  Hazard to hearing from continuous exposure   90
  Heavy truck traveling at 40km/h in a distance of 7 metres   90
  Passenger car traveling at 60km/h in a 7 distance of 7 metres   72
  Communication starts becoming difficult   63
  Busy general office   60
  Quiet Bedroom   38
  Windfarm at 500 metres   38



 
 

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