Conduct Preliminary Site Characterization

Once a site has been identified for further investigation, the developer will conduct a Preliminary Site Characterization to determine the initial suitability of that site. The Preliminary Site Characterization can also be a useful tool for performing an alternative analysis of multiple potential sites. The major steps involved in this initial stage include Analyze the wind resource - The developer will review the available wind data to determine the wind speed and reliability within the...

American Wind Energy Association

1101 14th Street NW, 12th Floor Washington, DC 20005 Phone 202 383-2500 Fax (202) 383-2505 windmail awea.org Project Coordinator Laurie Jodziewicz Tetra Tech EC, Inc. www.tteci.com 617- 457-8236 Project Manager Aileen Giovanello aileen.giovanello tteci.com Nixon Peabody LLP www.nixonpeabody.com 617-345-1000 Project Manager Carolyn S. Kaplan, Esq. ckaplan nixonpeabody.com Aviation Systems Inc. www.aviationsystems.com

Glossaryof Key Terms

Access roads - Provide construction and service access to each wind turbine. Adverse visual impact - An unwelcome visual intrusion that diminishes the visual quality of an existing landscape. All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) - Part of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment under CERCLA relative to contaminated properties, AAI involves research to determine prior ownership and use of a property. Anemometer - One of the components of a meteorological tower, the anemometer is a sensor that...

Phase II Environmental Site Assessments

If the non-intrusive Phase I ESA establishes that there is an actual or potential REC at the site, in order to be eligible for defenses from liability, the developer must continue the inquiry, using additional methods to confirm the existence of the REC and to evaluate the potential impacts for the transaction. Such additional investigations are typically known as Phase II ESAs and typically include intrusive sampling and analysis of environmental media (e.g., groundwater, surface water,...

Traffic Impacts Analysis

Traffic data for the network of existing roadways must be reviewed to determine the potential traffic impacts that may occur as a result of equipment delivery and construction vehicles entering and exiting the project site during construction. In addition, traffic data should be analyzed to determine whether alteration of access roads may be necessary for the operation of the project after construction is complete. In analyzing traffic data, one important measure often used is the Level of...

Electromagnetic Fields

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) emanate from any wire carrying electricity. Members of the general public are routinely exposed to these fields in their everyday lives. Possible effects associated with the electric and magnetic fields from transmission lines (or similar electrical sources) fall into two categories short-term effects that can be perceived and may represent a nuisance possible long-term health effects. The issue of whether there are long-term health effects associated with exposure...

Mitigation Local Economy

Socioeconomic impacts are difficult to assess, as they will vary by community and region. Therefore, the developer and local surrounding communities should work together and come to agreements on project specific mitigation for each proposed wind project. It is important that the nature and extent of socioeconomic The developer and local surrounding communities should work together and come to agreements on project specific mitigation for each proposed wind project. impacts be understood...

Property Values

Individuals faced with a new wind development near their property may question its effect on their real estate value. This issue has come up during the siting and review of wind power projects throughout the nation. There is currently limited documentation on the impact of wind turbines on property values. It is difficult to quantify the impact of wind projects on property values due to the variables that affect property Cam on its website with real video of the wind turbines. values other than...

Impact Analysis

The construction and operation of a wind farm can have socioeconomic impacts on a region or community. The extent of the potential impacts depends on the location and the size of project with respect to the local economy and industry. This section focuses on potential impacts of a wind project to the local economy and property values. A wind project typically has a mixture of construction workers and operation and maintenance workers. Most wind farm projects tend to be located in rural and...

Visual Impact Assessment

An aesthetic or visual resource assessment that supports the siting and development of a wind farm should contain the fundamental components needed to determine and evaluate the potential for visual impacts. Those basic components include Characterization of the baseline or existing conditions. This usually requires a thorough, representative sampling of before photographs. It is suggested that these be from all directions and include near range, moderate range, and far range views of the...

Habitat Loss Alteration

Other wildlife species may be reluctant to cross roads, which could have adverse effects such as decreasing reproduction within the local population, causing difficulty finding mates and sufficient food, and interruption of migration routes. After construction, roads may be used as travel lanes by some predators, which could increase predation on prey species such as small mammals and herpetofauna (i.e., reptiles and amphibians). Potential avoidance of wind projects by big game such as deer and...

Other Wildlife Impact Analysis Collisions

New or upgraded roads and increased traffic may increase vehicle collision risk to other wildlife, including reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. After construction, the warmth of new roads may attract snakes and increase their risk of being struck by vehicles. Smaller, less mobile reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals may cross roads slowly and be at higher risk of being struck by vehicles. Vehicle collisions with big game and carnivores are also possible. These impacts could affect listed...

Preliminary Regulatory Analysis

This list can be used as a checklist when carrying out a preliminary inquiry into local permitting requirements to identify whether or not these typical permits apply to a project. As indicated above, it is important to distinguish between permitting requirements for a meteorological tower and the actual wind turbines and equipment comprising an operational wind energy project. Often a meteorological tower can be permitted as a temporary structure, an accessory or ancillary use to the existing...

Typical Local Permitting Requirements for Wind Energy Projects

Development of wind project within county township Many counties have zoning ordinances that classify parts of the county or township into different districts. A wind project is often allowed as a conditional use in agricultural or industrial districts. A permit is required to demonstrate that the wind project will be compatible with the zoning ordinance. Many counties are incorporating requirements into their zoning ordinances specifically for wind projects, or Wind Energy Conversion Systems...

State Environmental Impact Review Laws LittleNEPAs

Many states have their own environmental impact review or environmental planning laws. The impetus for these laws can be traced to passage of NEPA in 1969, discussed in Section 4.1.1. The review and documentation required under these state laws often parallel those required under the federal statute. As a result, these state equivalents are often referred to as little-NEPAs. In New York, commercial-scale wind projects typically have to prepare an environmental impact statement under the State...

Studies

Studies of effects using a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design can provide credible evidence as to whether any post-construction changes observed are the result of the wind energy facility itself or other action, such as mitigation, instead of natural or other man-made variations or land management. Aside from fatalities, species scarcity results from displacement when species avoid the area within a certain distance of a wind turbine. To a lesser extent, before-after studies at a project...

Ground Transportation and Traffic

Ground transportation and traffic impacts associated with wind energy projects typically include impacts on the transportation system itself (e.g., the physical properties of the road system) and impacts on traffic that uses the transportation system. Such impacts arise almost entirely during the construction period. Studies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere show that while wind turbines can cause clutter on radars, there are engineering solutions that can be implemented and explored further....

Impact Analysis Microwave and Radar Systems

Microwave telecommunication systems are wireless point-to-point links that communicate between two sites (antennas) and require clear line-of-site conditions between each antenna. Obstructions between transmitters reduce the reliability of the transmission. Protection against lightning strikes is built into the electrical systems of all wind energy projects. A Licensed Microwave Search and Worst Case Fresnel Zone (WCFZ) Analysis can be carried out to identify microwave paths within a project...

Collisions

Until 2003, the bat fatalities recorded at wind energy projects during post-construction monitoring were relatively low in number (0 to 6 bats per MW per year) and dominated by a few species (migratory, solitary tree bats such as the hoary, silver-haired, and red bat). The fatalities appeared to occur mostly during the fall migration season (NWCC 2004). The discovery of 458 bat carcasses at a 44- turbine wind project on a forested ridge in West Virginia was unanticipated (NWCC 2004). As a...

Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species

The Endangered Species Act ESA 16 USC 1531 - 1544 establishes measures to prevent extinction of fish, wildlife, and plant species. The purpose of the ESA is to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved and to provide a program for the conservation of such species. ESA 2 b . Section 3 of the ESA defines terminology. Section 7 mandates interagency consultation for activities that may affect protected species. Section 9...

Planning Public Outreach

Planning public outreach is a crucial aspect of the siting process and should be commenced in the initial planning stages. To the extent members of the public After identifying the considerations most relevant to a particular community, the developer may prepare an outreach plan to address community concerns and build project support. Sheep grazing near the Shiloh Wind Project in Solano County, California. Photo courtesy of PPM Energy. Sheep grazing near the Shiloh Wind Project in Solano...

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection

Bald Eagle Protection Act

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Eagle Protection Act was passed in 1940 to prevent the extinction of the bald eagle and was amended in 1962 to include protection of the golden eagles 16 USC 668-668d . The Eagle Protection Act makes it unlawful to take, possess, sell, purchase, barter transport, export or import any bald eagle or golden eagle, their parts, nests, or eggs 16 USC 668 a . Take means to shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb, the eagles 16...

National Environmental Policy

Environmental Scoping Process

Signed into law on January 1, 1970, the National Environmental Policy Act NEPA 42 USC 4321 was the first major environmental law in the United States. This important statute established a national environmental policy and required federal agencies to undertake an assessment of the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. Regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality CEQ 40 CFR Parts 1500 - 1508 implement the procedural provisions of NEPA, and...