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 proposed project site. This information is generally ascertained through meteorological towers installed within or close to the project site. When existing site data is not available, this process typically takes one to three years.

Conduct an initial site visit - The developer will conduct an initial site visit to determine any obvious constructability and/or environmental constraints. Depending upon available land access, this step may be conducted by an engineer and/or biologist.

Establish the economics of the project - The developer will identify the criteria for economic success and how this might be achieved for the project. This step is highly dependent upon the developer and/or the business model used to develop the wind project. As such, this handbook does not discuss this component of the development process.

Conduct critical environmental issues analysis and identify regulatory framework - Once the developer has determined the general project area to be investigated, a critical environmental issues analysis is often conducted to better understand the possible environmental and land use constraints in the area. This step is discussed in further detail in Chapter 3.

Regulatory drivers may vary from project to project depending on the location and the size of the project. The developer must identify early in the development process the federal, state, and local regulatory issues that will influence the project. This step is often conducted in conjunction with the critical environmental issues analysis described in Chapter3. Regulatory framework is also discussed in greater detail in Chapter 4.

Conduct transmission capacity analysis - To determine if the existing transmission system will be able to support the proposed project, the developer will work with the local independent system operator (ISO), regional transmission operator (RTO), or utility to conduct a transmission capacity analysis. This handbook does not address this type of analysis. However, for reference we have listed ISOs and RTOs in North America in the Resources section of the handbook.

Conduct ASTM Environmental Site Assessment - During the early stages, developers typically perform a screening-level assessment of the potential for environmental contamination to impact the property. As the project becomes better defined and/or the developer nears acquisition of the property, a more

The legal process of acquiring land rights may vary from state to state. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has published guidance for establishing lease agreements under the Land Acquisition section of its Wind Energy Toolkit.

Example detailed site assessment in compliance with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards should be considered to minimize liability for pre-existing contamination. An ASTM environmental site assessment is often required for financing. This process is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 6.

• Assess public acceptability - Reaching out to the community and understanding the level of public acceptability within the project area is a critical component of successfully developing a wind project. The public outreach process is best initiated in the early stages of development and maintained throughout the entire development process and operations. Chapter 7 provides more information regarding the public outreach process.

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable Energy Eco Friendly

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable.

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