Transportation Impacts Analysis

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The means for transporting the components of a wind energy project to the project site should be determined early in the development process to accurately identify risks, potential impacts, and applicable regulatory requirements. This includes identifying the origin of the components and the most efficient route to the location of the site. Knowing the origin of the components helps to identify an appropriate delivery port (if coming from an international location) as well as the nearest major artery or

Interstate highway from which to begin the analysis. The design crit for Interstate highways and ramps will likely accommodate the type oversized construction vehicles required for wind projects. With the major access point identified, the focus of the analysis can then be directed to the location of the site. A site location map is necessary to identify the primary access routes to the site, which would receive the greatest impact from construction vehicles. With this basic information, the most logical and direct route for the delivery of equipment can be identified.

A desktop assessment should then be conducted utilizing available GJS, roadway, and other information to identify the network of available state, county, and local roads. This assessment is necessary to determine, at the desktop level, where modifications to existing roadways and intersections may be required and to consider possible alternatives to the delivery route. The physical characteristic assessment should include a review of the general condition of the roadway, roadway widths, horizontal curvature, vertical curves, intersection geometry, drainage structures, height restrictions, load restrictions of existing bridges and culverts, and any locally significant features such as wetlands/waterways, roadside cemeteries, monuments, or historic markers.

After the desktop-level analysis is complete, a site visit is performed to evaluate the anticipated delivery paths during construction. The scope of the visit would include evaluating the condition of the roadway pavement, lateral clearances, vertical clearances, intersecting roadway control, speed limits, posted truck size and weight restrictions, major roadway intersection configurations, primary route selection, determination of alternate or secondary routes, and development of preliminary mitigation measures. The evaluation should include a review of available design and construction drawings for each of the structures along the route; field observations of the condition of each structure; measurement of the wall thickness, height, width, length, and soil cover depth for culverts; and comparison of the proposed loadings with the design loadings for each structure. Where drawings or previous inspection reports are not available for existing bridges, a detailed survey of the bridges should be performed to determine safe load-carrying capacity based on Load Factor Design methods.

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Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

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. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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