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Section VI Siting


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Title: Section VI Siting

Section VISiting
Wind Farm Turbine Spacing
  • As the wind passes though a turbine energy is
    extracted causing the wind speed in the wake of
    the turbine to decrease. When several turbines
    are built near one another, as in a wind farm, it
    is important to separate the turbines
    appropriately to minimize these array losses.
    Spacing turbines too tightly leads to reduced
    performance and increased maintenance due to
    higher turbulence at the downwind turbines.
  • Turbine spacing is expressed in terms of the
    rotor diameter (RD) of the turbine in
    consideration. So, for instance, if a 77 m
    diameter rotor is used, then 2 RD means 2 x 77 m
    154 m 505 ft.
  • Typically, turbines are spaced 5 to 10 RD apart
    in the prevailing downwind direction and 2 to 5
    RD apart in the crosswind direction, when there
    is a strongly prevailing direction.
  • Spacing of 2-3 RD might be used along a ridge
  • Greater spacing will minimize the losses from
    each machine, but will reduce the number of
    machines that can be built in a site.
  • The setback distance from property lines is
    determined by local building codes, and typically
    takes the height of the structure into
    consideration, e.g. 1.5 times the turbine height.
  • Additionally, state noise policy will typically
    keep wind turbines about 3 times the hub-height
    from residences.
  • Ice throw Ice is likely to accumulate on
    ridgemounted wind turbines, just as it
    accumulates on trees. The ice sloughs off as the
    blade flexes. For public safety, ridge-line
    winter trails may need to be moved away from the
    base of the tower to a distance of 2-4 times the
    blade-tip height, depending on the site.
  • EX Need 4000 acres (4000 x 43,560 ft2 6.25
    mi2) for placement of an 80 MW wind farm (about
    30-35 turbines) including a 100 x 100 area
    around each turbine.

Effect of Wake
  • Extraction of energy results in an energy and
    velocity deficit, compared to prevailing wind, in
    the wake of a wind turbine.
  • Energy loss in the wake will be replenished over
    a certain distance by exchange of kinetic energy
    with the surrounding wind field.
  • Higher turbulence in the wind field accelerates
    energy and momentum exchange between the wake
    and prevailing wind.
  • Array losses are typically lt 10 for turbines
    spaced 8-10 RD apart in prevailing downwind
    direction and 5 RD apart in cross-wind direction.

Off-shore Wind Farms
  • Smooth surface of oceans results in low surface
    roughness and thus low turbulence intensity and
    wind shear.
  • Higher low-level winds (lower hub heights
  • Lower fatigue damage and longer turbine life
  • Wind velocity measurements at hub heights are not
    generally available so good estimates must be

Siting Considerations
Wind Turbine Siting
  • Siting is at the heart of conflicts regarding
    wind turbines
  • Key issue
  • How a turbine interacts with its immediate
    natural environment, including living things
  • What influences siting of wind installations?
  • Politics
  • Local politics and ad hoc associations have the
    greatest effect on the placement of wind energy
  • Not In My BackYard (NIMBY) opposition
  • Noise and shadows created by turbines
  • Homeowner opposition
  • Often consider the operation of large turbines to
    be incompatible with a residential area
  • Level of controversy depends on context of the
  • A small wind farm in rural Nebraska
  • Little controversy by local residents because the
    installation fits into the landscape
  • A small wind farm near a federal or state park
  • Significant level of opposition by local
    residents turbines will spoil the pristine
    natural surroundings, kill birds, and discourage

Wind Turbine Siting
  • Survey of opposition to wind energy found a
    common set of global issues with minor variation
    depending on local conditions
  • Three key points to remember when considering
    siting issues
  • A limited number of sites exist that are useful
    for wind turbines, as opposed to fossil fuel and
    nuclear facilities which easily fit into
    industrial settings
  • Wind turbines need high quality wind it blows
    fast and often with minimal turbulence created by
    the surrounding landscape
  • Turbines are more effective the higher they are
    located above the ground, which further
    contributes to one of the biggest issues in
    windmill siting disruption of the viewshed
  • Disruption of the viewshed is cited the most
    often by opposition to new wind installations
  • Local residents may resist the siting anyplace
    where turbines will be visible from a distance
  • Includes offshore development, especially along
    the Northeast coast of the United States
  • Some opponents object to any visible development
    of wind energy
  • Wind power does not suffer as does nuclear
    energywhile specific installations are often
    opposed, wind energy is generally considered to
    be a boon for the environment
  • (Turbine 50m Observer 1.5m Visual distance

Onshore vs. Offshore Siting
  • Both onshore and offshore siting is highly
    criticized for its effect on the view-shed
  • Destruction of pristine natural resources,
    reduction in tourism, and reduction in real
    estate values (opinions conflict on wind
    turbines effect on real estate values)
  • Onshore concerns
  • Wind turbines are assumed to and can create
    noise, cast a significant shadow, and create a
    flicker effect when the sun shines through the
    turbine blades
  • These issues are easily avoided through careful
    planning and engineering.
  • Three dimensional modeling accurately simulates
    viewshed concerns, turbine shadow, and flicker
  • Turbine design and placement can ensure local
    residents are not disturbed by excessive noise
  • Offshore concerns
  • Commercial fishermen fear that turbine
    installation will interfere with the operation of
    commercial fishing nets and drags
  • In Danish offshore installations, drags are not
    allowed in the turbine area
  • In the proposed Cape Wind site off of Cape Cod,
    lines would be buried deep enough to allow them
  • Sport fisherman and whale watching operations
    fear the effects on marine life
  • The Danish installation (by far the most
    complete) has demonstrated
  • Fish exist as they did previous to the turbine
  • The turbine installations create reefs, which add
    to the diversity and health of ocean life (takes
  • Once installation is complete, maintenance trips
    and any noise from the turbine operations disturb
    marine life no more than already present shipping
  • Concerns over coolant oil leaks into the
    surrounding ocean have also been addressed by
    some groups who plan to use a nontoxic gaseous

Assessing a Wind Resource
  • Must have enough wind with the right
  • Identify a wind energy site (typically through
    wind resource maps)
  • Measure winds at the site for at least a year
    through all seasons (anecdotal information about
    a wind resource is insufficient) and make a
    long-term estimate
  • Shorter measurement periods may be adequate for
    site screening if sufficient data is available
    for correlation
  • For small wind must have enough open space to
    reduce wind turbulence from nearby trees and
  • For larger, multiple-turbine projects, a more
    extensive wind resource assessment using wind
    resource analysis and digital terrain models is
  • Multiple measurement locations and heights
  • Wind direction
  • Shear and terrain roughness
  • Turbulence and turbine wake
  • For example New England sites on ridgelines
    with tree cover introduce more complex terrain
    characteristics and require a wind resource

Wind Turbine Siting
  • No simple answer to the question of where wind
    turbines will be welcome
  • Whether onshore or offshore, someone or something
    that somebody cares about will be affected
  • For example opposition to drilling for oil in
    the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • Only a small impact on humans but expected to
    disrupt a pristine natural area
  • Which uncertainties and social costs will people
    be comfortable accepting?
  • Who will be willing to accept these burdens in
    place of the status quo?
  • Who will receive the benefit?

Siting Considerations
  • Choosing a proper site for a wind turbine or farm
    is critical to a successful project
  • While the most important factors may vary from
    site to site, in any given instance a single
    factor can undermine the success of an otherwise
    superlative project
  • On the other hand, a site may be weak in one area
    but so strong in another area that it is viable,
    such as a site with very strong winds that is
    farther than normal from a transmission line
  • A viable wind energy site generally includes the
    following key factors
  • Attractive wind resource
  • Landowner and community support
  • Feasible permitting
  • Compatible land use
  • Nearby access to an appropriate electrical
    interconnect point
  • Appropriate site conditions for access during
    construction and operations
  • Aviation compatibility
  • Favorable electricity market

Landowner and Community Support
  • Landowner support
  • After a prospective wind site is identified, the
    project developer contacts landowners to discuss
    their interest in hosting one or more wind
  • Most developers enter into a land lease
    arrangement with the landowner
  • Landowner grants the developer the right to
    access the property for studies related to
    permits, installing a meteorological tower to
    measure the winds, and ultimately to construct
    and operate a wind project in exchange for a
    payment to the landowner
  • For a multiple-turbine project where a large site
    is necessary to capture economies of scale,
    neighboring landowners are contacted to ensure
    that contiguous roads and electrical lines can be
    located between turbines
  • Community support
  • Critical to the success of a wind energy project,
    whether a large, multiple-turbine project or a
    single residential small wind turbine
  • Build support by helping the community to
    understanding and appreciate the environmental
    benefits and, for larger projects, tax revenue
    benefits and employment benefits during
  • Objections to the visibility of turbines
    represents the majority of objections from the
    local community
  • For smaller, community-scale projects advocated
    or sponsored by the community (a city or town) or
    hosted by a part of the community (a school or
    other commercial or industrial end user),
    community support may be the driving force for
    the project
  • For example, the Hull, MA, turbines and many of
    the other community-scaled wind developments
    throughout New England

Issues Affecting Public Acceptance of Wind Energy
  • Wind farm developers seek locations with the
    greatest wind resource and the smallest
  • Mitigates human interaction and impact whenever
  • Uninhabited areas are scarce, such as in the New
    England states, for example
  • Many of the windy locations (including coastal
    areas and high elevations) are prized for their
    natural beauty and/or recreational value and are
    within sight of nearby communities, making
    community acceptance and support even more
  • Local impact vs. societal benefits
  • All forms of energy impact their surroundings,
    but society demands that its need for electric
    power plants be met
  • The benefits of wind power, on a regional and
    broader scale, are widely accepted and the
    population, as a whole, supports wind power when
    compared to the alternatives
  • After weighing the local impact versus the
    societal benefits, most communities embrace wind
    power proposals

Issues Affecting Public Acceptance of Wind Energy
  • Where local concern or opposition to wind energy
    exists, several factors may be in play
  • The idea of wind power is new to the local
  • Misinformation about wind projects and their
    impact on local communities may be circulating,
    initiated by proponents and/or opponents
  • Without wind project experience, it is difficult
    for community members to know what to believe
  • As noted earlier, disruption of the viewshed is
    the complaint most often cited by local
    opposition to new wind installations
  • The American Wind Energy Association addresses
    most of these issues and others in "Wind Power
    Myths vs. Facts"

Cumulative Role of Wind Power
  • In addition to local concerns is concern over the
    broader context or cumulative role of wind power
  • If wind power currently comprises less than 1
    percent of a region's electricity supply
    portfolio, it is too small to be significant and
    the local community questions why it should host
    a facility
  • To other opponents, their concern is just the
    opposite if one wind project is permitted on
    one scenic ridgeline, will all of the region's
    ridgelines and scenic vistas be open to wind farm
  • The reality lies somewhere between these two
  • For example
  • New Englands power supply mix consists of a
    range of sources, powered by natural gas, oil,
    coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, waste-to-energy,
    and biomass sources
  • The contribution of each of these to the whole
    has, at one point in time, been negligible
  • Having only recently reached the point of
    commercial viability and reliability, wind power
    is now the nation's (and the world's)
    fastest-growing power source
  • In the near future, wind power will play an
    important role in New Englands electricity
    portfolio, perhaps similar to the 6 share now
    supplied by hydroelectricity (although it is not
    expected to contribute more than 10-15 of New
    England's portfolio)

Feasible Permitting
  • The permitting process for wind energy
    installations is unique to the permitting
    jurisdiction, the characteristics and location of
    the site, and technical details of the project
  • Studies that may be required to obtain permits
    may include, but are not limited to
  • Avian and bat interaction
  • Wildlife
  • Plants
  • Wetlands
  • Archaeological and historical review
  • Stream crossing and soil disturbance
  • Aviation interaction
  • Local zoning
  • The permitting process typically has a public
    component where local residents have the
    opportunity to learn and comment about the project

Compatible Land Use
  • A viable wind project must be compatible with the
    site, the surrounding area, humans, and wildlife
  • Nearby residential development may make it
    difficult to maintain appropriate setbacks for
    zoning, sound, and public safety during
    construction and operation
  • Property value may diminish if converting it to
    host wind turbines is not its highest value use
  • Projects at higher elevations that are prone to
    icing must consider the proximity to the public
    during winter to ensure public safety
  • Compatibility with wildlife is typically
    addressed as part of permitting
  • Developers looking at prospective sites avoid
    major bird flyways and areas with known
    sensitive, threatened, or endangered species
  • Many land uses are fully compatible with wind
  • Farmland
  • Land parcels are large and sparsely populated
  • The amount of land taken out of production for
    the footprint of the wind turbines and ancillary
    roads is small when compared to the added revenue
    the landowner receives
  • For example
  • Many of the higher elevation sites in New England
    that are ideal for wind energy projects are under
    conservation easements or are located on state or
    federally owned land not open to wind development
  • Other windy sites on mountain ridges or
    shorelines are highly valued for
    recreational/scenic purposes
  • Opportunities do exist where land use and wind
    projects can be compatible, e.g., farming, timber
    harvesting, ridgelines with little public use or
    not under conservation easements, and industrial
    or commercial properties

Proximity to a Nearby Transmission Interconnection
  • An optimal wind site may not be viable due to the
    cost and/or difficulty of interconnecting to the
    power grid
  • For small wind installations, proximity to the
    electrical interconnection point (the home or
    business electric meter) will minimize
    construction and wiring costs
  • For large projects, a nearby transmission line
    with the capacity to handle the power output of
    the wind installation is required
  • Power lines and substations can be costly and
    time consuming to permit and build
  • Costs depend on the area through which the line
    will run and the size of the line
  • The project developer will work with the local
    utility and/or the region's power pool operator
    to determine the feasibility of connecting to the
    nearest transmission line
  • The interconnection study will assess the impact
    of the wind energy generated and its electrical
    characteristics on the regional power grid
  • If modifications are necessary, the study will
    identify the technical and financial requirements
  • This rigorous and highly technical study is
    necessary to ensure continued reliability of the
    power grid as directed by the regional system
    operator (for Nebraska and the southern plains
    area this is the Southwest Power Pool, SPP)

Appropriate Site Conditionsfor Access During
Construction and Operations
  • Ridgelines are attractive sites for larger wind
    energy installations to capture the more
    attractive wind resource at higher elevations
  • Roads to these sites can be marginal or
  • Developers look for sites with existing adequate
    roads that can handle, or be modified to handle,
    the construction equipment needed to deliver the
    large turbine and tower components and the
    specialized crane to erect the turbine
  • If no roads exist, the economic impact of
    constructing a new road must be considered

Aviation Compatibility
  • Usually the highest objects in their area, wind
    turbines must be sited to avoid potential hazards
    to aviation
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has
    established regulations applicable to large
    structures such as wind towers
  • Tower heights more than 200 feet, which includes
    most utility-scale wind turbines, require Federal
    Aviation Lighting and the filing of the FAA form
    7460-1 Notice of Proposed Construction or
  • Each FAA region works with wind developers to
    design lighting requirements specific to that
    region and the site
  • The FAA is currently working to create a national
    standard for wind turbine lighting
  • Each FAA region would have the option to adopt
    these recommendations

Favorable Electricity Market
  • The economics of small wind projects, under a net
    metering configuration, are primarily based on
    the retail electricity rate that the wind energy
  • In areas with high retail rates, the appropriate
    net metering legislation in place, and the right
    site, small wind can be a cost-effective
    supplement to a home or business's electricity
  • A large wind project's revenue (and, hence, its
    economic viability) depends on the region's
    wholesale electricity market
  • Attractive market prices and the ability to
    secure power purchase contracts for the energy
    from the wind project largely depend on the costs
    of the existing mix of electric supply sources in
    the market and the ability of this supply mix to
    meet the demand
  • For example, in New England, the supply mix is
    predominantly natural gas and nuclear, with
    lesser amounts of coal, oil, and hydroelectric
  • Wind will typically compete with supply sources
    that are more expensive and are used more
    immediately to meet the hourly fluctuations in
    demand currently this tends to be natural gas
  • As natural gas prices continue to climb, the
    energy from wind will become more attractive from
    a cost perspective

Favorable Electricity Market
  • Different locations within the region's power
    pool command different wholesale prices for
    electrical energy
  • Due to certain locations' higher demand, a lack
    of sufficient generation capacity in that
    location, and constraints in the transmission
    system that limit the import of less expensive
    power from outside that location
  • For example, within the New England Power Pool,
    energy is most valuable in southwest Connecticut
    (not a good location for wind) and the greater
    Boston area (where small wind projects along the
    coast may be viable) and less valuable in
    locations such as Maine (which has ample wind
    energy potential)
  • Favorable wholesale market rules are critically
    important to the viability of a wind project
  • Rules for physical interconnection to the power
    grid and how the wind project works in concert
    with the power requirements of the grid (i.e.,
    integration, balancing and scheduling, etc.)
    influence the value of the wind energy directly,
    and in some cases the cost or financial risk
    associated with operating the plant
  • The specific electric characteristics of a wind
    project and its ability to satisfy the local
    regions' power quality requirements (such as
    through voltage support and other ancillary
    services) are also important

Exercise 11
  • 1). Typically, turbines are spaced how far apart
    in the prevailing wind direction?
  • 2 to 5 rotor diameters
  • 100 feet
  • 50 rotor diameters
  • 5 to 10 rotor diameters

Exercise 11
  • 2). Typically, turbines are spaced how far apart
    in the cross-wind direction.
  • 2 to 5 rotor diameters
  • 100 feet
  • 50 rotor diameters
  • 5 to 10 rotor diameters

Exercise 11
  • 3). A typical setback distance of a turbine from
    property lines or other structures is
  • half the turbine height.
  • 1.5 times the turbine hub height.
  • 5 to 10 times the turbine hub height.
  • not needed.

Exercise 11
  • 4). The top reason that wind turbine
    installations are opposed is generally in regard
  • noise produced.
  • disruption of the viewshed.
  • micro-weather concerns.
  • cost of operation.

Exercise 11
  • 5). A viable wind energy site generally includes
    the following key factors (list all that may
  • Access to an electrical interconnect point
  • Landowner and community support
  • Attractive wind resource
  • Feasible permitting
  • Site access during construction and operations

Exercise 11
  • 6). Permitting for an installation may involve
    environmental or ecological impact estimates on
  • Wetlands
  • Birds
  • Plants
  • Bats
  • B. and D.
  • All the above

Exercise 11
  • 7). Federal Aviation Lighting and the filing of
    the FAA form 7460-1 Notice of Proposed
    Construction or Alteration are necessary for
    turbines extending to or above
  • 200 m
  • an elevation of 1,500 feet above sea level
  • 200 ft.
  • only near airports

Exercise 11
  • 8). The study done to determine the feasibility
    of connecting to the nearest transmission line,
    and assess the impact of the wind energy
    generated and its electrical characteristics on
    the regional power grid is called
  • an interconnection study
  • a power transfer study
  • a funding study
  • a line routing study

Exercise 11
  • 9). The regional transmission authority that all
    Nebraska utilities are part of is
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL
  • Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator,
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC
  • Southwest Power Pool, SPP

Exercise 11
  • 10). A large wind project's revenue, and hence
    its economic viability, depends on the region's
    wholesale electricity market.
  • True
  • False

Impacts on the Human Environment
  • Visual
  • The primary impact of wind power is visual as
    wind turbines must be exposed to the wind in
    prominent locations
  • It is impossible to quantify esthetic
  • Public policy and planning governs whether a
    community is willing to accept a visual impact in
    return for clean power
  • FAA lighting
  • The FAA requires objects over 200 feet tall
    i.e., all commercialscale wind turbines to be
  • Specific lighting requirements vary from site to
    site lights may be red or white, constant or
  • Property values and tourism
  • The Renewable Energy Policy project studied
    25,000 property transactions in the viewshed of
    wind projects, compared them to similar sites and
    found no evidence of reduced property values
  • Noise
  • Wind turbines are relatively quiet however, how
    sound carries depends on terrain and wind
  • Wind turbines should be about three times the hub
    height or more from residences
  • The sound generated from wind turbines can be
    compared to the sound level of a refrigerator
    from about 300 ft
  • TV interference
  • Todays fiberglass composite wind turbine blades
    are unlikely to cause any interference with
    broadcast signals unlike the former metal blades
    which caused ghosting
  • Compatibility with other human land uses
  • Wind turbines can be found around the world
    safely coexisting with many land uses, including
    schools, highways, hiking trails, and farms

  • The majority of wind installations are in quiet
    rural areas
  • Receptors may be sheltered from the wind
  • Topography may amplify sound
  • Sound perception is highly subjective
  • An acoustical consultant may be helpful

Comparative Noise Level
Equipment Noise Level in deciBels (dB)
Jet Airplane 140-150
Pneumatic Drill 120
Industrial Noise 100
Stereo Music 90
Inside Car 80
Office Noise 60
Home 50
Wind Turbine 45
Bedroom 30
Whispering 20
Falling Leaves 10
  • Rotor three-bladed
  • Smoother flow
  • Configuration upwind
  • Tower shadowing reduced
  • Blades redesigned
  • Less vibration
  • Gearbox nacelle soundproofing

How loud is the sound from a utility-scale
turbine? 45 decibels at 350 meters
  • Wind turbine noise (at 200 m) is as loud as your
    refrigerator heard from the living room

Shadow Flicker (Visual Pollution)
  • Occurs when the sun is low in the sky and the
    sunlight is interrupted by a rotating turbine
  • Flicker is a function of season, latitude, and
    time of day
  • It is a temporary phenomenon as the sun moves
    across sky
  • Flicker can be minimized by proper setbacks
  • The developer may negotiate a sight easement

Ice Shedding
  • Small pieces of ice may be thrown
  • Larger pieces of ice usually drop within a
    blades length from the towerthey are not thrown
  • Recommended setback is 1.5 x total height
  • Tens of thousands of turbines are installed
    worldwide, and there has been no reported case of

  • Turbines have tubular towers with locked doors
    the exterior cannot be climbed
  • Blade throw is extremely rare today, even in a
    catastrophic failure
  • Setbacks of 3-5 rotor diameters are common
  • A turbine failed at Weatherford, OK, May 7, 2005
  • Winds were light at the time
  • The tower snapped
  • No injuries occurred
  • The cause is under investigation
  • The turbine was engineered to international
    safety standards (Germanischer Lloyd, Det Norske
  • This was an isolated incident

Property Values
  • Phoenix Economic Development Group study, October
  • Views of wind turbines will not negatively
    impact property values. Based on a nation-wide
    survey conducted of tax assessors in areas with
    wind power projects, we found no evidence
    supporting the claim that views of wind farms
    decrease property values.
  • Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) study, May
  • The statistical analysis of all property sales
    in the view shed and the comparable community
    provides no evidence that wind development has
    harmed property values within the view shed.
    There is no valid empirical support for claims
    that wind development will harm property values.

Wildlife Impacts
What Kills Birds? Human Causes
  • Glass Windows Bird Deaths a year more than 100
  • Dr. Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College, studied
    bird collisions with windows over 20 yr., His
    conclusion glass kills more birds than any other
    human-related factor
  • House Cats Bird Deaths a year 100 Million
  • The National Audubon Society says 100 million
    birds a year fall prey to cats. Dr. Stan Temple
    of the University of Wisconsin estimates that in
    Wisconsin alone, about 7 million birds a year are
    killed by cats
  • Automobiles/Trucks Bird Deaths a year 50 to 100
  • Birds killed by cars and trucks on the nation's
    highways is 50-100 million a yr., National
    Institute for Urban Wildlife and U.S. Fish and
    Wildlife Service
  • Electric Transmission Line Collisions Bird Deaths
    a year up to 174 million
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates millions
    of birds die each year as a result of colliding
    with transmission lines
  • Agriculture Bird Deaths a year 67 million
  • Pesticides likely poison an estimated 67 million
    birds per yr., Smithsonian Institution. Cutting
    hay may kill up to a million more birds a year.
  • Land Development Bird Deaths a year unknown
  • Suburban sprawl is a silent but deadly killer.
    The National Audubon Society says loss of bird
    habitat is the greatest threat to bird
  • Communication Towers Bird Deaths a year 4 to 10
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that
    bird collisions with tall, lighted communications
    towers and their guy wires results in 4-10
    million bird deaths a yr.
  • Stock Tank Drowning Bird Deaths a year unknown
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists and
    other conservationists believe that large numbers
    of birds inadvertently drown in livestock water
  • Oil and Gas Extraction Bird Deaths a year 1 to 2
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that
    up to 2 million birds died landing in oil pits to
    bathe and drink in 1997. Netting has improved
    that situation somewhat. There are no overall
    estimates for the number of birds affected by oil
    and gas spills and oil and gas extractions (and
  • Logging and Strip Mining Bird Deaths a year

Curry Kerlinger, LLC has compiled the following
information from environmental organizations and
government agencies.
Dick Curry, 1734 Susquehannock Drive, Mc Lean,
VA 22101, (703) 821-1404, Paul
Kerlinger, P.O. Box 453, Cape May Point, New
Jersey 08212, (609) 884-2842
Wind Turbine Effect on WildlifeFluffy is
  • Bird mortality due to wind turbines became an
    environmental concern with an abnormally high
    number of bird fatalities at the Altamont Pass
    Wind Resource Area (ARWRA) in Northern California
  • The 5,400-turbine project in Altamont killed at
    estimated 800 to 1,300 birds a year
  • Prompted many studies on avian mortality due to
    wind turbines
  • Studies have since revealed that the bird
    mortality rate seen at Altamont is unusual and
    can be attributed to technology used during
    construction and poor site selection
  • It lies along the path of a major migration route
    where many raptors nest and hunt
  • For all combined species, data collected in the
    U.S. outside of California revealed an average
    1.83 avian fatalities and 0.006 raptor fatalities
    per year
  • This compares favorably with mortality rates
    caused by window strikes and domesticated cats
  • A less understood phenomenon is bat fatalities
    due to tower and turbine blade strikes
  • In 2003, more than 2,000 bats were killed at a
    44-turbine project in Thomas, West Virginia
  • Biologists have theories but no consensus on what
    causes bats to fly into towers and turbine blades
  • While wildlife interacting with wind turbines is
    an important issue, it is manageable through
    siting and technologythe key is to make sure it
    is managed
  • The argument against wind energy due to avian
    mortality is put into context by the Audubon
    Society, which states that global warming and its
    concurrent loss of habitat is the greatest threat
    to wildlife today
  • Wind energy generations potential in displacing
    greenhouse gas emissions makes it acceptable in
    this context

Avian Impact (no pun intended)
No. Known or Suspected Risk Factors for Avian Collision Altamont Pass, CA Typical Modern Wind Installation in New England
1 Large concentrations of turbines 5,400 (in 2001) 1-40
2 Lattice towers allow raptors to perch Lattice Tubular towers do not attract perching
3 Fast rotating turbine blades 50-72 rpm Slow rotating blades 12-18 rpm
4 Closely spaced turbines 80-100 ft. (lt30M) Widely spaced turbines gt650 ft. (gt200M)
5 Turbines in steep valleys or canyons Steep valleys and canyons Turbines on flat terrain, rolling hills, or ridge tops (no steep hills except sides of ridges)
6 Prey base to attract raptors Large
7 Raptor and susceptible species Present
8 FAA lighting attracting night-migrating birds Often unlit Risk is present and may account for the majority of night-time avian collisions with modern turbines
The magnitude of these risks at a particular
site would be addressed in a Phase 1 Avian Risk
Modern wind turbines kill on average one to two
birds per turbine, per year.
Bats and Wind Power
  • Bat fatalities have recently become an issue in
    the wind power industry because fatalities have
    been documented at wind power sites where
    post-construction bird studies have been
  • Because of these fatalities, various wildlife
    agencies and environmental organizations have
    become interested in determining whether a
    problem exists
  • Bat fatalities have been studied at nearly the
    same number of wind power facilities as have bird
  • Data are now available from more than a dozen
    wind plants across the U.S.
  • Here's what we know about this issue
  • The numbers of bats involved are small at most
    wind plants, although in Minnesota and Wyoming
    moderate numbers have been found
  • Many of the bats involved in collisions with wind
    turbines were apparently migrating
  • About seven species of bats have been documented
    to collide with wind turbines
  • Bats involved are primarily common, tree-dwelling
    bats with widespread geographic distributions
  • Endangered or threatened species have not been
  • Population impacts seem unlikely
  • Bat fatalities have not emerged as a significant
    issue at wind plants in Europe
  • Migrating bats may turn off their sonar causing
    them to fly into towers
  • Small numbers of bats also collide with
    communication towers

Project Overview
Finding Suitable Sites
  • 3. Sufficient Landowner Interest
  • Meet with landowners to gauge interest
  • Will the project be supported by the community?
  • Enough land to develop a project (approx 4000
    acres for an 80 MW project)
  • Approx. 100 acres per turbine (1 acre 43,560
    ft.2 4,047 m2)

Photo Credit Alice Buschkamp
Moving Forward
  • Sites that meet the previous criteria now need
  • A project company and funding
  • Cooperation Agreements with Landowners (initial
    land rights)
  • On-site wind data
  • Initiate fatal flaw review
  • Begin transition from prospecting into

Photo Credit Alice Buschkamp
Turbine Layout Plan
  • What factors into a Turbine Layout Plan?
  • Setbacks applied to project acreage to obtain
    buildable area.
  • Within buildable area, wind resource and
    constructability used to determine turbine sites.
  • Landowners approve locations of turbines and
    access roads.
  • Other factors include microwave beam paths,
    environmental issues, pipelines, etc.
  • Final plan used to submit for permits.

Center Pivot Irrigators
  • You Cant Always Avoid Center Pivots
  • Nebraska has more sprinkler irrigated land than
    any other state 72
  • Look to avoid pivots where economically feasible.
  • Laredo Ridge had a handful of parcels where
    turbines ended up inside pivot.
  • Source http//

Photo Credit Mark Grundmayer
Energy Production Estimate
  • Used to determine how much power a given wind
    turbine or farm will produce in a year
  • Most important value is the Net Capacity Factor
    or the of power produced versus maximum rating
  • Individual turbine NCF and rankings used to make
    adjustments to increase production
  • Also estimate losses due to wake effect and line

Wind Turbine Lease
  • 20-25 year land lease for each turbine site and
    associated access roads and underground cables
  • 100 x 100 square centered on turbine base plus
    16 gravel access road is the only ground taken
    out of production
  • Rent paid annually per turbine either by MW or
    of revenue of entire farm
  • All commercial terms mirror any power purchase
    agreement that is obtained
  • Contains provisions for crop damages,
    decommissioning, repowering, etc

Photo Credit Alice Buschkamp
Obtaining Permits
  • Obtaining all permits is the critical path for
    a project and can take two years or longer
  • Begin interaction with Federal and State agencies
    as soon as possible
  • Environmental protection is an important focus
    (Army Corps, USFWS, NGPC)
  • Local zoning process is the main forum for
    communities to discuss wind development
  • Also need approvals from the FAA, FCC and other

Photo Credit Mark Grundmayer
Interconnection and PPAs
  • Interconnection process is another critical path
    issue taking at least a year
  • Involves working with transmission owner (NPPD),
    regional transmission operator (SPP) and power
    purchaser through complicated regulatory process
  • Available capacity dictates project size
  • Could add to the project depending on
    upgrades needed to the system

Finishing Up
  • Finalize turbine layout plan
  • Obtain final FAA approvals
  • Finish entitlements (leases, easements, local
    permits, etc)
  • Finalize energy production estimate
  • Execute Power Purchase Agreement
  • Execute Interconnection Agreement
  • Commence construction

Photo Credit Alice Buschkamp
  • Construction takes about a year
  • It takes 2500 person-hours to construct each
    turbine or approx 1.25 full-time jobs for one
  • The crawler crane takes 18 semi-truckloads to
    deliver to the site
  • Each foundation is a continuous pour needing
    60-80 cement truck loads
  • One full-time job created for every 10 MWs
  • A typical 80 MW windfarm generates enough power
    for 24,000 houses

Photo Credit Mark Grundmayer
Exercise 12
  • 1). Some impacts that wind turbines have on
    humans are
  • Noise and the viewshed.
  • Possible electromagnetic interference with radios
    and television.
  • Interference with other land uses.
  • A. and C.
  • All the above

Exercise 12
  • 2). Compared to sitting inside a moving car,
    large wind turbines are
  • much louder
  • louder
  • quieter
  • about the same loudness

Exercise 12
  • 3). Based on studies done in 2002 and 2003, wind
    turbines within sight of residential areas caused
    property values to
  • increase considerably
  • decrease
  • slightly increase
  • be unaffected

Exercise 12
  • 4). Glass windows in buildings and predators,
    such as domestic cats, kill many more birds each
    year than wind turbines.
  • true
  • Not clear from the statistics
  • false

Exercise 12
  • 5). For initial project planning, how much land
    should be allowed for proper spacing of large
    turbines (1 to 2 MW each) in a wind farm?
  • 100 acres per turbine
  • 100 sq. ft. per turbine
  • ¼ section per turbine
  • Determined by local zoning restrictions

Exercise 12
  • 6). Land leases are typically contracted for
  • 1 year at a time
  • rolling 50 year window
  • 20-25 years
  • 10 years

Exercise 12
  • 7). The Capacity Factor (sometimes called Net
    Capacity Factor) refers to the
  • ratio of the footprint of a wind farm compared to
    the total land leased.
  • ratio of the average power produced over a year
    compared to the nameplate (maximum) power rating
  • ratio of hours each turbine is in operation
    compared to hours under maintenance
  • number of hours each month that a turbine
    produces its nameplate power.

Exercise 12
  • 8). The footprint of a large turbine occupies
  • all the land except as used by a pivot irrigation
  • 100 ft. x 100 ft. plus the access road to it
  • 10 ft. x 10 ft. plus the access road to it
  • 10 acres

Exercise 12
  • 9). There are at least two contracts that must be
    negotiated between a developer and the local
    utility. One is to be able to connect the wind
    farm to the local transmission system and the
    other is to determine the price of kWh sold to
    the utility. These are typically called
  • CBED agreement and green tag purchase contract.
  • A net metering agreement and a regional
    transmission study
  • investment tax credit application and avoided
    cost contract.
  • An interconnection agreement and a power purchase

Exercise 12
  • 10). During construction of a large wind farm, a
    turbines concrete foundation is poured
  • Using 60 to 80 truck-loads of concrete
  • continuously
  • In 2 ft. layers and allowed to dry between the
    pouring of each layer
  • A. and C.
  • A. and B.
  • B. and C.
  • All the above
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