To gain an accurate indication of the generating capacity of turbines installed on a particular site it is necessary to monitor the wind resource. As wind speed increases, and becomes less turbulent with height the monitoring mast needs to be a similar height to the proposed turbines. The more data that can be collected the better the dataset so a period of 6 months to 1 year is usually recommended as a minimum. The data set can be extended by correlation with 20 year data from a nearby mast operated by the meteorological office.
Data is collected at more than one height above the ground to allow assessment of wind shear and turbulence, and duplicate instruments are often used to guard against failure.
Whilst monitoring is obviously desirable it is often not done due to the following factors:
1. Confidence that there is adequate wind resource
2. Time delay, possibly reducing chance of success in the planning system
3. Cost of installing a mast, and subsequent data collection
Notwithstanding the above a full wind resource report will allow the developer, and the source of finance, the ability to better assess the risk of investment in turbines at a specific location.
Feasibility studies are recommended for all developments. They give the first indication of whether development is worthwhile pursuing on a particular site. Whilst this type of study can provide useful information it should be seen as a stepping stone to more detailed study. The main objective with a feasibility study is to try to find major obstacles to the project, and to give a rough indication of the viability of different sizes of turbines.
Scoping studies consider a project in more detail than a feasibility study. The report describes the proposed development, covers the main areas of likely concern and provides a better indication of the project’s chance of success. The work done on these is useful for the planning application
The required contents of a planning application vary across the country but are usually substantial documents. They describe in detail what is planned and assess the environmental impact that could be caused. The amount of detail required depends largely on the size of the development and whether it is covered by the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.
People living near a proposed development may be concerned that the turbines will cause them a disturbance. To guard against this the predicted noise output of the turbines has to
be fully assessed. This is reviewed by the local authority’s Environmental Health Department who are consulted as part of the planning process.
Following installation the developer may have to conduct compliance testing to show that the turbines are working within guideline levels.
For further information please visit our Noise Consulting Page.
To find out more please click the Landscape Assessment Link.
Call: 01467 643113