A primary energy source estimate is simply a starting point for the identification of potential sites for projects (wind or solar plant). The process of site selection involves other important aspects that RE-POWER Project will properly investigate at the beginning of project developing.

These key topics that need to be clearly inspected are:



The terrain features that influence the wind flow close to the ground are represented by the geometry of the terrain surface (elevation, slope, etc.), the surface characteristics of the terrain (roughness length) and the presence of nearby obstacles (buildings, forest, etc.).

Protected areas

Designated and protected areas such as National Parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, conservation areas, World Heritage Sites, registered historic sites, archaeological sites etc. are unsuitable for any project developments. This is not an absolute rule, but these landscapes often have a greater sensitivity to change, and therefore it will be more difficult to get planning permission for renewable energy in such locations.

Residential areas

There is no definitive minimum distance that wind turbines should be placed from residential property in order to limit noise exposure, as wind turbines of different sizes and designs will have different noise outputs and background noise levels will differ from location to location. Ultimately detailed noise surveys and noise modelling will be needed to confirm that no unacceptable noise impacts will arise from the proposed development.

Local infrastructure

Sometimes for safety reasons, project (especially wind turbines) needs to be located a safe distance back from roads, railways, power lines, pipelines, water channels and public rights of way. Ultimately it will also be necessary to map and avoid or re-route fixed radio telecommunications signals which require a line of sight and can be blocked by wind turbines. This is a lengthy process and can be carried out by the developer prior to submitting their application.

Aviation and exclusion areas

There are some areas such as civilian airports, aerodromes, military bases, explosive safeguarded areas where is not possible to develop any project. This is a very complex issue and ultimately, consultations will be needed to confirm that project, for example wind turbines, will not cause an obstruction to low flying aircraft or disrupt navigation systems such as radio beacons and radar.

Land rights

The landowners of the sites you’ve identified as being suitable have to be supportive of developing project on their land. This is critical, and if only a community owned scheme would be supported, the developer should secure an exclusivity agreement with the landowner at an early stage.

Connection access to electrical grid

The analysis of grid assessment conditions for a selected project site is fundamental for ensuring the technical and commercial viability. The grid connection location should not impose severe technical, economic, or practical problems due to the distance to the project, the connection voltage level and the proposed routing of the cables.

Ease of construction and infrastructure

During the screening process of potential sites for wind farms, a decision maker should not underestimate the importance of the construction infrastructure of the preselected site. This assessment should be extended also to the road infrastructure of the site and the adjacent areas. Indeed, the development of a wind farm requires the use of bulky vehicles and components, which may be difficult to transport and move on-site. Therefore, the site should be also evaluated for its specific construction suitability.

Once when we take into account all of the constraints, it is possible to define majority of the area suitable for project development.

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