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Community Windpower Developing Windfarms

Once we have identified a suitable site to develop for a windfarm, we design the windfarm layout and liaise with the local community in order that they can convey any design changes prior to submitting a planning application to the local planning authority.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is carried out and the findings of the assessments (e.g. ecology, landscape and visual, hydrology, archaeology) are used to produce an Environmental Statement (ES) which is required to accompany a planning application submitted to the local planning authority.

The purpose of an Environmental Statement is to record what is already present in the existing environment, assess the potential impact the windfarm may have on that environment and record what steps will be taken to minimise or mitigate that potential impact.

Planning permission can take up to 12 months to obtain. During this time period whilst the application is in planning, we remain in communication with local communities, local councilors and local schools.

Once planning is obtained, we employ local contractors to construct and lay the associated infrastructure such as access tracks, foundations, electric cables and substation building and to assemble the wind turbines with the turbine engineers.

The whole windfarm development process from initial site identification, iterative design, planning and through to the completion of construction can take up to 3 - 4 years to complete. The actual construction phase of the windfarm generally lasts for about 9 months.

The operational life of a wind turbine is 20 - 25 years. At the end of its lifetime the windfarm can be decommissioned and dismantled and the land restored or alternatively, a new windfarm can be designed to replace it known as ‘repowering’.

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