Permitting Support and Environmental Assessment
Obtaining permits for a wind farm requires identification of its potential impacts on nearby communities and environments. We offer services to support permitting and impact mitigation strategies, such as viewshed analysis, shadow flicker, noise analysis, and 3D simulated photos of the project from all vantage points.
GIS specialists can assess the expected noise levels across a project area and calculate decibel levels at noise-sensitive locations such as residences. This type of analysis can help to guide turbine siting or to determine the need for reduced noise mode power curves.
Shadow flicker is the flickering caused by the rotation of a turbine’s blades when the sun is shining. UL determines the expected number of hours per year that a proposed wind farm will cause shadow flicker at a nearby location.
A common concern during wind farm development is its visual impact on the surrounding area. Our GIS specialists determine the potential visual impact of a wind farm through various types of viewshed analyses. These analyses can be based on the number or percentage of turbines visible from any given location as well as the amount of a viewer’s horizontal or vertical plane of view occupied by wind turbines.
A photo simulation is another way of assessing the visual impact of a wind farm. Using photos taken at or near the project area, UL can simulate what a proposed wind farm would look like, thus allowing people to visualize how the landscape will appear after a wind farm is developed.