In choosing our sites and designing our projects we involve local people, commission independent experts and use in-house technical and commercial expertise to ensure our projects are sympathetically integrated into their local environment as well as being economically competitive.
Choosing appropriate sites involves the consideration of a range of issues. These include environmental and social aspects such as local planning policies, environmental designations and proximity to homes, and also technical, engineering and economic considerations such as wind speeds, land availability, grid connection and ease of access.
Our development teams identify new markets, liaise with local partners, find potential sites, negotiate land rights and power purchase agreements, consult with local communities and experts, and take projects through the consenting process, all the time working with our technical, legal and financial teams on the design, financing, permitting and environmental assessment of the projects.
Predicting the Wind
The development of wind farms that can generate electricity at the most competitive prices crucially depends on the ability to accurately predict the long term wind regime at the site and the energy production for the expected life of the wind farm. RES has developed techniques for long term wind speed & energy yield prediction and turbine layout optimisation over the last 20 years and applied these to more than 60 projects.
Long term wind climate predictions are carried out by RES by measuring wind speed and direction on site and correlating with a long term record of wind speeds. The energy yield prediction takes into account the site climatic conditions, local terrain and roughness changes, in order to calculate wind speed-up effects, obstacle effects such as due to forestry, wake effects due to interaction between turbines, and the power curves of the turbines considered. Any additional losses and the uncertainty of the energy yield prediction are estimated.
The turbine layout is then optimised for energy yield, using software developed in house, taking into account all environmental constraints and considering any constructional limitations. During the layout design process RES makes use of its expert knowledge in the assessment of acoustic immission levels and possible television interference at nearby habitations and of the visual impact locally, to protect the quality of the local environment.
Environmental Impact Assessment
The development of wind farms as a component of a sustainable energy supply strategy must go hand in hand with sensitive environmental design and planning. No energy technology is without its effect on the environment, but RES strives to develop projects that, as far as possible, have minimal impacts on local residents and the surrounding countryside, as well as the wider environment.
We choose our sites carefully to avoid potential effects on important wildlife and landscape areas and we carry out Environmental Assessments which include ecological, archaeological, hydrological and socio-economic assessments. The Environmental Statements are an integral part of the layout design process, ensuring that our awareness of the environmental issues surrounding our development shapes the form the project takes.
Our Environmental Assessments are undertaken in consultation with statutory bodies and local representatives and we undertake public consultation and exhibitions to disseminate information and to encourage a constructive dialogue.