There are a number of stages in the Development Process:
Stakeholder consultation is a very important part of the development process to ensure each project is both suitable and appropriate. We consult with all the relevant affected parties early on in this process. We commission a wide range of comprehensive studies that enable us to evaluate the potential of each site in terms of impact on ecology, landscape and visual amenity, noise, archaeology and other environmental factors.
Many people consider wind turbines to be elegant. They find the motion of the slow-turning blades to be peaceful and feel that wind turbines make a positive contribution to the landscape. However, not everyone agrees with this perspective and as such we recognise that turbines are not suitable to all geographic locations. We analyse any visual concerns that arise through close liaison with communities, landowners and local authorities.
As part of the design process Wind Prospect conducts comprehensive studies using specialist software to design an optimum site layout. Computer modeling techniques provide a realistic impression of the views that will be seen from various local vantage points. These photo montages are the most accurate representation of how the wind farm will look to the human eye. The final stage in this process is for a landscape analyst to evaluate any impact the turbines may have on the local community.
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Ecology & Wildlife
Like many developments, a wind farm has the potential to affect local ecology through either behaviour change or habitat loss. Detailed studies are undertaken to determine what flora and fauna is in the area and how this may be affected. We liaise closely with relevant State environmental regulators as well as relevant national bodies such as the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSWEPC). We only proceed with projects where we are satisfied that there will be no significant impact on the local ecology, or that any impact can be dealt with through mitigation measures such as creating extra habitat away from the wind turbines.
Archaeology & Cultural Heritage
The cultural significance of an area plays an important role in the development of our wind farm sites. We have always consulted extensively with indigenous groups around the world and will be continuing to do this in Australia. Studies are also carried out to assess the potential effects of the wind farm on archaeological values including how these can be avoided or mitigated.
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People who visit wind farms are often surprised at how quiet modern wind turbines are while in operation. Appropriate turbine model selection and a thoughtful site layout design can ensure that sound levels at residences closest to the site will be minimal. We measure the existing background noise at the nearest properties and then calculate the additional noise, if any, from the turbines. There are strict guidelines that determine acceptable levels of noise at residential properties in Australia, and we ensure the project falls within these parameters.
TV & Radio Reception
We investigate any potential interference to local television and radiocommunication services. In the unlikely event that interference does occur, there are a number of technical fix solutions that can be applied to remedy the problem.
In some cases the wind farm development will require a study based on aviation and/or tourism. eg. proximity to civil aviation flight paths and radar installations.
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