- How much energy will the proposed Llanbrynmair Wind Farm generate?
- How loud are the turbines and will I hear them from my house?
- From how far away could the proposed wind farm be seen?
- Would my television or mobile phone reception be affected?
- Could I be affected by shadow flicker from the turbines?
- Would public rights of way be affected?
- What impacts might there be on birds?
- What ecological surveys have been carried out?
- Would there be any impact on archaeology?
- Would there be any impact on hydrology?
According to our conservative estimates, the annual production of the proposed 30-turbine Llanbrynmair Wind Farm could be sufficient to meet the average annual electricity demand of more than 37,000 UK homes, based on predicted capacity factor of 30% and the annual average electricity consumption figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change 2013 (4128kWh).
Wind turbines are not as noisy as you might think. You can stand right underneath a modern turbine and still hold a conversation without raising your voice. We follow rigorous and independent noise standards when designing our projects and we would not locate a turbine where it could cause statutory noise nuisance to local residents.
RES will be siting all of the Llanbrynmair Wind Farm turbines a suitable distance from residential properties, in order to ensure that noise nuisance is insignificant. This aside, wind farms are subject to strict planning conditions that monitor noise levels to guarantee that they never exceed recommended levels.
The assessment of the acoustic noise impact on nearby properties will be based on the recommendations specified in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) publication "The Assessment and Rating of Noise from Wind Farms".
The DTI Guidelines recommend that the allowable wind farm noise limit should be based on the prevailing background noise level, except where the background noise level falls very low, in which case the limit should be fixed at an absolute level. A higher noise level is permissible during night-time hours than during day-time ones, as it is assumed that residents would be indoors.
The detailed noise assessment included predicted noise levels at all houses near to the site.
RES has, through careful design, ensured that the proposed wind farm will comply fully with the relevant guidance on wind farm noise. More detailed information on the noise assessments has been included in the Environmental Statement.
As part of our Landscape and Visual Assessment, our consultants have produced 'zones of visual influence' - these are colour-coded maps, which show exactly where the wind farm can be seen from, as well as any cumulative impacts from other structures in the area. These informed the design of the project and the results form one of the chapters of our comprehensive Environmental Statement.
There are a number of arguments put forward in opposition to wind farms, but RES experience is that the key underlying objection of most people is the visual impact. Some people just don't like the look of them, which none of the country's wind supporters are ever likely to change. But equally, many people feel that these structures are elegant and aesthetically pleasing and confirm a positive statement of a commitment to sustainability, while others will be indifferent to their presence.
A commonly asked question is, 'Why are wind turbines painted that shade of grey?' The answer is that this has been found to be the least intrusive colour that they could be painted - it unfortunately is as close as possible to the average shade of the Welsh sky!
As with any large structure, wind turbines can potentially interfere with communication systems that use electromagnetic waves as the transmission medium (e.g. television, radio or microwave links). Any effect depends on the turbine design and location and the fact that wind turbine rotors are not stationary.
It is possible for wind turbines to cause interference to local TV reception either by obstruction or by reflection. Viewers situated forward of the wind farm (where the aerial is pointing through the turbines) may have their signals periodically obstructed by the rotating blades causing a 'scattering' of the signal. Viewers situated to the side may experience periodic reflections from the blades, giving rise to a delayed image or 'ghost'.
RES has gained considerable experience in this area and, in practice, problems are only experienced when the receiver already has a poor signal. Generally TV interference problems are predictable and normally there is a range of solutions available.
RES has undertaken a full technical assessment of any potential local TV interference that might occur as a result of the wind farm. Any isolated cases of interference are likely to have ready solutions and could be easily rectified by RES. Full details are included in the Environmental Statement.
In certain weather conditions and with the sun in certain positions in the sky, the rotating wind turbine blades can cast a moving shadow on the surrounding countryside that can occasionally cause a flickering effect.
This can be very accurately predicted using computer modelling, as the effect is dependent on the size of the turbines, the distance from the turbines to the shadow receptors, the angle and intensity of the sun and meteorological circumstances.
RES has sited all of the Llanbrynmair Wind Farm turbines a suitable distance from residential properties, in order to minimise any occurrence of shadow flicker. The results of our site studies was used to inform the layout of the turbines to minimise any effects and the results have been included in the Environmental Statement.
RES has considered the amenity of walkers and riders from the very early stages of the site investigations. Both the positive and negative impacts of the wind farm on rights of way have been addressed in the Environmental Statement.
There has been considerable media interest in the effects of wind turbines on birds over the years, with many conflicting reports. Most negative reports have been written about a few isolated cases where wind farms have been built in close proximity to large numbers of sensitive species, particularly in Spain and US.
An independent ornithological consultant has surveyed and assessed the Llanbrynmair Wind Farm site to address potential effects on the bird population through habitat loss, disturbance and collision risk. We have used these results to help us to design the final layout of the wind farm.
RES has commissioned extensive ecological surveys to address any potential impact on protected species such as bats and badgers, water vole and other flora and fauna. These studies have been used in the design of the layout. Full details have been published in the Environmental Statement.
Extensive desk studies and field surveys have been undertaken, to establish the locations of likely archaeological features on and around the site. RES has designed the wind farm to avoid directly impacting on areas that are potential sites of archaeological interest. An independent archaeologist will be on hand to record all finds when appropriate during the construction process.
Baseline surveys have helped us to design the wind farm around the hydrological features within the site. Appropriate buffers will be placed with regard to water courses, in order to prevent any adverse impacts occurring.
We will be establishing mitigation measures to reduce any potential effects from the construction phase. These will include the use of appropriate roadside drainage and pollution prevention procedures under RES' Environmental Management System.