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Question: How will the project affect
the existing land use?



Project development normally takes at least 3 years. The majority of development work is desk based and does not affect the site. During the development phase access to the site is normally required for various surveys: ecological; noise monitoring; engineering; etc. These visits should not impact existing activities in any significant manner. Wind measurement equipment may need to be erected on the site. This is normally a guyed anemometer mast of between 10m and 70m height.

The on-site construction period for a small development of between one and three turbines is approximately three months. Larger projects typically take six months to construct. This period involves the most disturbance as there will be deliveries of materials, and men and equipment on site.

After construction wind turbines have a minimal impact on most existing landuses. In an agricultural context livestock can graze and cops can be grown right up to the tower base of the wind turbine. All foundations are buried so the footprint of the tower on the ground is small; approximately the size of a car. Cabling on site is buried at a depth to avoid all cultivation works. Access tracks are planned around the existing landuse. Control buildings are situated appropriately and can have a dual use for the landowner also.

During operation the wind turbines are monitored remotely by telecommunications equipment. The turbines require minimal on-site maintenance with visits every few weeks. All major components are designed for 20 years and so there should not be the need to return with heavy crane equipment under normal circumstances until the wind turbines are removed at the end of their life.

The strength of wind and hence the energy captured by wind turbines are affected by surrounding trees and buildings. Landowners may be required as part of the lease not to construct certain structures or let trees grow beyond certain heights.

The project design and the construction plan are developed closely with the landowner to ensure that any impact of the project is fully considered and minimised.