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Exciting progress for onshore wind developments

Developers of wind energy projects must always take into consideration the proximity, height and total number of existing turbines when designing a proposal. Information which details proposed, consented and constructed wind turbines is made available through public records- however this does mean trawling through local council websites which can take weeks and even months!

Luckily, Linknode has developed an online system for searching and reporting on the cumulative visual impact of onshore wind turbines. This could reduce the assessment time from weeks to minutes.

The system, which draws on a database of 27,000 turbine locations across the UK, was launched at the RenewableUK 2014 conference in Manchester last week.

The system is integrated into the company’s mobile app VentusAR, which features a portable wind farm visualisation solution. Project Managers can take an iPad or tablet with them on site visits and use the mobile app to detect other turbines in the local area.

Fine Energy is very excited to see how this idea progresses. Clever Linknode.

Site success

As a developer of sites for wind energy projects, it is hugely rewarding when a wind turbine gets constructed. We are happy to report that an Endurance E3120 has been installed at a site in Devon where it is now generating renewable energy.

During the planning process we develop a strong relationship with the landowner and it is both a relief and a privilege when we can tell them planning permission has been granted.

Thank you to everybody involved for all your hard work!

 

Meet Fine Energy in Manchester

Managing Director of Fine Energy, Graham Hygate, is a guest speaker at this year’s RenewableUK Annual Conference and Exhibition. The session is entitled ‘Small and Medium Wind’ and is on day two, Wednesday 12 November.

Graham will be discussing new areas of focus in the UK’s small and medium wind market. As the UK wind energy market matures, attention is turning to sites with marginal wind resource and our manufacturers are responding by developing turbines capable of extracting energy at lower wind speeds. This brings a sharper focus on wind resource estimation and creates demand for the capability to predict and meter onsite energy usage reliably.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow- in Manchester!

Doing us proud

We are big fans of wind energy and we are pleased to hear that the new peak ‘half-hour’ record for wind turbines in the UK has been broken! At the start of October the record high was 7,920 megawatts (MW) and it now stands at an astonishingly high 8,100MW.

In addition, we know that earlier this year, wind energy provided 24 per cent of the UK’s electricity supply for the entire day, but even more impressive, official statistics show that wind power generated more energy than nuclear power for 11 full days over October, with the longest period being between the 17th – 24th.

It’s only going to get windier so hold on to your hats!

Scottish Government: Good practice guidance for community consultations

An amendment was made to the Town and Country Planning Order 2013, which came into force 17th December 2013. This makes pre-application consultation with the local community a legal requirement for planning applications regarding wind turbine developments, in England. Fine Energy accepted this new procedure with great gusto and we have been consulting with local communities for the past ten months. We did not limit consultation to England, choosing to engage with Welsh communities and, more recently, Scottish communities.

Not a moment too soon it seems. In response to a public petition, the Scottish Government has agreed to prepare guidance on good practice community engagement methods for wind energy development proposals. The current publicity requirements for raising awareness of planning applications is deemed to be insufficient and the Scottish Government acknowledged that it would be helpful to issue guidance. The focus of the petition was on single structures, or a small number of turbines, which are situated onshore in rural areas, as opposed to larger offshore wind farms.

The government is asking stakeholders to comment on the content of the guidance before it is finalised in Spring 2015. The guidance aims to advise local planning authorities, developers and members of the public.

We have had a tremendous response to our consultations and it has given us an opportunity to answer questions, dispel rumours and genuinely engage with local residents. We look forward to reviewing the Scottish guidance in 2015.