How can we help you in the wind development process?
Here are the services we provide during the typical five wind development/operation phases to get your project permitted and on line in the most efficient manner:
|Phase||Timing||Tasks We Perform|
|1 - Site Screening
|Early evaluation of potential wind project site||Information review of habitat, wildlife, plants, and potential cumulative impacts; review of regulatory requirements; preliminary scoping of potential issues with resource agencies and permitting authorities.|
|2 - Pre-Project Assessment (Environmental Studies)||During preparation of permit application||Identification of micrositing corridors, habitat mapping; early coordination with resource agencies regarding survey protocols; undertake raptor surveys; avian use surveys; T/E species and other wildlife surveys; assessment of project impacts; presentation of habitat mitigation proposals.|
|3 - Micrositing||Can occur prior to or after permit issuance and continues through construction.||Initial micrositing to minimize habitat and wildlife impacts. Continuation of discussions with resource agencies.|
|4 - Construction||After permit is issued, prior to and during construction.||Identification of key compliance staff; environmental training; flagging and micrositing to avoid sensitive resources; implementation of construction best management practices (BMPs).|
|5 - Operation||After construction, during operations.||Implementation of habitat mitigation prior to wind project operation start date; post construction environmental monitoring, site revegetation; operational monitoring; consultations with technical advisory committees; determine potential additional mitigation with resource agencies and permitting authority as necessary.|
Site Screening is an essential early step in the planning of most wind power projects in order to determine potential wildlife occurrence and habitat presence within and surrounding the site. This initial screening assessment helps our clients become aware of ecological resource and wildlife issues early in the development process. It also helps developers avoid sites that might involve complex resource studies, legal challenges on environmental grounds, or costly mitigation.
We will assess likelihood of species and habitat presence for birds of prey, migratory pathways for passerines and waterfowl, seabirds, shorebirds, federal and state protected species, bats, wetlands, and other unique habitats. The screening report will include initial findings and GIS maps showing locations of existing natural resources at the proposed site. The report also includes a discussion of significant concerns that are likely to be important in the process of acquiring State, Federal and local permits.
Environmental Studies (Biological Assessments): Environmental and biological studies are conducted based on those species and habitats identified as likely to occur in the project area during the site screening assessments. To determine actual presence of species, key habitats, determine likelihood of impacts by the development and potential mitigation measures, we often conduct on the ground studies such as:
- Avian point counts
- Raptor nesting surveys & migration studies
- Botanical surveys (Rare plants/noxious weeds)
- Threatened and endangered wildlife
- Wetland inventories
- Small mammal inventories
Avian Risk of Collision Model Analysis: At some sites where background information or ornithological radar studies determine the presence of protected resident or migratory birds, further analyses may be required. Our avian and bat risk of collision model is a complex mathematical model to assess the potential impact that installed wind turbines may have on bird species passing through the project area. Using site specific data collected during the environmental study phase, we can use the model to estimate potential risk of mortality to a variety of species.
Permitting and Authorizations: We work with project stakeholders to successfully identify and solve environmental issues. In cooperation with experts, we can provide the following expertise: FERC/NEPA/SEPA/CEQA documents (BA, EA, EIS, and EIR)
- Special use permits
- Mitigation planning
- Post construction monitoring plans
- Resource agency consultations
- Shoreland and coastal zone permitting
Sample of current and recently completed projects:
Use of ornithological radar to assess impacts to nocturnal migrants from a proposed wind energy project in Los Angeles County, California, Element Power and WEST, Inc.
Use of ornithological radar and risk of collision modeling to assess impacts to the Newell’s Shearwater, Hawaiian Petrel, Hawaiian Goose and Hawaiian Hoary Bat from a proposed wind energy project on Maui, Hawai'i, Sempra Generation.
Assessment of effects of a wind energy development on bat communities, wetlands, landbird communities and nesting raptors and assessment of collision risk at the proposed Paynesville wind energy project in Minnesota, Geronimo Wind Energy and HDR, Inc.
Avian point counts, acoustic bat surveys, raptor migration, raptor nest, wetland delineation, rare plant and habitat mapping studies at the proposed Lakeview Wind Energy Project, southern Oregon, GreenWing Energy and Ecology and Environment.
Use of ornithological radar to assess impacts to migrating birds and Marbled Murrelet from a proposed (Radar Ridge) wind development in Pacific County, Washington, Energy Northwest.
Endangered bird and bat surveys at nine proposed cell tower sites, Oahu, Hawaii and Kauai. Verizon Wireless.
Use of ornithological radar to assess impacts to the Newell’s Shearwater, Hawaiian Petrel, Hawaiian Goose and Hawaiian Hoary Bat at several proposed wind energy projects on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii, Shell WindEnergy.
Assessment of impacts to the Newell’s Shearwater, Hawaiian Petrel, Hawaiian Goose and Hawaiian Hoary Bat from a proposed meteorological tower, Oahu, Hawaiian Electric Company.