How likely is it that an industrial wind turbine will be planted in a field next to you? One of our readers inquired recently about what the pre-requisites are for going forward with a wind project. The AWEA key points are listed below and the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Ohio in-state mandate serves as a barrier to obtaining a long term power purchase agreement and/or financing. Six key elements described by AWEA as necessary are:
To successfully site wind projects, a developer must consider:
Adequate wind: Turbines usually need wind that blows at least 11 miles per hour on average. Small changes in wind speed can make a dramatic difference in the output of a wind farm.
Land rights: Developers need to secure adequate land rights from private owners or public agencies, so lease agreements come into play.
Permits: Developers must secure proper permits from all levels of government.
Transmission: Access to adequate and available transmission capacity is essential, and proximity to existing lines keeps costs down.
A buyer for the wind power: Developers must secure a utility or other entity to purchase the power generated from the wind project.
Financing: In order to build and operate a wind farm, developers need an investor or investors.
Each of these six elements must be secured to move a wind project from development, through construction, and into operation. Failure to successfully navigate any one of these issues can result in a shelved project. On average, only one in ten projects originally conceived by a developer will actually get constructed and put into operation…