Projects & Development
FCC Environment, supported by the expertise of its parent company FCC, which operates 14 wind farms in Spain, reviewed over 100 of its sites in the UK to assess their potential for the development of wind energy.
Site selection is based on a number of factors including both environmental and social considerations with particular reference to local planning policies, distance of the site to homes and other relevant environmental issues. The assessment process also takes into account technical, engineering and economic factors and a series of studies are conducted by independent experts. These typically include a review of the accessibility of the site, its potential for connection to the grid system and of fundamental importance - the site’s available wind resource.
At FCC we have now identified a number of sites which are currently the subject of a detailed assessment process to evaluate their suitability for wind energy generation.
From a commercial viewpoint it is essential to develop wind projects that have the capability of generating electricity at competitive prices. In order to produce long term wind climate predictions we measure wind speed and direction on the site correlated with a long term record of wind speeds. The best turbine layout to deliver the optimum energy yield can then be calculated based on the outcome of the wind studies, environmental considerations and any physical construction issues related to the site.
Environmental Impact Assessment
As part of this development process, we carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in consultation with statutory bodies and local representatives. Whilst we acknowledge that any renewable energy project will have some impact on its surroundings, here at FCC we aim to minimise the effects of any of its developments on the local community and environment.
The EIA therefore examines all the potential effects during construction, operation and decommissioning of a wind energy project. Among the issues it addresses are: potential effects on local wildlife, including birds and bats and archaeological and hydrological impacts. Visual impacts, traffic and infrastructure issues and noise are also taken into consideration.
The results from the EIA are published in an Environmental Statement, which along with the submitted planning documents, will be made available for public viewing at Council offices and other locations.
At FCC we also consult with the local council as part of the planning process and the council takes into account the views of the community. It also conducts a formal consultation with organisations such as the Environment Agency and Natural England before making a final decision.
Typically, it takes around 16 weeks from the date of submission for a planning application to be determined.