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  • What makes a good location for a wind farm?
    We develop wind farms where there is nearby access to the transmission system, wind that blows at the right speed for a prolonged amount of time, a large amount of land with interested owners and a community that is invested in its economic benefits.
  • Should I be concerned about shadow flicker?
    The developer reviews the land before building a wind farm to ensure proper planning and siting. Special attention is paid to shadow flicker, which generally occurs near sunrise and sunset, lasting only a few minutes. It is based on the angle of the sun in relation to the turbine and the person observing the effect. If needed, slight adjustments can be made to comply with the industry standard of no more than 30 hours per year of modeled realistic shadow flicker at a receptor.
  • Will the wind turbines produce a lot of sound?
    Wind turbines produce minimal sound that is often lost among natural background noises. Typically, two people can carry on a conversation at normal voice levels while standing directly below a turbine.
  • Does the presence of a wind farm impact property values?
    The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory recently conducted a study to determine if wind farms impacted property values in urban and non-urban counties. Urban counties are defined as populations greater than or equal to 250,000 with non-urban areas defined as a population less than 250,000. There are a lot of market conditions and factors that influence homes values: quality of local school, tax valuation, availability of homes, condition of home – just to name a few. It is hard to pinpoint just one factor that creates a drop in home value. Generally, we find that a land agreement (option, lease, pore space agreement etc.) adds value to a property since it provides an additional, typically passive, income stream. This study found zero evidence of adverse impacts on long-term property values in rural areas, where the majority of wind projects are constructed. In fact, wind farms are drivers for economic development in host communities. They bring with them an increase in tax revenue, an addition of local construction jobs, increased income to local landowners through lease payments and the trickle-down impact on the local economy.
  • How many jobs will this project create? Will you hire locally?
    Construction will offer employment opportunities to qualified local laborers and skilled craft workers. When developing a renewables project, we typically hire an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. The EPC contractor performs design, completes engineering and manages construction of the plant. The EPC contractor also awards construction materials contracts and subcontracts for certain portions of the work. Our construction contractors have typically made an effort to hire workers from the local area, and the project encourages this when possible. Some specialized work may require skills that are not available regionally.
  • Will construction impact local road use?
    Prior to the start of construction, we will work with state and county agencies (as appropriate) to develop a detailed road use plan of the expected transportation routes, the number of trucks and maximum truck weights. The plan will also document the existing condition of the roadways and provide for any needed repairs related to our project.
  • Will the community have a say in these projects?
    Yes, renewables projects are only possible when enough landowners want to lease or sell their land. In some cases, such as wind farms, there can be hundreds of landowners involved. Further, these projects must adhere to local zoning and use ordinances, which typically specify an approval process that incorporates public feedback.
  • Does the sounds from wind farms affect people's health?
    There is no authoritative evidence that sound from wind turbines represents a risk to human health among neighboring residents. First, wind turbines are generally quiet. When standing 1,000 feet away, the sound level of a wind turbine is similar to a refrigerator humming in the next room. Typically, two people can carry on a conversation at normal voice levels even while standing directly below a turbine. That said, wind turbine sound may be one of the most easily misunderstood issues related to wind energy projects. Unfortunately, rumors persist about sound from wind turbines affecting human health. The reality is that a multitude of independent studies and government health organizations from around the world have found no link between human health and wind turbine sound.
  • Do wind turbines impact wildlife?
    Research shows that wind projects rank near the bottom of the list of developments that negatively impact wildlife and the environment. Project developers work to reduce impacts on wildlife by performing various engineering and environmental studies on land to carefully plan turbine placement. These studies analyze migration patterns, local geology, soil characteristics, wetlands and wildlife habitats to ensure turbine placement is as safe, minimally invasive and efficient as possible. Special attention is paid to sensitive species, such as eagles and bats.
  • What happens to the wind turbines at the end of their operational contract?
    Before a project is built, developers create a plan for removing equipment and restoring landowners’ property to its previous condition when the project is no longer operational. This process is called decommissioning. Many local municipalities and state governments, including Minnesota, require decommissioning plans as a permitting condition. After the contract period ends, all turbines and access roads are removed, and any damages are repaired so that the land may be used for other purposes. From construction of the wind farm to its decommissioning, all costs are completely covered.
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