Renewable energy: onshore wind
Ecology requirements relating to proposed wind farm developments have become increasingly complex in recent years. Habitats and species at ground level, such as badgers or great crested newts, must be considered during the construction phase and the ecologist will need to help with determining avoidance measures, mitigation and licensing work and the remediation of land and long-term monitoring.
Unlike many other developments, wind farms pose particular problems that must be overcome during the operational phase. In particular, the impact on birds and bats (read our blog for more on the latest research on this). Additionally, surveys must take into account sites and species many kilometres outside the site boundaries. As the impacts of wind turbines on some protected species are not yet fully understood, this adds a further layer of complexity.
Survey work is determined by the interpretation of international and domestic legislation and policy, which is subject to constant revisions as new information becomes available. Balancing the requirements of the statutory nature conservation agencies, the interests of other consultees and meeting the government renewable energy targets can be demanding.
For these reasons, the relationship between ecological consultancy and wind farm developer is likely to be long. The developer needs to be confident that the consultant will be able to design and implement appropriate surveys, to present the data in a way that satisfies the various parties and to present their findings for interrogation at public inquiry.
Why choose Baker Consultants
Baker Consultants has extensive experience in successfully delivering both small and large-scale wind farm developments. We can deliver the full project from the design and implementation of survey, consultation with statutory agencies and other interest groups, to the presentation of the EcIA and representation at public inquiry.