States Advancing Wind Webinar: Evaluating the Visual Impact of Wind Turbines: A Methodology for State Officials

October 14, 2010 @ 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Many states across the U.S. are supporting wind power development at multiple scales ‘ from residential through utility scale. Projects at the larger end of the spectrum are especially effective at meeting state renewable energy goals; but these projects, given their size, are subject to the most scrutiny, both from the public and from officials trying to balance the need for renewable energy development with public concern for aesthetics and the environment.

When these projects get to the permitting stage, officials have few guidelines to evaluate the environmental effects. Visual and noise impacts are often among the issues of greatest concern for surrounding property owners. Public acceptance and confidence is likely to be enhanced when these issues are clearly and fairly addressed.

To help state officials objectively evaluate visual effects specifically, Clean Energy States Alliance and landscape architect Jean Vissering worked together to create an assessment methodology. The result is a new report, “A Visual Impact Assessment Process for Wind Energy Projects,” which aims to provide an understandable and workable aesthetic impact assessment review methodology that provides clear guidance for developers but also ensures the protection of important scenic resources. During this webinar, Jean Vissering will provide a summary of the methodology, which can be adopted as a starting point for any state to objectively measure a wind project’s potential visual impacts.