Site selection and application requirements for onshore wind developments
Site selection and application requirements for onshore wind developments

The following Energy guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Site selection and application requirements for onshore wind developments
  • Predicted wind speed
  • Proximity of site to dwellings
  • Capacity of a site
  • Electricity grid connection
  • Access
  • Biodiversity and geological conservation
  • Shadow flicker

The National Policy Statement for Renewable Energy Infrastructure (the Renewables NPS) provides guidance on potential onshore wind farm impacts, including considerations for site selection and requirements for applications for development consent.

Predicted wind speed

Electricity generated on site is directly affected by wind speed. Wind speed increases with height above ground level and the amount of electricity generated increases disproportionately with increases in the wind speed. This in turn affects the carbon emission savings and the commercial viability of the site.

Developers can calculate precise wind speeds before submitting a wind farm application by installing temporary anemometry masts on the site for 12 months or more.

Proximity of site to dwellings

To minimise noise and visual amenity impacts on residential areas, onshore wind farms should be located an appropriate distance from sensitive receptors.

Detailed pre-application consultation should be carried out to minimise the risk of landscape and amenity impacts on neighbouring communities.

Noise is generated not only from operation, but also from wind speed and general industrial noise.

If an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required, the Environmental Statement should include a noise assessment, as set out in the Overarching NPS for Energy.

The Renewables NPS promotes the use of the report 'The Assessment and Rating of Noise from Wind Farms (ETSU-R-97)', which provides a method of assessing the impact of noise from a