Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below various Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers.
Please contact us directly if you have a special question.
- How much land is necessary for a typical wind turbine?
- What is a preferred wind site?
- Can I use my landscape for other purposes once the wind farm is operating?
- What happens to the land after the expiration of the wind turbine?
- Are wind turbines noisy?
- How long do wind turbines last?
- Do wind farms scare livestock?
- Are wind mills dangerous for bats and birds?
- What effect will a wind farm have on property value?
- How important is the wind industry for the local employment?
- Are wind farms dangerous to humans?
- Is wind energy more expensive than conventional energy?
- Does a wind farm affect TV reception?
- Do wind farms rely opon government subsidies?
- Will I lose the use of the agriculturally productive land?
- How can I profit from the projects as a land owner?
- Who is responsible for maintaining the turbine? Must I help here?
- How can I gain community support of a wind project on my land?
Further questions? We invite you to contact us.
1. How much land is necessary for a typical wind turbine?
Each wind turbine requires approximately 8ha (hectares) of land which equates to 80.000m2. The footprint of each individual turbine is relatively small measuring approximately 10m x 20m, with the adjacent crane pad of around 20m x 20m. Access roads would be required for each turbine on a route to be agreed with the landowner.
They measure around 5m in width and will ideally follow any existing tracks.
2. What is a preferred wind site?
The best wind sites are places where turbines lie outside designated/protected areas and may be sited with sufficient setbacks from occupied houses, with access to high-voltage transmission lines (preferably crossing the project site), in an area where regional utilities are seeking to purchase wind energy sources.
3. Can I use my landscape for other purposes once the wind farm is operation?
Yes absolutely. Only the turbine site footprint and the access road become unavailable for cultivation, grazing or other uses. Otherwise, landowner may continue using any part of the land unoccupied by the wind energy facilities.
4. What happens to the land after the expiration of the wind turbine?
There are two possibilities upon expiration of the initial installation:
- So called "Repowering" in which the machines are overhauled or replaced / updated with newer equipment. Land contracts are renewed by mutual agreement and the wind farm continues operation after a brief phase for the re-powering.
- If Repowering is not possible, land contracts obligate the lessor to remove the wind energy facilities and restore the land to its condition existing prior to installation of the wind farm.
5. Are wind turbines noisy?
Modern wind turbines are remarkably quiet in their operation and can barely be heart a few hundred metres away. Existing background noise such as rustling trees, traffic and everyday life will drown out any noise the wind turbines may create. Regulations on noise emissions must be complied with as part of our planning permission.
Perhaps the best way to experience is to find a wind farm (with properly operating, modern machines) and listen for yourself.
6. How long do wind turbines last?
Turbines have a typical lifespan of around 20-25 years, during which time some maintenance may be required. Should a developer wish to extend the lifetime of the development, then a new planning application would be required. This is known as ‘repowering’ where the old turbines are replaced with newer and more sophisticated models. If the wind farm is to be decommissioned after its lifetime (Repowering), every effort is taken to ensure the land is reinstated to its former landscape.
7. Do wind farms scare livestock?
No, it would be highly unusual for wind farms to have a negative impact on livestock which is why wind farms work so well on agricultural land.
Volkswind works with regional, state and national wildlife oversight groups to study potential effects on wildlife, culminating in a mitigation plan to minimize impacts on wildlife.
8. Are wind mills dangerous for bats and birds?
Well-sited wind farms should not pose a threat to bats and birds. After many long years of studies, numerous ornithologists have observed the behaviour of various types of bats and birds including, migratory, breeding and non-migratory in close proximity to a wind farm. They recorded only few behavioural changes in certain species and found that chances of ‘collision risk’ were limited.
Volkswind also invested and patented a radar measurement and detection system for bird and bat populations.
9. What effect will a wind farm have on property value?
Both agricultural and forestry land areas experience an increase in value through wind turbines as they represent a supplementary income for the owner, which is usually higher and more stable than the landowner’s regular income.
10. How important is the wind industry for the local employment?
Along with hydro-electric power, the wind energy industry is among the most mature of the "renewable energy" sources. Development, construction, and operations of a wind farm require a multitude of specialized skills and personnel to fill positions. Hundreds of thousands of stable, long-term jobs have been created in several countries in the growing wind industry. Local people interested in working for an operating wind farm can often find regional training programs specifically targeted to train and educate skilled personnel to take positions in support of an operating wind farm.
11. Are wind farms dangerous to humans?
Wind energy is a benign technology with no associated emissions, harmful pollutants or waste products. In over 25 years and with more than 68,000 machines installed around the world, no member of the public has ever been harmed by the normal operation of wind turbines.
Blade throws are unheard of with modern turbine design. Ice throws are of little danger because setbacks mean that dwellings and roads are general out of reach of any ice throw range. For those working directly with the wind turbines, strict safety policies are in effect.
12. Is wind energy more expensive than conventional energy?
Amongst all forms of renewable energy, wind energy is the only one, that under certain conditions (wind speeds, size of wind farm) can offer competitive prices. The widespread use of wind energy in recent years has resulted in significant cost savings. In contrast to the strong promotion of other energy sources such as coal, nuclear and solar, the support of wind energy has very quickly led to high cost and energy efficiency. Furthermore, the wind is a free and widely available fuel source, therefore once the wind farm is in place, there are no fuel or waste related costs.
13. Does a wind farm affect TV reception?
A persistent disturbance to TV signals is unheard of particularly with advances in digital technology.
Large wind turbines can interfere with TV signals if a turbine is in the "line of sight" between a receiver and the signal source, however the problem can usually be solved by improving the receiver's antenna. Use of satellite or cable television is also an option.
14. Do wind farms rely upon government subsidies?
Renewable energy is now being promoted in almost all countries. The incentive system varies depending on local conditions.
The planning and construction of wind farms is financed entirely with private capital, no matter what the costs are.
15. Will I lose the use of the agriculturally productive land?
Apart from the small area used for turbine sites and access roads, a landowner can, once the facilities have been built, continue to use the land for agriculture. Approximately 2.000 square meters per wind turbine would be occupied with actual footprint.
16. How can I profit from the project as a land owner?
Our typical arrangement is a long-term lease agreement under which the landowner is guaranteed a secure source of income over a period of at least 20 years. The terms of the lease depend on the potential yield of your location; we can agree fixed annual terms or a royalty linked to the wind project yield, or a combination of fixed and variable income. Land agreements are carefully and individually formulated to reach a "win-win" arrangement.
17. Who is responsible for maintaining the turbine? Must I help here?
The maintenance and operation of the turbines is entirely the responsibility of Volkswind or the manufacturer.
18. How can I gain community support of a wind project on my land?
Using the information contained in this website you may wish to write letters of support to local councilors, your local planning authority or the local press. Setting up a support group is also an excellent idea and can be facilitated via many of the social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Volkswind specializes in gathering and organizing such information. It would be our pleasure to enter such a discussion with you.