Landowners Interested in diversification?
Landowners have an opportunity to earn additional income for each
turbine they have on their land. By diversifying into wind farms,
landowners receive a regular income, with no additional labour or
expense, over the long term.
WFD would like to hear from farmers, community groups, councils and major corporations that would like to earn additional income through generating clean sustainable energy on their land.
Does your land fit into the following constraints?
- Outside National, Regional and Coastal Parks;
- Outside Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB);
- Outside Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Turbine Installation What is involved?
The installation of a wind farm takes no more than typically nine to twelve months for a small to moderate scale development. The actual construction process is a series of distinct activities that can be planned in association with the landowner so as to minimise disruption to farming activities. Once the turbines are in place, normal farming can continue on around them. There is no requirement to fence off the towers and the rotating blades are well clear of the ground.
This means that less than approximately 1 acre per turbine is lost for agricultural production, generally allowing 97% of area to be utilised as it was previously.
The turbines are built on concrete raft or rock anchor style foundations. The raft foundations can be up to 15m x 15m by 3-5 metres deep. Consequently, arable farming can continue right up to the base of the 4.1 metre diameter towers. The turbines are connected together by underground cables, which again are buried below ploughing depth, approximately 1-1.5m below the surface. Cables can usually be routed along tracks or field boundaries to miminise disruption.
For access to the turbines, compacted tracks typically 4.5m to 10m are formed to allow all weather access. Like the cables, we can normally route the tracks to follow existing farm tracks or field boundaries. Once built, the tracks must remain in place for access to carry out maintenance or repairs and are available for farm use.
When the turbines are in operation, normal requirements for access are limited. Unless there is a (rare) major fault, regular scheduled maintenance will be undertaken from a small van typically every three months or so. The turbines are monitored remotely so there is typically no need for more frequent visits. The control systems in the turbines are fail safe, so if a fault does occur the turbine will stop automatically and communicate with the operating company via the 24hr/7 day a week comms maintained by the facility.
Modern wind turbines typically have a hub height of up to 120 metres above ground level and a blade length of up to 80 metres. When the blade passes its highest point, the tip will be at 200 metres above ground. At the lowest point, the tips are typically 40 metres in the air. For safety and turbine performance, it is necessary to have a separation between turbines equivalent to approximately 3 to 5 blade diameters, around 480 to 800 metres or more.
A small barn like building is sometimes provided for to store spares, consumables and some special tools. This is called an Operation & Maintenance building.
The buried cables from the wind farm are collected at a small substation and then connected from the wind farm substation to the local transmission or distribution system.