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Thread: Planning for wind turbines

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    Planning for wind turbines

    Does anyone have a good ordinance for wind turbines?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    From Purdue Extension: http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/ID/ID-407-W.pdf

    AWEA Model Zoning Ordinance: http://www.awea.org/smallwind/documents/modelzo.html

    Google model wind turbine ordinances
    Oddball
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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    mine is going to town meeting in November - PM me your email and I will send it

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I'm not sure on its progress, but the Wisconsin state legislature is working on a proposal to enact uniform statewide rules (*NO* local override) on wind power tower siting.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    We just adopted a new set of design standards for small wind energy systems. Our design standards for wind systems are a subsection of the special use permit section of the zoning regulations.

    Section 41.10 http://www.sarpy.com/planning/docume...ermits_000.pdf

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    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    How are sound/noise issues addressed for utility-scale turbines?

    I've read reports where neighbors have many complaints, mostly due to what they claim as sub-sonic sound waves (low-frequency infrasound) affecting their nervous systems. If sited in rural areas, then from a land use conflict point-of-view, fewer people are around to complain, and hence, probably a better fit. I've had the opportunity to review a site plan for a wind farm, and luckily, complaints have been minimal. However, this was a really rural area!

    What have your experiences been? It sounds like wind farms could have public health implications.

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    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Wind turbines can affect radar systems, so checking with local airports, military, tv stations (dopplar radar), and other government agencies, so it is good idea to check with those groups for their needs prior to approvals.

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    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    Here is a model one that I wrote up. Nobody has actually adopted it yet. WI state law on the matter is constantly up in the air.

    http://www.co.rock.wi.us/Dept/Planni...indfarmord.pdf

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    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Airy Pun

    Quote Originally posted by cch View post
    Here is a model one that I wrote up. Nobody has actually adopted it yet. WI state law on the matter is constantly up in the air.

    http://www.co.rock.wi.us/Dept/Planni...indfarmord.pdf
    Ha, ha, up in the air - I get it.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    I'm not sure on its progress, but the Wisconsin state legislature is working on a proposal to enact uniform statewide rules (*NO* local override) on wind power tower siting.

    Mike
    That could be pretty much uninforcable though. While it isn't the most common method, there are plenty of Do it Yourself stores that sell DIY Wind turbines. All you have to do is basicly put it on your house and connect it to your power. The fun part is that it will not only reduce your own power bill, some people are able to sell power to the local power company because of how much wind they get.

    So, unless there is an exception for personal use wind turbines, that law could draw a lot of fire from the DIY community, and quickly become uninforcable.

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    IEC

    The standards are established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). You should have a look at this link:
    http://www.awea.org/standards/iec_stds.html

    In a financial point of view, to get fundings, you have to provide the banks with a report with certified means to prove that the project is viable and the turbines will produce this much of power (AEP - annual energy production) in your particular site.

    Best,
    Faraday

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Bump

    We are in the early stages of research to amend our LDRs to allow wind turbines in my jurisdiction. I started searching the interwebs this afternoon and found that the Dept of Energy lists all the active wind farms in the US. Strangely, none in Florida. Thus, I'm sailing uncharted waters in terms of Florida. I'll be viewing the links above and posting what I find in the coming weeks. In the mean time, if any of you have experiences in this field, please share.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Depending on where you are located it might be a good idea to connect with local military to get their input. If you're planning on placing them in an air corridor I would suggest writing something into the code about the materials to be used (stealth composite blades aborb radar instead of bounce them back). DoD has a specialized interest in the proliferation of wind farms, they see it as a potential hit against military readiness.

    There are also vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) which have the advantage of being able to be packed close together, takes less wind to get them going, and can be used lower to ground so their less intrusive on the skyline.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    Depending on where you are located it might be a good idea to connect with local military to get their input. If you're planning on placing them in an air corridor I would suggest writing something into the code about the materials to be used (stealth composite blades aborb radar instead of bounce them back). DoD has a specialized interest in the proliferation of wind farms, they see it as a potential hit against military readiness. .....
    Thanks; good points. Most likely they will be in or near military operation areas. My contact at the Navy base offered to forward me info he has on the issue. I'll also contact the AFB and our airport.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Hopefully, the Naval Base near you has a Community Plans Liasion Officer.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Here's ours:

    17.80.090 Small wind energy systems.3
    A. Accessory Use. A small wind energy system is allowed as an accessory use in all zones in which structures are permitted.

    B. General Standards.

    1. The minimum distance between the ground and any part of a rotor blade must be at least 20 feet.

    2. Small wind energy systems may not be illuminated, nor may they bear any signs or advertising.

    3. Small wind energy systems must have automatic braking, governing, or feathering system to prevent uncontrolled rotation, overspeeding, and excessive pressure on the support structure, rotor blades, and turbine components.

    4. All wiring serving small wind energy systems must be underground.

    5. Noise produced by small wind energy systems may not exceed 55 dBA measured at the property line.

    6. Small wind energy systems must not cause any interference with normal radio and television reception in the surrounding area, with any public safety agency or organization (including but not limited to police, fire, ambulance, and Coast Guard) radio transmissions, or with any microwave communications link. The owner shall bear the costs of immediately eliminating any such interference should any occur, or must immediately shut down the system or parts of the system causing the interference.

    7. A finish (paint/surface) must be provided for the small wind energy system that reduces the visibility of the facility, including the rotors. In most circumstances this condition may be satisfied by painting the support structure and rotors with flat light haze gray paint. If the support structure is unpainted it must be of a single color throughout its height. The owner must maintain the finish, painted or unpainted, so that no discoloration is allowed to occur.

    8. The diameter of the area swept by the rotors may not exceed 25 feet.

    C. Freestanding Systems – Additional Standards. Small wind energy systems may be mounted on a tower detached from other structures on the lot.

    1. Setback. The minimum setback from any property line, overhead utility line, or public right-of-way shall be a distance equal to the vertical distance from the ground to the tip of a wind generator blade when the tip is at its highest point unless the affected utility, property owner, or governmental entity grants written permission for a lesser setback. In addition to the system’s structures, guy wires associated with towers shall meet applicable setbacks for the zone district.

    2. Height. Support structures for freestanding systems may not exceed 80 feet in height.

    3. Security. Support structures for freestanding systems must be unclimbable from the ground to a height of at least 15 feet.

    4. Number. A maximum of one freestanding small wind generator system may be allowed on a parcel of 25,000 square feet or less. One additional freestanding system is allowed for each 12,500 square feet of lot area above 25,000 square feet.

    D. Roof-Mounted Systems – Additional Standards. Small wind energy systems may be mounted on the roof of a structure as an appurtenance.

    1. Height. Roof-mounted systems may not be more than five feet over the maximum allowed height for the structure.

    2. Number. There is no maximum number of roof-mounted systems permitted.

    3. Engineering Report. Before any roof-mounted system is mounted the property owner must submit a report prepared by an Oregon licensed professional engineer attesting to the fact that the structure to which the system will be mounted is or will be sufficiently strong to support the system and to withstand the wind, vibratory, and other loads to which it would be subjected as a result of mounting the system on it. This report is subject to approval by the planning and community development director prior to the mounting of the system


    I don't want to condemn it, since I wrote it, but the APA recently touted it as a model in a PAS report: http://www.planning.org/apastore/Sea...?p=4176&a=1003

  18. #18
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    Here's the link to our code:

    http://library.municode.com/index.as...L&cl=16286.txt

    Click Title 8 - Zoning, then Division 88 - Special Land Uses, then Chapter 88-3 - Wind Energy Conversion Systems. Part of the Altamont Pass Wind Farm is located in our county. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altamont_Pass_Wind_Farm. We approved two repowering projects in 2011. The environmental impacts reports can be found here:

    http://www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/index.aspx?nid=869

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    Hopefully, the Naval Base near you has a Community Plans Liasion Officer.
    They do and I'm in contact with him.
    _________________________________

    Here's a link to a list of communities with wind turbine ordinances with links to the ordinances. Several are model ordinances.

    http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/p...ordinances.asp
    ________________________________

    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    I don't want to condemn it, since I wrote it, but the APA recently touted it as a model in a PAS report: http://www.planning.org/apastore/Sea...?p=4176&a=1003
    $60? No thanks.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  20. #20
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    Depending on where you are located it might be a good idea to connect with local military to get their input. If you're planning on placing them in an air corridor I would suggest writing something into the code about the materials to be used (stealth composite blades aborb radar instead of bounce them back). DoD has a specialized interest in the proliferation of wind farms, they see it as a potential hit against military readiness.

    There are also vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) which have the advantage of being able to be packed close together, takes less wind to get them going, and can be used lower to ground so their less intrusive on the skyline.
    I can kind of attest to that - power plant wind turbine fields often show up as ground clutter on NOAA weather radars. An example is that the fields on the Niagara Escarpment surrounding the Fond du Lac, WI area can often be easily made out on the NOAA's Green Bay, WI radar.

    In response to an earlier post, small private 'backyard' wind turbines have been around for a loooong time - many were used by farmers in the early to mid 20th century for charging batteries to power lights and even electronic gizmos (ie, a family radio) before hard-wired power lines were extended into their areas and even earlier to do things like directly pump water from the ground into a trough.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post

    In response to an earlier post, small private 'backyard' wind turbines have been around for a loooong time - many were used by farmers in the early to mid 20th century for charging batteries to power lights and even electronic gizmos (ie, a family radio) before hard-wired power lines were extended into their areas and even earlier to do things like directly pump water from the ground into a trough.

    Mike
    Albeit in urban areas there is much turbulence, making them problematic. In addition to the structural issues involved that require more than just your typical building inspector.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by johnelsden View post
    Does anyone have a good ordinance for wind turbines?
    John,

    Given that the MWRA seems to like putting them up in Somerville, Mass presumably that town has a reg?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Our Board reviewed this yesterday and made no changes during the first reading:

    Section 35. Commercial Wind Turbine Farms. It is the intent of the Board to ensure that the placement and operation of commercial wind trubine farms is consistent with our land use policies to provide for the health, safetly and welfare of the community.

    1. Definitions. The following terms and words shall have the following meanings and shall be included in the definition section of the land development regulations.

    Commercial Wind Turbine Farm (CWTF). An energy facility that consists of one or more wind turbine energy conversion systems on the same parcel or group of adjacent parcels under common ownership that produces electric power from wind that is distributed to off-site customers. The CWTF includes the tower, generator, blades, and electrical transmission system.

    FAA. The Federal Aviation Administration.

    FCC. The Federal Communications Commission.

    Height of Tower. The height of the tower from grade to the top of the system including the uppermost extension of the blades.

    2. Setbacks. The minimum setback between each tower from property lines shall be one and one-half (1-1/2) times the height of the tower.

    3. Clearance. The distance from grade to any blade shall be a minimum of twenty five (25) feet.

    4. FAA Regulations. All towers shall be marked as required by the FAA. All other lighting is prohibited. Towers and CWTF shall comply with all applicable FAA regulations.

    5. Electromagnetic Interference. All towers and CWTF shall operate in accordance with FCC regulations.

    6. Power Lines. All new power lines associated with any tower or CWTF shall be installed underground.

    7. Signs. With the exception of appropriate high voltage warning signs, no advertising sign, logo, image, banner, flag or other similar items shall be placed on any tower, generator, or blade.

    8. Design. All towers shall be a monopole non-guyed type structure and shall be designed to render them unclimbable by unauthorized persons or shall be provided with a suitable security barrier.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    Our Board reviewed this yesterday and made no changes during the first reading:

    Section 35. Commercial Wind Turbine Farms. It is the intent of the Board to ensure that the placement and operation of commercial wind trubine farms is consistent with our land use policies to provide for the health, safetly and welfare of the community.
    I assume you have Navy or AF buy in or input?

    For those communities who are near or think they could be near a military installation it is always a great idea to get their input on your ordinances for height, light, and alternative energy. You would extend the same courtesy to your municipal or county airport right?


    edit: now I look at the top of the page - good example RJ.
    @GigCityPlanner

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    RJ, consider the following additions:

    1. Setbacks of turbines from homes ~1,000 feet.
    2. Rules for shadow flicker effects, especially for properties and homes that do not participate in a wind farm (non-leased).
    3. Appropriate sound limits (usually between 40 dB(A) to 55 dB(A)).
    4. Require a bond and decommissioning plan to be submitted.
    5. Clarify your approval process: When issued, will a single permit for a proposed Commercial Wind Farm encompass all proposed turbines, substation(s), met tower(s), and underground wiring? Or will a separate permit be required for each?
    6. Should wildlife studies be submitted as part of the application/permitting process? In Florida, I think that would be a concern for many people, given the amount of coast and protected areas in your state.
    7. Setbacks from leased properties might be shorter than the stebacks from non-leased properties.

    I'm not aware of the jurisdiction you work in, so perhaps the regulations you have proposed are appropriate. I can only assume your proposed regulations are going to apply to areas that have very little to no population and there are large tracts of land in your jurisdictions. My suggestions are more pertinent to populated rural areas (up to around ~2,000 residents in a 6 mile x 6 mile townhsip).

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