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Thread: Wind turbines on billboards

  1. #1
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Wind turbines on billboards

    A large outdoor advertising company recently approached us about installing wind turbines on their billboards. This one has caught us off-guard. We've heard there are some jurisdictional disputes between the state and local governments over the responsibility for regulating this use. Obviously, the industry wants Tallahassee's rules to govern. At this point, we're taking a wait and see attitude.

    Anybody have experience with this? Anybody seen one? I haven't; this is a first.

    Here's a link to an image and a brief story.

    http://www.energyempowers.gov/post/r...ida-signs.aspx

  2. #2
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Our code would not allow that.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    A large outdoor advertising company recently approached us about installing wind turbines on their billboards. This one has caught us off-guard. We've heard there are some jurisdictional disputes between the state and local governments over the responsibility for regulating this use. Obviously, the industry wants Tallahassee's rules to govern. At this point, we're taking a wait and see attitude.

    Anybody have experience with this? Anybody seen one? I haven't; this is a first.

    Here's a link to an image and a brief story.

    http://www.energyempowers.gov/post/r...ida-signs.aspx
    I don't understand why they are doing this, unless they have sufficient height to eliminate turbulent flow. The picture is a non-starter as the turbulence will blow away the efficiency.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Our code would allow it:

    F. Accessory Wind Turbine Regulations. In addition to the regulations contained in subsection D, Accessory Wind Turbines are subject to the following specific regulations:
    1. Location. Accessory Wind Turbines are permitted by right in all zoning districts.
    2. Number. There shall be no more than one (1) Accessory Wind Turbine located on a structure.
    4. Height. All Accessory Wind Turbines are subject to a maximum height of the overall height of the structure it is attached to, plus 10 feet.


    Accessory Wind Turbine: A turbine placed on an existing structure, of which the turbine would be a secondary use of that structure.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Our code would allow it:

    ...

    4. Height. All Accessory Wind Turbines are subject to a maximum height of the overall height of the structure it is attached to, plus 10 feet.[/I]
    This code wording also decreases the efficiency of the turbine, as the height of the turbine above impediments is insufficient to eliminate turbulence.

    Typical guidelines for horizontal turbines are that the bottom of your turbine should be 3x above the nearest upwind barrier, or 25 feet above any upwind obstacles within 300-500 feet (whichever is higher).

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I must have missed something. What are they powering?? The sign? Solar panels would do a much better job of that.

    I think if they were going to use wind and put it back on the grid then this would not be efficient.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Queen B View post
    I must have missed something. What are they powering?? The sign? Solar panels would do a much better job of that.

    I think if they were going to use wind and put it back on the grid then this would not be efficient.
    Greenwash or pandering, perhaps.

  8. #8
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    I don't understand why they are doing this.....
    Could it be they are trying to draw greater attention to the message on the board, thus justifying to the advertiser the higher lease price?

    Go ahead, call me a cynic.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Could it be they are trying to draw greater attention to the message on the board, thus justifying to the advertiser the higher lease price?

    Go ahead, call me a cynic.
    Saaaaayyyy...that's more cynical than my pandering/greenwashing comment! And more clever. ;o)

  10. #10
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Our code would allow it:

    F. Accessory Wind Turbine Regulations. In addition to the regulations contained in subsection D, Accessory Wind Turbines are subject to the following specific regulations:
    1. Location. Accessory Wind Turbines are permitted by right in all zoning districts.
    2. Number. There shall be no more than one (1) Accessory Wind Turbine located on a structure.
    4. Height. All Accessory Wind Turbines are subject to a maximum height of the overall height of the structure it is attached to, plus 10 feet.


    Accessory Wind Turbine: A turbine placed on an existing structure, of which the turbine would be a secondary use of that structure.
    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    This code wording also decreases the efficiency of the turbine, as the height of the turbine above impediments is insufficient to eliminate turbulence.

    Typical guidelines for horizontal turbines are that the bottom of your turbine should be 3x above the nearest upwind barrier, or 25 feet above any upwind obstacles within 300-500 feet (whichever is higher).
    I wouldn't argue with you on the merits of doing it. Simply that our code would allow it. And yes, it's a classic greenwashing technique.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  11. #11
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    If wind turbines are allowed on billboards, then why not billboards on wind turbines?

  12. #12
    Off-topic:
    Plop this sucker down on an adult business site and you'd have one unholy trifecta of land uses.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I wouldn't argue with you on the merits of doing it. Simply that our code would allow it.
    Sure, I'm just saying that your code prevents installation of wind turbines. If the intent was to 'appear' green, it works. If the intent is to install wind turbines for whatever reason, it won't work with that wording.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    That's a little silly I think; especially for sunny Florida. I pass a few billboards in the rural section of Highway 17 in Brunswick County, NC that have dual solar panels with LED lights for night and they always are working at night. It is a much less distracting issue and the height of the panels is barely noticeable, unlike a wind turbine. I think you could suggest looking into that route for their energy needs.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Sure, I'm just saying that your code prevents installation of wind turbines. If the intent was to 'appear' green, it works. If the intent is to install wind turbines for whatever reason, it won't work with that wording.
    No, the code allows the installation. It's not my job to make the technology work or to make it financially reasonable for them.

    Just like my code allows certain size lots. But if a certain size lot for a certain piece of land don't make sense financially, then it won't get built.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  16. #16
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    No, the code allows the installation. It's not my job to make the technology work or to make it financially reasonable for them.
    I understand the code allows installation. It is just that code prevents efficient operation due to inadequate height above obstruction. So they won't get installed except by people who don't know what they are doing.

    And I'd argue it is your job to enable the technology by providing code that understands limitations of the technology. I suspect in the future if anyone is serious they'll be coming to planning to re-write the code to enable greater height.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Some of the local jurisdictions in the western part of the panhandle have been developing some ordinances for small wind turbines, including on top of billboards, due to the effects that they might have on radar systems.

  18. #18
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Trail Nazi View post
    Some of the local jurisdictions in the western part of the panhandle have been developing some ordinances for small wind turbines, including on top of billboards, due to the effects that they might have on radar systems.
    This puts another twist on the issue. But on second thought, the turbine blades are anticipated to reach a maximum height of 80-feet. I'm not sure how that would effect radar systems. But one never knows without the technical data.

    TN, if you've got any links or contacts, could you send the to me? My colleagues to the west have not been responsive. Thanks.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    This puts another twist on the issue. But on second thought, the turbine blades are anticipated to reach a maximum height of 80-feet. I'm not sure how that would effect radar systems. But one never knows without the technical data.

    TN, if you've got any links or contacts, could you send the to me? My colleagues to the west have not been responsive. Thanks.
    AIUI NOAA is developing software and procedures to help decipher radar returns from wind farms. Individual turbines with a small swept area are...um...not on the radar. An interesting twist nonetheless.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Not to have a spitting match or anything, but I know a couple of the authors in the study that was mentioned and they are known for throwing "pixie dust" on the radar systems as their answer on to how to fix wind turbines in close proximity to radar systems. Some of the mitigation tactics that are proposed do not technically exist. From the studies that we have and reported on, wind turbines of various sizes can negatively impact the radar systems, as well as other "systems" that DoD uses on a daily basis. While an individual wind turbine (of any size) may not produce much clutter for some types of radar, the cumulative effects are something to be worried about. With that information in mind, it makes flying the friendly skies a bit scary. Plus, there are other types of radar systems that are used by the government that do not rely upon the Doppler system, so there should be some coordination with the proper federal and local agencies whenever any wind turbines are proposed.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Regardless of any ulterior motives, if you're gonna have billboards, what's the harm in allowing them to at least partially provide their own power?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Trail Nazi View post
    Not to have a spitting match or anything, but I know a couple of the authors in the study that was mentioned and they are known for throwing "pixie dust" on the radar systems as their answer on to how to fix wind turbines in close proximity to radar systems. Some of the mitigation tactics that are proposed do not technically exist. From the studies that we have and reported on, wind turbines of various sizes can negatively impact the radar systems, as well as other "systems" that DoD uses on a daily basis. While an individual wind turbine (of any size) may not produce much clutter for some types of radar, the cumulative effects are something to be worried about. With that information in mind, it makes flying the friendly skies a bit scary. Plus, there are other types of radar systems that are used by the government that do not rely upon the Doppler system, so there should be some coordination with the proper federal and local agencies whenever any wind turbines are proposed.
    I can't speak to individual researcher's methods, I'm just mentioning that the backscatter issue is mainly with farms and turbines with large swept areas. A m2 or two swept area isn't going to bring a plane down.

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