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Wind Energy Services Integrating Environmental, Engineering and Constructability Considerations in Wind Power Development Anntonette Alberti, JD Tetra.

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Presentation on theme: "Wind Energy Services Integrating Environmental, Engineering and Constructability Considerations in Wind Power Development Anntonette Alberti, JD Tetra."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wind Energy Services Integrating Environmental, Engineering and Constructability Considerations in Wind Power Development Anntonette Alberti, JD Tetra Tech, Inc.

2 Wind Energy Services Goals of the Presentation Provide an overview of the wind generating facility development process Describe the inter-relation of environmental, engineering and constructability data on each phase of wind farm development Site Screening Conceptual Design Final Design Permitting Construction Operations and Maintenance Stress the importance of designing and permitting constructable and economic wind projects

3 Wind Energy Services Overview of the Development Process

4 Wind Energy Services Site Selection/Screening Two most basic questions: Is the site windy? Is the site near adequate take away transmission? If you pass the basic questions then: Investigate availability of land Investigate public and local government acceptability Investigate environmental and engineering considerations – Critical Issues Analysis – Regulatory Strategy

5 Wind Energy Services Critical Issues Analysis Critical Issues Analysis is a study that: Identifies conditions at the proposed project site Identifies likely siting issues Projects impacts on schedule/budget Provides management strategies to reduce impacts on schedule/budget Components include: Phase I - Desktop studies - Available a la carte (Biological, Cultural, Aesthetics, Geotechnical, Telecommunications, Aviation, Land Use and Permitting, etc.) Phase II – Reconnaissance-level Field Studies Critical Issues Analysis Report - Documents key issues that warrant special consideration - Provides: permit matrix, recommendations, and schedule

6 Wind Energy Services Common Critical Issues Analysis Omissions Aviation Screening Telecommunications Screening Engineering/Constructability Issues Steep slopes Unstable geotechnical conditions Inadequate work space

7 Wind Energy Services Moving on to the Conceptual Layout You now know you have a potential wind site! Client should have an idea of the turbine technology that should be used in subsequent studies Move on to the conceptual layout

8 Wind Energy Services What is the Conceptual Layout? Initial layout that includes turbine locations, access roads, electrical collection system, switchyard(s) and substation(s), transmission lines, O&M building, and construction work areas. Necessary for obtaining land rights, performing preliminary studies, beginning the regulatory process, etc. Typically the developer or the meteorological firm will take a first cut at the conceptual layout of turbines on a constraint map.

9 Wind Energy Services Defining the Conceptual Layout Preliminary Selection of Turbine Technology Important for turbine spacing Important for defining setbacks Define Project Constraints Wind Land Setbacks from Homes/Infrastructure Engineering/Access Environmental Cultural Political Create Conceptual Layout

10 Wind Energy Services Constraints Map

11 Wind Energy Services Typical Setbacks and Constraints Setbacks from sensitive buildings such as residences, schools, hospitals and churches; Setbacks from outbuildings such as barns, garages, and hunting camps; Setbacks from roads, trails, and recreational areas; Setbacks from transmission lines, oil and gas wells, oil and gas transmission, gathering and service lines, sub-surface mining operations and other such infrastructure/facilities; Setbacks from non-participating parcel boundaries; Wetlands, surface waters, and any regulatory buffers around them; Sensitive cultural resources and any regulatory boundaries around them; Locations of special status wildlife or vegetation species and/or critical habitat; Areas of known geotechnical instability; Fresnel zones and other communication/radar related constraints; Areas impacted by air traffic (both civilian and military); and Any other environmental and land use constraints identified for the site.

12 Wind Energy Services Agricultural Siting Considerations Locate structures along field edges where possible Locate access roads along ridge tops where possible to eliminate the need for cut and fill and reduce the risk of creating drainage problems Avoid dividing larger fields by locating access roads along the edge of agricultural fields All existing drainage and erosion control structures such as diversions, ditches, and tile lines shall be avoided or appropriate measures taken to maintain the design and effectiveness of the existing structures Minimize loss production, crop damage and top soil

13 Wind Energy Services Engineering Tasks for Conceptual Layout Perform desktop study to evaluate subsurface conditions and geologic hazards Desktop Transportation Analysis Initial Road/collection system Layout Initial Constructability review

14 Wind Energy Services Moving from the Conceptual Layout to the Final Layout Wind projects have a lot of moving parts: wind resource, property, landowner preferences, setbacks, environmental constraints, cultural resources, engineering constraints, transportation issues, constructability, etc. influence where project facilities will be sited There must be communication among team members and impact on layout must be understood and incorporated The best team includes a meteorologist, a land man, an environmental scientist, an engineer, a constructability expert, and a lawyer Data management with multiple team members can be a challenge

15 Wind Energy Services What is the Final Horizontal Layout? This layout depicts all project facilities for permitting and land acquisition purposes In many cases, permits must be obtained for exactly what will be built, so a certain amount of engineering must be done at an early stage In a perfect world, micrositing occurs prior to submitting major permit applications and conducting NEPA (or state equivalent) review Failure to do so often means the need to do permit modifications, supplemental EISs, and/or variances during construction In the real world things arent that simple. If possible, permit for flexibility

16 Wind Energy Services Studies that Support Final Horizontal Layout Field Studies Site specific environmental and cultural fieldwork Site specific engineering field work Constructability considerations Adjust Horizontal Layout and Review for: Wind resource Constructability Engineering Environmental/cultural resources Land owner acceptability Final Horizontal Layout

17 Wind Energy Services Engineering Tasks for Final Layout If topo exists, may need to commission a fly-over to perform digital photography from which a topographic base map can be prepared Perform site walkdown of all project facilities to assess access feasibility (slope and terrain issues, etc.) Perform geotechnical investigations needed for design of roadway cross-sections, collection system routing and wind turbine foundations

18 Wind Energy Services The Timing of Studies This is the hardest part of advising a wind client Provide enough preliminary study for siting, but not waste money by providing detailed study on facilities that are not in their final location If possible, only perform full wetland and cultural delineations on the exact locations of project facilities when they are in their final location Consider timing when running visual simulation, shadow flicker analysis, writing up noise study, etc. Because siting is an iterative process, there will always be some inefficiency in study

19 Wind Energy Services Transportation Study Perform traffic and transportation study, for oversized or heavy deliveries, to assess adequacy of existing offsite roadways, bridges, crossings over culverts, overpasses/underpasses, turning radii, utilities, etc. Within project boundary, determine whether turning radii at existing intersections along the delivery route need to be modified Assess whether surface replacements or upgrades will be required

20 Wind Energy Services Wildlife Studies Typically include: Avian use surveys Raptor nesting surveys Habitat inventory Threatened, endangered, sensitive species focused surveys if appropriate Bat habitat inventory and/or risk analysis State Natural Heritage database/USFWS T&E species inquiries Plant and noxious weed surveys, if appropriate Studies will vary geographically and by state

21 Wind Energy Services Wetland Studies It often makes sense to start with reconnaissance level study, saving complete delineation until the layout is final All project facilities must be cleared for wetlands Public road improvements, especially public road culvert replacements, are often forgotten Good communication between wetland staff and design engineers is critical Data management is critical Keep a change log

22 Wind Energy Services Cultural Resource Studies Consult with State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Define the Study Area for Archeology and for Historic Architecture Define the Area of Potential Effects (in consultation with SHPO) as Project is more precisely defined Archeology Historical Architecture

23 Wind Energy Services Transmission Interconnection Studies Feasibility Study – estimates cost of interconnection System Reliability Impact Study – determines cost and equipment for maintaining reliability of existing system Complete Facility Upgrade Study determines final cost of all interconnection and system upgrade equipment Negotiate Interconnection Agreement with transmission utility

24 Wind Energy Services Other Important Studies Noise Shadow Flicker Visual Assessment Property Values Conduct Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ASTM AIA Standards) Etc.

25 Wind Energy Services Permitting Phase -- Local Local At most proposed wind energy project sites, one or more local approvals will be required. The issuing authority may be a local planning commission, zoning board, town, city or village council, county board of supervisors or commissioners, or a similar entity. Although some state siting boards are authorized to override local objections, most must first demonstrate that the proposed project would be consistent with local ordinances and that there is no reasonable objection to the development of the project.

26 Wind Energy Services Permitting Phase -- Local Local Similar to the state regulatory process, the need for local approvals and the process for obtaining approvals vary throughout the country. In some areas, the local approval process will be time- consuming and the project will be subject to close scrutiny. In contrast, some municipalities require only a building permit. The development team should assess which local approvals will be required and consult with local counsel.

27 Wind Energy Services Permitting Phase -- State State Numerous state regulatory programs are likely to be triggered by a proposed wind energy project. While such programs often mirror, implement (through delegated authority), or complement similar federal laws, the state version is typically more stringent than its federal counterpart. – Little NEPA – State Siting Statutes – Endangered Species – Wetland Permits – Stream Crossing Permits – Use Authorizations for State Owned Aquatic Land – Historic Preservation – Stormwater – Agricultural Protection – DOT (Roadway) Permitting

28 Wind Energy Services Permitting Phase -- Federal National Environmental Policy Act Federal Wetland and Waterbody Laws National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for stormwater during construction and operation Endangered Species Act and other Wildlife Protection Laws National Historic Preservation Act Federal Aviation Administration Clearances Federal Land Use Authorizations Federal Transmission Line Interconnections

29 Wind Energy Services Final Engineering Design – Outline Establish Design Team including Professional Engineer / (Engineer of Record) Develop Design Criteria These should capture design requirements for permits and plans Client should review Preliminary (Draft) Design Drawings Technical Specifications Calculations Final Design PE Sealed Issued for Construction

30 Wind Energy Services Design Disciplines Design Disciplines Capabilities - Civil Site Civil – Site civil drawing is a base map which is topographic survey obtained from client, or TtEC commissions a survey to develop the base map – Usually perform a pre-design constructability walkdown of WTG locations and intended access road routes to consider site natural features and landowner impacts – Roadway design: layout / direction / cross section / radii – Perform stormwater drainage calculations: Size and locate new culverts and identify soil erosion controls (e.g., silt fencing, stone rip-rap, etc.) – Geotextile Use Structural – Foundation Design – Bridge Improvements

31 Wind Energy Services Design Disciplines Design Disciplines Capabilities Geotechnical – May need to perform a geotechnical investigation, as a pre-design task, to obtain site specific information at WTG locations and some locations along access roads – Detailed geotechnical investigation report serves as a basis for access road and WTG foundation design – Field Investigations – Geotechnical Reports as design input

32 Wind Energy Services Design Disciplines Design Disciplines Capabilities Electrical – WTG collector system, – Substation(s) – Transmission Line

33 Wind Energy Services Final Engineering Design - PE Design requires supervision by licensed civil, structural and electrical PEs (if applicable) PEs typically need to be licensed in State where project is located

34 Wind Energy Services Preconstruction Finalize Turbine and Long-Lead-Time Item Procurement Identify and requisition long lead time purchased items, such as wind turbines and transformers Approvals for the later plans and permits (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), Spill Prevention, Containment and Countermeasure Plan (SPCCP) and State DOT and US Army Corps wetlands permits) Final Construction Plans and Drawings Secure Construction Contractor Develop Environmental Construction Compliance Plan Develop Mobilization Plan

35 Wind Energy Services Construction Mobilization – Make sure you have obtained the right pre-construction permissions: Construction Trailers Initial Laydown Areas Sediment and Erosion Control Safety and Environmental Training Send out construction start notifications as required in permits

36 Wind Energy Services Construction After the Notice to Proceed -- Clearing and Grading Access Roads and Public Road Improvements Foundations Electrical Collection System Transmission Line Substation and Interconnection Facilities Tower and Turbine Erection O&M Building/Visitor Kiosks Commissioning Mitigation Areas Reclamation

37 Wind Energy Services Construction Engineering support during construction Provide home office support of construction activities following construction release of design drawings, to review contractor submittals and administer Field Change Requests (FCRs) and/or issue Design Change Notices (DCNs) Provide field engineer, preferably from the design team, to assist with construction activities and ensure compliance with the design

38 Wind Energy Services Tetra Tech, Inc. Tetra Tech, Inc. is a leading, U.S.-based national and international firm delivering solutions in, consulting, construction, engineering, remediation and restoration Publicly traded company (TTEK) – Chosen by Smart Money magazine as one of the 10 Stocks for the Next 10 Years Annual revenues in excess of $1.4 billion; financial strength to stand behind large wind energy projects, including EPC & BOP Over 8,500 employees in 250 offices world-wide Consistently ranked in Engineering News Record as one of the top ten

39 Wind Energy Services Tetra Tech, Inc. Acquisition of The Delaney Group – a well-respected leader in renewable energy construction Experienced energy staff in all disciplines More than 6 million hours without a lost work day over past two years Injury rate is ¼ the national average 70+ National Safety Council awards Employee health and safety perception rating in top 2% nation-wide ISO Certification for all services First major full-service firm to earn certification with such broad coverage ISO 9001 Certification for Wind Engineering Documented quality procedures and systems to meet global standards and expectations

40 Wind Energy Services Full-Service Energy Solutions

41 Wind Energy Services Recognized Expertise Tetra Tech and Nixon Peabody chosen to write American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Wind Facility Siting Manual Frequent speaker on energy topics at AWEA, World Wind Energy Association and other renewable energy industry events Papers on environmental compliance during construction Included in New York Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Wind Energy Tool Kit Published in North American Windpower Journal Through our Energy Management Services Supporting Energy Programs at More Than 60 DoD Installations World-Wide

42 Wind Energy Services Contact Anntonette Alberti, JD

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