Ireland - Services

Services

Wind Farm Services

Supporting over 100 wind farms with a combined
capacity of over 3,000MW since 2008

Whether developing single turbine projects or large scale onshore wind farms our multi-disciplinary teams have the knowledge and experience required to secure success. Our services span the project life cycle from Site Selection and Engineering though to Stakeholder involvement, Environmental Impact Assessment, Planning consent and Construction Management.

RPS offers developers a comprehensive range of environmental experts on topics pertinent to the majority of onshore wind proposals such as Ornithology, Bats, Noise, Access, Landscape and Visual alongside site specific issues requiring specialists in fields such as peat assessment, settings of historic places and residential visual amenity.

When looking to acquire projects with complex histories our Due Diligence service benefits from our specific onshore wind experience and expertise. Our work highlights risks or potential delays to project delivery and presents possible solutions.

Following consent, we are experienced at discharging conditions and dealing with additional surveys that may be required.

RPS offers a comprehensive planning appeals service preparing statements of case, proofs of evidence and rebuttals and appearing as expert witnesses at onshore wind farm public inquiries.

Case Studies

Alaska Windfarm

Alaska Wind Farm, Dorest

Purbeck Wind Farm LLP

RPS obtained planning permission for four 125m high turbines following a successful appeal against the Local Authority's decision to refuse planning permission.

RPS provided all the Planning and Environmental support including preparation of the Environmental Statement for the proposal located in a quarry surrounded by heathland. A range of environmental surveys were undertaken including nightjar surveys using thermal imaging cameras.

Constraints mapping was used to advise on layout. Suitable routes for turbine delivery to site were identified and mitigation measures proposed to reduce adverse effects were recommended. RPS specialists attended public exhibitions and pre and post application meetings with stakeholders, including early consultation with statutory consultees.

Although RPS managed to secure a council resolution for approval, it was subsequently refused as the Council considered effects could not be addressed by planning conditions. An appeal was lodged followed by a public inquiry. RPS provided expert witnesses for Landscape, Noise and Planning. The appeal was allowed and planning permission granted. The inspector conclused that "the environmental and economic benefits would significantly outweigh the limited degree of harm that could occur"

BGE Acquisition of SWS Energy

BGE Acquisition of SWS Energy

Bord Gáis Eireann

Ireland

RPS were retained by BGE to conduct Environmental, Planning and Structural / Geotechnical Due Diligence of SWS Energy’s 500 MW wind energy portfolio across Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Only 25% of the portfolio included wind farm developments that were constructed or in the construction stage, with the remaining majority still at varying stages of the planning process. Given the greater energy potential in upland areas, a high proportion of the development projects were located in sensitive upland regions where protected habitats / species, the presence of active peatlands and visual landscape designations made development and planning permission uncertain and challenging.

In addition there were often complex grid connections that would have to be overcome to get the developments connected to the energy grid. Environmental Liability Directive risks to protected habitats and species and compensatory habitat planning conditions were critical components in evaluating the risk and value of the energy assets during the due diligence project. RPS developed a specific risk & valuation methodology that assessed each development project in terms of: the severity and magnitude of impact , which in this case was the predicted reduction in MW capacity as a result of planning scale reduction, delays or failure the probability of such an impact occurring.

This approach enabled the client and financial advisors to value the inherent risk and uncertainties of each of the 20 development projects still in the environmental and planning assessment stage so that an appropriate valuation could be assigned to the business.

Burton Wold Wind Farm

Wind Farm Services Case Studies

Burton Wold Wind Farm South, Northamptonshire

Infinergy Ltd

RPS secured planning permission for a five turbine extension consisting of 100m tall 2.3MW turbines machines producing up to11.5MW of renewable electricity.

Following the submission of a scoping opinion RPS was responsible for managing and producing the Environmental Statement. Throughout the EIA process RPS liaised with technical consultees including Natural England and English Heritage. Ultimately there were no objections from technical consultees.

RPS also prepared a planning support statement, design and access statement and submitted the planning application, as well as working with the planning officers and consultees. The local town council supported the proposals, with 21 out of 25 letters received from local residents being in support.

In their report to the planning committee the planning officer found the scheme had no unacceptable effects and that moreover there is "very strong development plan policy in support". In addition, "the weight of material considerations including national policy advice on renewable energy adds further strong support".

The proposal was supported unanimously by the Local Authority.

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Llaithddu Wind Farm

Llaithddu Wind Farm, Powys

Fferm Wynt Llaithddu Cyf

RPS led the EIA and Section 36 application submission for a 29 turbine, 66.7MW, wind farm.

The site falls within TAN 8 Strategic Search Area C. RPS worked in conjunction with the developer to design the wind farm layout and scheme, from the outset of the project. Key consultants attended a series of public exhibitions prior to submission of the application.

Our Client's approach to wind farm development is unique in the industry. Its directors are themselves Welsh hill farmers, and their aim is to help their fellow farmers to continue their traditional upland farming way of life through diversification into wind energy. Our Client's objective is to retain over half of the project value in the local economy, a significantly greater proportion than most other UK wind farm projects.

RPS has also provided post submission advice including negotiations with the Local Authority, DECC and various consultees including Cadw, CCW and WG.This has been a complex negotiation process with delays incurred whilst wider Mid Wales issues relating to grid connection and transportation are resolved. The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has given notice that a combined public inquiry will be held for a number of Section 36 application in Mid Wales. RPS is currently preparing for the inquiry.

Moy Wind Farm

Moy Wind Farm, near Inverness

Carbon Free Developments Ltd

RPS was commissioned to undertake and manage the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), planning application and subsequent planning appeal for a 20 turbine (126.5m high) wind farm development on the Moy Estate near Inverness.

RPS submitted the planning application and supporting EIA on behalf of the developer to The Highland Council.

With the Council failing to determine the planning application within the statutory period, RPS advocated the submission of an appeal against non determination to the Scottish Ministers.

During the appeal, RPS successfully demonstrated to the Reporter that the supplementary planning guidance on which the Council sought to refuse the wind farm did not represent the final view of the Council and therefore should be afforded limited weight in the determination of the appeal.

The wind farm was granted planning permission on appeal.

West Limerick Wind Farms

West Limerick Wind Farms

Airtricity

Limerick, Ireland

RPS was appointed Project Supervisor Design Process by Airtricity for two Wind Farms in west county Limerick.

The project involves the installation of 19 Wind Turbines on the Dromada site and 21 turbines on the Athea site. The works include all associated turbine bases, hard standing areas, road construction and public road improvements for delivery of turbines. Responsibilities included:

Project Supervisor Design Process including : Coordination of Designers

Preparation of Preliminary Safety and Health Plans

Preparation of the Safety File

Provision of Health and Safety Advice to the client

Coordination of Temporary Works

Chairing monthly Design Safety Review Meetings

Reviewing Design Risk Assessments