Wind farms & farming
Wind turbines and farmland can work together, without impacting
on farming activities. Our turbines, wherever possible, are located
adjacent to existing access tracks or field boundaries to minimise
land take. The tracks and hard standing areas adjacent to the
turbines generally remain in situ for the lifetime of the wind
farm, while other areas are restored after construction is
completed. Taking into account access tracks and associated
infrastructure such as the control building, a wind farm typically
takes up less than 2% of the available land.
There is typically a short exclusivity period during which the landowner will receive a payment whilst we negotiate the Option to Lease terms. RES bears all land agent and legal fees throughout the wind farms development and operational lifetime.
Once the terms have been agreed, we will enter the Option period where the landowner will receive an annual payment until the lease is exercised when we start construction. During the Option period, for larger-scale projects, RES will install a met mast to measure the wind. This will enable RES to thoroughly understand the wind regime for the site.
As part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a wind farm, we are required to undertake wildlife and habitat surveys. This can be complementary to existing Environmental Stewardship Schemes, Biodiversity Action Plans, Woodland Grant Schemes etc. RES compensates for loss of income received under these schemes. RES pays full compensation for any crop loss during the construction period.
Once a wind farm is up and running, livestock and arable farming can continue as normal, right up to the base of each turbine. Sheep, cattle and other livestock will happily graze under turbines, and crop harvesting continues unaffected. The wind farm will provide the landowner with a stable and regular income for 25 years.
At the end of the life of the wind farm, all of the wind turbines and associated infrastructure are removed, including any underground structures or cables to ploughing depth. Concrete foundations below one metre would normally be left in place, the ground surface would be fully restored and all visible signs of the wind farm would be removed.