50-meter-meteorological-tower.jpg

Due Diligence Support

ANTARES assisted County staff assess wind developer SEP application. 

Botetourt County Support

ANTARES staff provided an independent review of Special Exception Permit (SEP) application for a proposed wind project in Botetourt County, Virginia. The primary objectives of the review were to: 

  • Determine whether the application was complete within the meaning of County Code Section 25-446,
  • Determine whether the project and conceptual plan comply with local, state, and federal codes, and
  • Evaluate the overall reasonableness, fit, and consistency of the project with community and
    economic development goals.

ANTARES evaluated the aspects of the county's ordinance that were applicable to utility-scale wind energy systems and to the SEP process. The ANTARES review covered all of the ordinance provisions on the following topics: energy capacity, parcel size, turbine height, setbacks, turbine separation, permits, turbine appearance, lighting, blade height, base height, controls, warnings signage, vegetation protections, power line placement, SEP report requirements and all Federal and state requirements. The EIS review evaluated environmental impacts and mitigation strategies including curtailment strategies and noise abatement. In addition, ANTARES discussed international standards for infra-sound and noise abatement, per the County’s request. Antares also reviewed and evaluated the developers wind resource study, visual impact analysis, O&M plans, EIS, Sound Impact study, shadow flicker analysis, decommissioning plan, and conceptual design. Specifically, with respect to noise abatement, Antares found that the Applicant did not include in the SEP application a methodology for ongoing sound monitoring at the project site, or a plan for handing noise complaints. As a condition of SEP approval, ANTARES recommended that the county request an updated post-construction sound model be created for the final site plan, to demonstrate that sound levels will not exceed 60 dB(A) at project boundaries.