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Visual Impact Assessment for Wind Turbine

visual_impact_wind_turbineWindturbines are getting bigger and bigger, larger turbines pay off there investment (carbon as well as financial) more quickly than any other renewable energy source. Some turbines are in excess of 100 meters tall, and so many require an assessment of their visual impact.

A thorough site survey is the key to a visual impact assessment and no exceptions were made in this instance.

The report for a wind turbine in Cornwall includes photo montages and 3D models of the proposed wind turbine, the software used can virtualize images as seen from receptors (people living around the area) and give planners an idea of likely impacts.

3D Model Shots from Visual Impact report

Report Contents

2.0       Local Plan & Other Local Documentation

2.1       Cornwall Council Local Plan


2.2.1    Policies

2.2.2    Strategic Environmental Assessment Objectives


3.0       Natural Landscape Character


4.0       Landscape Character Area


5.0       Landscape and Visual Impacts

5.1       Landscape Impacts

5.1.1    Contrast

5.1.2    High Ground

5.1.3    3D Modelling

5.2       Visual Impacts

5.2.1    Photo Location with “No Change” on Visual Impact

5.2.2    Photo Locations with “Low” Visual Impact

5.2.3    Photos Locations with “Medium” Visual Impact


6.0       Mitigation


7.0       Conclusions


8.0       Certification

3D Model Shots from Visual Impact Report


The model shot to the left shows a proposed wind turbine visual impact with existing tree cover, and another existing turbine to the right.

The model doesn't show all of the vegetation, as the computer could not compute such a complex model. Instead representative vegetation is added at points where it lessens impacts. This type of model is call a bare earth model (with added trees!)

Model Shot 2


The model shot to the right shows a hedge which run to the left of a foot path. The foot path goes past a large wind farm (a site with multiple turbines) in around 1/2 mile. Turbine tips of other wind farm are just visible on the horizon.

If you require a Visual Impact Assessment Report then please get in contact.



Cold Northcott Windfarm - Google Sketchup Modelling