Wind Energy Projects and the Viewshed
Like any energy project, wind projects may alter views that members of the neighboring community are accustomed to. Visual impact analyses can accurately portray the aesthetic impacts of utility-scale wind turbines and help local residents better understand exactly what a project might look like when completed.
The smaller scale of distributed wind turbines reduces the overall impact of the project to the community, but homeowners’ associations and neighbors living in close proximity to the installation may still have concerns.
Surveys have been conducted in New England communities with modern wind power facilities to solicit public perceptions on aesthetics. Like many other surveys conducted elsewhere, the findings generally support the proposition that well-sited wind farms experience increased acceptance following construction.
- Clean Energy States Alliance: A Visual Impact Assessment Process for Wind Energy Projects
- Virginia Center for Wind Energy: How Would a Small Wind Turbine Impact Me and My Community?
- OpenEI: Viewshed