Our Process for Wind Project Development

When developing a wind energy project, Uriel Renewables follows an established, proven process to ensure that the project is a success. This process is described in detail below.

In general, the full development and building of a wind farm takes 2.5 to 3 years. Wind energy projects that involve expanding existing wind farms may take less time.

In all cases, we work closely with wind energy project stakeholders, from landowners and local economic development authorities to local and regional service providers and utilities.

Our Process: Step-By-Step

Site Selection

There are two primary qualities we look for when considering possible sites for a wind farm:

  • Adequate wind speed.
  • Access to transmission lines so that any potential electricity generated can be transported to the main power grid.

Landowner Agreements

For interested landowners, Uriel Renewables works closely to find agreement on several key items:

  • An initial period for study during which wind patterns, transmission options, environmental impact, and other factors are examined closely.
  • An operational period for the wind farm.
  • The financial compensation to be paid to the landowner.
  • Reclamation.

Design

A proposed configuration for the wind farm is developed, with a focus on minimizing any impact on the landowner's ability to continue using the land for agricultural and other purposes. This gives the landowner an idea of where turbines will be located.

Wind Data Acquisition and Interpretation

A minimum of one year's wind data must be collected using meteorological equipment and a meteorological tower on the site; this data is analyzed by a qualified meteorologist. Existing maps and publicly available wind data from multiple sources (Desert Research Institute, National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) are also interpreted.

Permitting

All necessary permits at the federal, state, and local levels (e.g., land use and building permits) must be applied for and secured. Most permits have an expected review period of 12 months after application.

Environmental Analysis

Extensive environmental analysis is conducted, including visual studies of photos, site visits, interviews with local experts, and reviews of historical, cultural, and archaeological information. The goal is to ensure a wind farm will not significantly harm:

  • Birds, bats, and other animals (particularly threatened and endangered species)
  • Plant life
  • Wetlands and bodies of water
  • Historically or archaeologically important sites

In addition, the analysis attempts to gauge the impact a wind farm will have on people living in the area, including sound and shadow flicker (the alternating of light levels due to shadows caused by rotating turbine blades).

Interconnection

The feasibility of, and necessary actions for, connecting the wind farm to the local power grid are examined. This helps identify how the existing grid and transmission system will be impacted by the additional electricity from the wind farm and whether or not existing facilities need to be upgraded.

Sales Agreements

We establish a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to sell the electricity generated by the wind farm to the local utility company. PPAs are typically for a minimum of 20 years.

Financing and Construction

We arrange financing to pay for the cost of both wind turbines (and related equipment) and wind farm construction.

The wind farm is constructed, including:

  • Roads, crane pads, and foundations
  • Wind turbines and generators
  • An underground system for collecting the energy produced
  • A substation (if necessary)