Page 5 - Elements_Summer2015
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elements SUMMER 2015

from the Farms

Enabling the development of
renewable energy generation sites

At multiple wind farms in Indiana and Ohio, CEC used mist-net surveying to identify Indiana bats and radio telemetry to discover more about their migration routes and
foraging areas.

Incorporating solar and diligence, GIS, surveying, land acquisition buffer adjacent properties. Stormwater
wind as renewable energy coordination, civil and geotechnical management is also a key design
resources in our nation’s engineering, ecological, cultural component to address water quality
power supply portfolio resources, permitting, and construction and runoff. Archeological and ecological
has become more and more administration. When certified renewable services are typically required to get any
prevalent, due in part to energy generators are in the market to project permitted and online, and they can
develop new or expanded locations for dramatically alter a project’s anticipated
renewable portfolio standards (RPS) solar or wind farms, land acquisition, timing.
requiring electricity generators to entitlements and permitting can take years,
produce a specified percentage according to CEC Detroit Principal Kirt Bat and avian studies are a big part of wind
of their electricity from renewable Andersen. “After wind and solar feasibility development not simply because trees must
energy sources, and also in studies have been conducted, developing be cut to position and construct the turbines,
response to growing public demand. a Critical Issue Analysis (CIA) is typically but also because these species often come
where the developers start in order to into contact with those turbines, and of
Alternative energy guidelines vary from develop the base map that can direct the course this includes endangered species,
state to state, with some states requiring land acquisition team on land value,” too. Both pre- and post-construction studies
power generators to reach percentages Andersen said. and monitoring are required for new wind
of alternative resources as high as 30% farms. For instance, CEC performed bat
by 2020. The Indiana Municipal Power The development of this 30-megawatt solar field mist-netting to determine the presence of
Agency (IMPA)—a wholesale electric power project required site engineering and permit assistance. Indiana bats at several wind farms across
provider for 60 communities—is committed the Midwest. When they were identified,
to environmentally responsible power For solar farms, site layout and engineering radio telemetry provided vital data regarding
even though the state of Indiana does not plans for the earthwork, grading and their roosting habitat and foraging behavior.
have a mandate; IMPA’s solar program has drainage are critical. Geotechnical “We use that data in the siting process to
progressed due to its member communities’ investigations and engineering are mitigate impact. We can adjust accordingly
desire to be more sustainable. “Many completed for the pilings used to support with a different configuration or site location,”
companies even have alternative or solar panels and power stations, and said Ryan Slack, CEC Indianapolis Principal
renewable energy goals of their own,” landscape architecture services help to and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-approved
said Aaron Hurt, CEC Vice President and bat surveyor.
Indianapolis office lead.
“The migration of bats, endangered species,
Most of these projects require a large eagle nests, and new setback regulations
real estate investment and can require are just some of the issues related to the
CEC’s suite of services, including due development of sites for alternative energy
generation,” said Anderson. n
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