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Impression of Fryske Wâlden wind park with nature development
Impression of Fryske Wâlden wind park with nature development

The LPS in operation at Fryske Wâlden in Friesland 1 wind turbines are placed
The LPS in operation at Fryske Wâlden in Friesland 1 wind turbines are placed

2 nature development begins after placement
2 nature development begins after placement

3 a full-grown natural landscape remains whenever the turbines are removed
3 a full-grown natural landscape remains whenever the turbines are removed

The height of planting and the proportions in the turbine influence how the wind park is observed. The middle situation has the most visually satisfying results
The height of planting and the proportions in the turbine influence how the wind park is observed. The middle situation has the most visually satisfying results

Spread of large wind parks in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark
Spread of large wind parks in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark

The five steps of the LPS help in adapting a wind park to the landscape characteristics on site
The five steps of the LPS help in adapting a wind park to the landscape characteristics on site




PROJECTINDEX
 
LANDSCAPE & WIND PARK
Wageningen Universiteit en Researchcentrum

A Landscape Placement Strategy for large wind parks in the Netherlands
Although the impact of a wind park on the landscape is enormous, that landscape is scarcely a contributory factor in current practice when choosing a location. A greater understanding of the relationship between spatial elements and wind parks is essential and may well reveal which Dutch landscapes are suitable for wind turbines. Are the predominately open polders really the only places where wind turbines 'fit', or is this an illusion?
We carried out an exhaustive field study of the relationship between wind park and landscape. A total of 20 large parks in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark were analysed. These are sited in a wide variety of landscapes in many ways comparable to landscapes found in the Netherlands.
From the field study we learned that a relationship exists between the way a wind park is perceived and the composition of landscape elements relative to it. High-tension power lines and other wind parks can cause electromagnetic interference and the amount of trees and shrubbery is key to the wind park's visibility from the surrounding landscape and the perception of distances and heights inside the park. These factors are relatively simple to influence so that the quality of the park can be considerably improved. The above-named effects consequently provide the basis of what we have called the Landscape Placement Strategy. The LPS should be seen as a cyclic process in five steps.
The first step is to choose a suitable location. Legally prescribed distances from buildings and any power lines or other wind parks in the vicinity will influence the decision. In the second step the characteristics of the landscape are used to determine the height of the turbine and size of the rotor. Aspects to be taken into consideration here include the wind park's visibility from the surrounding landscape and the height of any planting on site. In the third step, it is assessed whether it is necessary to provide maintenance paths and to what extent existing roads and paths will suffice. The fourth step addresses the surrounding landscape. The wind park's visibility from important routes can be a reason for choosing a particular layout. The fifth and final step can be regarded as the creative stage, giving the wind park a look of its own.
We used case studies to test the value of the Landscape Placement Strategy, designing large wind parks in three different parts of the Northern Netherlands aided by the LPS. The strategy has also proved its worth at the creative stage, in the parks' visual form. So in principle, large wind parks can be combined with every Dutch landscape type into an aesthetically pleasing whole using this approach.
We hope that this strategy can contribute to greater quality in Dutch wind parks and Dutch wind park siting policy. This may lead to broader support for wind energy as a renewable energy source.