July 8

What Would a Turbine See if it Looked in a Mirror?

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In case you missed our full ​blog explaining Chaleur Ventus and Visual Impact Assessments click the button.

The answer to that question is simple, it would see itself. However, looking in a mirror is much different than looking at a wind turbine.

​​​​​​​​A person looks up in the sky to see a turbine. You don't look down on a community from the height of a turbine. There's factors like elevation, trees, and weather that come into play for visual impact.

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​A large part of developing a wind farm is the visual impact. We are the only local utility-scale renewable energy developer in the province so we are passionate about the care taken in creating our scientific studies. There have been contradicting photos taken by an aerial videography company that shows the view from the height of a turbine looking down, suggesting that the ​Village Historique Acadien would be in view of the turbines. ​These photos do not follow scientific principles and are ​inaccurate in concluding that turbines will be visible from the key areas in the village. Photos were obtained from an Acadie Nouvelle Article.

​F. J. Productions: supposedly corresponding to the location where the turbines would be erected without using scientific methods, or professional engineers.

F. J. Productions: supposedly corresponding to the location where the turbines would be erected without using scientific methods, or professional engineers.

​Our Visual Impact Assessment was completed by WSP, a third-party professional services firm with over 25 years of experience. As engineers, they all have professional standards to follow. Their standards ensure that their work is accurate, true, while having a regard for the safety of life, health and welfare of the public and employees who may be affected for the work which they are responsible.

​​​​​"Engineers endeavour to extend public knowledge of engineering and geoscience and discourage the spreading of untrue, unfair and exaggerated  statements regarding engineering and geoscience." @APEGNB_AIGNB

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​Click on each image to open full-size

A Visual Impact Assessment simply can’t be completed with a drone. WSP used visibility tools to identify which observable points are visible from each raster surface location.

​​Inputs into the model include a grid of ground elevations of the area around the turbines, the height of the objects being observed, and the height of the observer. An elevation grid was obtained from Natural Resources Canada.


​Visual Impact Assessment

​​​​​​"The visibility analysis results in what can be considered a "worst-case" viewshed area several factors were not accounted for that would limit the visibility of turbines." - WSP

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​​We are confident in the results created by professional third-party firms, and have spent extra hours and funds to mitigate potential concerns. As the only local utility-scale renewable developer in the province, we care about what is being ​built in they place we call home.

​Aerial photos by: ​FJ Productions​ (we know who we should reach out to when we need video for our future community projects in northern NB!)

If you’re still curious to read more details about the Chaleur Ventus Visual Impact Assessment, and other studies, you can do so by clicking the button.

About the Author

Sarah Arsenault has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Communications and Journalism. She has five years in the Communications field, with a focus in Marketing. ​She’s responsible for getting blogs like this one onto your screen for you to read, and to engage the community about clean energy through the use of promotional material, website, and social media.

Sarah has considerable experience in event planning and community engagement during her time at an established regional non-profit organization. She was involved in the creation, implementation, and completion of a $2.2 million fundraising campaign, which was the largest campaign in the non-profit’s 35-year history. ​

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