Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wind Energy Facilities Permitting Handbook Could Serve as a Template for Most Projects

Source: Wikipedia
The Permitting of Wind Energy Facilities: A Handbook (2002), prepared for the Midwest Research Institute, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is a practical guide for navigating land use regulatory issues related to wind energy facilities.

The Handbook specifically discusses common terms and issues applicable to seeking land use entitlements for wind energy facilities, which makes it particularly relevant to the proposed expansion of wind facilities on Maui and the proposed wind project on Lanai.

The Handbook's general recommendations are:
  • Early, significant, and meaningful public involvement;
  • Taking an issue-oriented approach to help focus the debate, educate the public and decisionmakers, and ensure an analytic basis for decision-makers;
  • Ensure that decisionmaking criteria is clear and consistently applied, and made known from the outset to all participants and interested parties;
  • Encourage and facilitate agency coordination so that project review can proceed simultaneously to avoid redundant, conflicting or inconsistent requirements, standards and processes;
  • Establish reasonable time frames;
  • Developers and agencies should know as much as possible about the project, the process, the participants, and the issues prior to commencing the formal permitting process;
  • Systematically narrow the issues of concern and produce factually-based decisions with the goal of limiting any administrative or judicial appeals and allowing them to proceed more efficiently; and
  • Ensure that conditions of approval are specific, measurable, agreed upon by all parties, realistic, set within reasonable time frames, enforceable, and actually enforced.
These general concepts are equally applicable to other types of land use projects, such as solar, photovoltaic, and geothermal energy.

The Handbook is a good read and can be downloaded from the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC) Web site at

For more renewable energy issues, visit the Energy archives.

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