September 28th, 2018

Lahmeyer carries out study on environmental assessments for wind energy projects

Bird observation in the project area

Bird observation in the project area

At the end of August 2018, the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the Arab region (RCREEE) published a report on the environmental and social impacts of potential wind power projects in the Gulf of Suez region. The report is based on a study performed by Lahmeyer International and its joint venture partner ecoda Umweltgutachten. Its objective is to strategically assess the impacts of wind energy projects and to determine measures to mitigate these impacts. With the study, Lahmeyer supports the region to develop environmentally and socially sound wind energy projects.

Growing importance of Environmental and Social Assessment Studies

Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment Studies start playing a more important role for the development of renewable energy projects, not only in Egypt. They are providing a comprehensive basis to support and facilitate obtaining environmental permits for individual projects, and they often also reflect the requirements of international financing organizations with regard to environmental topics to be considered for the financing of the projects. Within recent years Lahmeyer International has been involved in a larger extent in such studies.

Lahmeyer, together with its joint venture partner ecoda Umweltgutachten, conducted such a study for the Gulf of Suez region. The client in this project is RCREEE in Egypt, handling the execution on behalf of the involved local stakeholders like Egypt’s New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and the project developer.

Recommendations for environmentally and socially sound wind energy projects

Within the study, Lahmeyer developed recommendations to mitigate environmental and social impacts which may be possibly caused by wind energy projects. The recommendations include technical details like wind turbine design and height or the setup of the necessary infrastructures as well as guidelines for the construction, operation and dismantling phase of potential wind farms. Thus, the study provides advice for the complete life cycle of wind energy projects.

A program to maximize energy yield and protect migratory soaring birds

To protect large soaring birds, Lahmeyer recommends an effective Shutdown-on demand (SOD) program at each individual wind farm in spring season. Such a program offers the opportunity to operate a wind farm even during the migration season in spring, when thousands of birds cross the project area. An SOD-program helps to maximize the energy yield of an individual wind farm and to increase the benefit for the owner and in the same time to reduce the collision risk.

For the full study, visit the website of RCREEE: http://www.rcreee.org/content/strategic-and-cumulative-environmental-and-social-assessment-active-turbine-management

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