How Does A Windfarm Affect Public Roads?
#2 Public Roads... Have you considered how your public roads might be affected by having a windfarm in your area?
When you build a windfarm, there are many components, pieces of equipment and different things that need to be delivered to the project area in order to build the project. And the way that happens is they are trucked in via public roads. So the process is really quite simple. Once it is determined where the turbine location will be, then the engineers look at the roads in the area to deliver the equipment. They look at, not only the roads that are available, but also the obstacles that might be there. Because some of the components, the blades for example, are really quite long. They can be 150 feet long or longer and they can't go around every corner. Or, if there is an elevated railroad track in the area, they can't go across that without high-centering. Or some other components are very heavy, like the nacelle, that is what houses the generator itself, and some bridges in the area could not handle the weight.
So the engineers look at what roads are available and they determine what route would be the best, the shortest, the safest, and would require the least amount of upgrades. Then they go to the owners of those roads, whether it is the county, the state or whoever and they begin the permitting process. Once they get the permissions to use those roads, then that's when they go back and do the upgrades on the roads. Then they begin the delivery of the components and different things and construction begins.
So the counties, or other road owners, are actually some of the first to get some economic benefit of having a windfarm in the area, because they get some of their roads upgraded free of charge. The taxpayers don't have to pay for that, it's the wind companies themselves that pay for them. But once the project is built and becomes operational, and the revenues begin to happen, that's when the county gets other revenues because they are a taxing entity and they get their money. The county road department gets their piece of that money, so because of the windfarm, they can upgrade other roads in the county which is another boost.
And that is just one way that communities benefit by having a windfarm in the region. Better roads.