The environmental impact assessment (EIA) study was executed within the framework of the 20 MW Tejona Wind Power Project of the energy utility company, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), in Costa Rica. The project is located on an extremely wind-resourceful site (annual average wind speed in excess of 13 m/s) in the province of Guanacaste in the North of Costa Rica.
The contents and scope of the study follow relevant EIA requirements in Costa Rica, and some EIA requirements from the government of the Netherlands. The study provides an update to the original EIA study (1993) taking into account developments in the legal requirements, the methods and tools for environmental assessments, and adjusted to the present conditions and wind turbine technology actually used.
The report gives a detailed description of the Tejona 20 MW Wind Power Project. Besides technical specifications, details are given about the parties involved, organisation, resources used, regulatory framework and financial aspects. Site-specific characteristics relevant for environmental consideration in Tejona are described and briefly analysed. Besides climatic parameters, these include the geological, soil, vegetation, fauna, and archaeological and socio-economic characteristics. The study provides systematic analysis of environmental impacts of the 20 MW Tejona wind power project. The beneficial influence of greenhouse gas abatement is described. Aspects of land use, acoustic noise emissions, visual impacts, safety, impact on soil and vegetation, impacts on birds and wildlife and archaeological features are discussed. A summary of the impacts is given. The planning aspects in view of an environmental management plan are listed but are not analysed in detail.
The findings are influenced by the fact that wind energy already is integrated in the local environment in the form of a number of large projects. It is concluded that the environmental impact of the project is positive in several important aspects. The few detrimental impacts that occur are considered to be negligible or limited.