The purpose of this report and associated databases is to support efforts on the part of the wind energy community to recognize, avoid, and minimize adverse environmental impacts arising from utility-scale wind energy development in Virginia. This report and the resources it presents and describes are designed to achieve the following objectives:
- provide a readily accessible environmental database to facilitate macro-siting decisions for utility-scale wind energy developments so that impacts on sites with significant natural resource values are minimized, and
- provide contact information for agencies and organizations with environmental conservation and protection mandates affected by the development of potential wind energy sites.
The goal of this project is to provide a decision-support tool to facilitate siting of utility-scale wind energy facilities. This project is focused solely on consideration of impacts potentially associated with utility-scale wind systems. This document is not intended for direct application to small wind energy systems. Although some opinions differ between members of the working group and members of the Virginia Wind Energy Collaborative who reviewed the document, broad consensus was reached on the fact that the identification of areas of environmental sensitivity would be beneficial to environmental groups as well as wind developers, state and local agencies, and citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.