A Variable Resource: Turbines produce electricity only when the wind blows. This variability is monitored and compensated in the same way utilities monitor demand changes each day, so there are not any actual changes in power supply for the end users.

 

Aesthetics: People have widely varied reactions to seeing wind turbines on the landscape. Some people see graceful symbols of economic development and environmental progress or sleek icons of modern technology. Others might see industrial encroachment in natural and rural landscapes. There are many ways to minimize the visual impact of wind turbines, including painting them a neutral color, arraying them in a visually pleasing manner, and designing each turbine uniformly.

 

Shadow Flicker: Shadow flicker occurs when the blades of the rotor cast a shadow. Research has shown the worst-case conditions would affect, by way of light alteration, neighboring residents a total of 100 minutes per year, and only 20 minutes per year under normal circumstances.

 

Noise: Wind turbines are not silent. The sounds they produce are typically foreign to the rural settings where wind turbines are most often used, but as turbine technology has improved over the years, the amount of noise has fallen considerably. The sounds of wind turbines do not interfere with normal activities, such as quietly talking to one’s neighbor.

 

Biological Resource Impacts: As with any construction project or large structure, wind energy can impact plants and animals, depending on the sensitivity of the area. Direct fatalities from collisions or electrocutions and loss of wildlife habitat and natural vegetation are the primary wildlife concerns associated with wind energy. Extensive environmental impact analysis are an integral part of project development to mitigate impacts as much as possible.

 

Construction:Wind systems can involve the transportation of large and heavy equipment. This can cause a large temporarily disturbed area near the turbines. Erosion is another potential environmental problem that can stem from construction projects. The single most reliable technique for limiting erosion is to avoid grading roads and to perform site reclamation post construction.

 

Radar: Radar interference by wind turbines is rare and easily avoided through technological improvements and proper siting of turbines that are close to sensitive areas. A number of U.S. government installations have both wind turbines and functional radar, and the British military has a track record of successfully addressing these challenges.