Problems of Determining Size and Character of Wind Turbines’ Visual Impact Zones on Lithuanian Landscape
Keywords: wind turbines, wind farms, influence of wind turbines on the environment, zones of visual impact
Abstractlandscape variety, time of the day, and other factors (Tsoutsos et al., 2009). In this paper the factors that influence the wind turbine’s visibility are analyzed. One of the most important aspects determining wind turbine’s visual impact is observation distance. The visual impact zones of wind turbines in different countries having been analyzed and the situation in Lithuania taken in, the Table of wind turbine’s visual impact hypothetical degrees is set up. To determine the precision of visual impact degrees, the survey in situ is done and its results have been compared to the theoretical-hypothetical visual impact degrees (a comparative analysis). Visual impact zones of wind turbines are evaluated from ten pre-selected observation points. Six wind turbines (of 2 MW power each), installed in Kretinga district near village Vydmantai, are analyzed. At the end of the study, it is identified that the categorization of visual impact zones of wind turbines should be corrected in accordance with the visual character of Lithuanian landscape. Different observation distances have a great influence on the significance of a visual impact. Being 0-7 km from the wind farm (in this case the wind turbine’s visual impact on the landscape varies from dominants to subdominants), the intervals of observation distances have to be shorter. It is noticed that forests, buildings, and other vertical objects that are located near the observation point change the visual impact significance very much. Weather conditions make significant influence as well, especially on visibility of wind turbine wheels.
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