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Wind Project Environmental Impact Assessment

We offer unparalleled expertise in wind project environmental impact assessment. Our analysts use validated modeling and simulation tools for noise, shadow flicker, and zone of visual impact (ZVI) analysis. In addition, we have led the wind industry in developing custom simulation tools to analyze ice shed and blade throw risk. Our tools have been used by communities and wind project developers to address community concerns surrounding ice shed and blade throw, leading to the development of safe science-based setbacks.

Trusted and Bankable Analysis. Our simulation tools are validated against industry-accepted standards. We produce bankable reports that can be used to secure financing and to show compliance with wind ordinances. Because our tools are highly automated and leverage cloud computing technology, we offer industry-leading response times, with typical analysis projects completed in a timeframe of several weeks.

Ice and Blade Throw. Persimia’s ice and blade throw simulation methodology models the trajectories of blade or ice fragments that may potentially be thrown from wind turbines. Given the layout of a wind project and nearby receptors (homes, buildings, roads, etc.), thousands of ice or blade throw simulations are rapidly performed in our cloud computing environment, in which the initial release conditions are automatically randomized. Ground impact locations for these simulations are recorded and used to quantify impact risk to the surrounding structures. These results can be used to assess the safety of proposed setbacks, or to develop setbacks for new wind ordinances. Detailed information on our simulation methodology can be found here and here.

Environmental Noise. Persimia’s environmental noise prediction software uses the ISO-9613-2 modeling standard for sound propagation outdoors. Given a wind project layout, the local terrain at the wind installation, and the octave-band sound power levels for the specific make and model of installed turbines, our noise prediction software computes the predicted A-weighted sound power level at each geographic location in the surrounding area. Persimia produces bankable environmental noise assessments that can be used for wind project permitting.

Shadow Flicker. Persimia’s shadow flicker prediction tool uses a geometric model for sun position in terms of the solar azimuth and elevation angles. The sun position is calculated at the wind farm location for all days of the year, and the turbine shadow is predicted using a ray tracing algorithm. The shadow position and extent is calculated based on the underlying local terrain, gathered from a web-based terrain database. This algorithm computes the predicted number of shadow flicker hours per year at each geographic location in the surrounding area. Persimia produces bankable shadow flicker impact assessments that can be used for wind project permitting.

Zone of Visual Impact. Persimia’s zone of visual impact (ZVI) prediction tool determines whether turbines are visible from each geographic location in the surrounding area. The code uses a ray tracing algorithm to determine whether local terrain features block a turbine from view. Partial turbine visibility is also considered, in cases where only part of the turbine disk or tower is within view from a certain location. Persimia provides bankable ZVI reports that can be used during wind project permitting.

Curtailment Optimization

Smart Curtailment Strategies for the Next Generation of Wind Power. Environmental and wildlife curtailments are increasingly being enforced at wind energy installations. These constraints require operators to curtail turbine operation during periods of high risk of wildlife fatality, or when exceeding budgets on noise or shadow flicker impacts. Curtailment is an important tool in minimizing community and environmental impact, but also reduces revenue and return on investment for wind energy projects.

Persimia has developed unique curtailment optimization tools that allow operators to select optimal curtailment times that balance energy production goals with curtailment constraints. These optimization algorithms use weather forecast and energy demand data to optimize curtailment decisions in real time. Our unique, customized decision-making tools allow wind plant operators to maximize annual energy production while satisfying curtailment budgets.

Research and Development

Web-Based Simulation Deployment. We are an industry leader in developing the next generation of web-based wind project siting software. Our environmental assessment tools are cloud-based, meaning they support server-side interactions and tasking via a web API. As a result, our environmental simulation tools can be seamlessly integrated with developers’ in-house software suites to create customized wind project siting optimization tools.

Industry-Leading Visualization. At Persimia, we recognize the need to communicate complex analysis results to local community members and decision-makers. We offer a unique web-based visualization portal that allows our customers to visualize their simulation results on demand in a virtual 3D Earth environment. Results are provided on the portal in the form of overlay maps and tabular outputs, offering compelling visualization and straightforward interpretation.

Custom Modeling and Simulation. At Persimia, we specialize in the development of multi-physics, complex simulation models for the wind industry. Our custom models have been used industry-wide to support new technology development, enabling our clients to evaluate feasibility of new products or improve performance of existing ones. Our trained researchers use scientifically rigorous and peer-reviewed methods to ensure fidelity of the simulation tools we create.