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Three proposals for the demarcation of the wind farm have been put forward, and the impact of each proposal on certain environmental aspects has been assessed. The proposals overlap to a certain extent and are located outside nature conservation areas.

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  • Proposal 2 has the greatest visual impact, and proposal 1 has the least visual impact within the 25 km zone.
  • Proposal 2 has more of a visual impact within the uninhabited wilderness than proposals 1 and 3.
  • Disturbance to land will be least in proposal 1 and greatest in proposal 2 without the relocation of Landsvegur Road.
  • Proposal 2 will have the greatest effect on natural vegetation and on re-vegetated areas. Proposal 1 will have the least effect on natural vegetation. Proposal 3 falls somewhere between the two in this regard.
  • Proposal 1 is believed to be the best option with regard to birdlife followed by proposal 3 and then proposal 2 (the worst option).
  • Parts of proposals 1 and 3 are within locally protected areas, but proposal 2 is not within the locally protected area.

The conclusion of the EIA shows that proposals 1 and 3 will have less of an environmental impact than proposal 2.

The comparison does not discuss the “no action” option that would represent the environmental impact of not constructing the Búrfell Wind Farm. If the wind farm is not constructed, the area will continue to develop as a result of natural changes. In this case, alternative options would need to be investigated to fulfil energy demands in Iceland.

The environmental impact of proposals 1 - 3 are compared with those outlined in the chapters Environmental impact - natural environment and Environmental impact - society in the chapter below. An emphasis is placed on highlighting the differences between the two proposals with regard to their environmental impact.

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Environmental impact - society

Shadow flicker

Proposal 1


No difference in impact significance, but the distribution of shadow flicker is different to that of proposals 2 and 3 as a result of a different order of wind turbines.

Proposal 2


No difference in impact significance, but the distribution of shadow flicker is different to that of proposals 1 and 3 as a result of a different order of wind turbines.

Proposal 3


No difference in impact significance, but the distribution of shadow flicker is different to that of proposals 1 and 2 as a result of a different order of wind turbines.

Visual impact

Proposal 1


The visibility of the proposals within the 25 km zone of visibility (2,580 km2) is lowest in proposal 1. Proposal 1 will be visible in an area covering 808 km2, which is equal to 31% of the total size of the zone of visibility (affected area).

Significantly negative impact from the road to the Háifoss Waterfall

No impact on the road through the Þjórsárdalur Valley and up to Stöng/Gjánni

Somewhat negative impact from Klettur

Localised, considerably negative impact from Stöng; otherwise none

No impact on parking area by Gjáin

Considerably negative impact from car lot by the Háafoss Waterfall

Least visibility within Friðland at Fjallabak

Localised, significantly negative impact on the footpath by Fossbrekkur

Proposal 2


The visibility of proposal 2 within the 25 km area zone of visibility (2,931 km2) is the greatest of the three proposals. Proposal 2 will be visible in an area covering 1011 km2, which is equal to 35% of the total size of the zone of visibility (affected area).

Considerably negative impact from the road to the Háifoss Waterfall

Mostly no impact on the road into the Þjórsárdalur Valley and up to Stöng/Gjáinn. Localised effects on particular sections and somewhat negative

Considerably negative impact from Klettur

Localised, significantly negative impact from Stöng; otherwise none

Localised significantly negative impact from car park at Gjáin

Significantly negative impact on car lot by the Háafoss Waterfall

Most visibility within Friðland at Fjallabak

No impact from the footpath by Fossbrekkur

Proposal 3


The visibility of proposal 3 within the 25 km zone of visibility (2,717 km2) is more than in proposal 1 but less than in proposal 2. Proposal 3 will be visible in an area covering 882 km2, which is equal to 33% of the total size of the zone of visibility (affected area).

Significantly negative impact from the road to the Háifoss Waterfall

Mostly no impact on the road through the Þjórsárdalur Valley and up to Stöng/Gjáinn

Somewhat negative impact from Klettur

Localised, considerably negative impact from Stöng; otherwise none

No impact from car lot by Gjáin

Considerably negative impact on car park by the Háifoss Waterfall

Less visibility within the Friðland at Fjallabak than in proposal 2 but more than in proposal 1

Localised, significantly negative impact from the footpath by Fossbrekkur

Noise impact

Proposal 1


No difference in impact significance, but the noise distribution differs from proposals 2 and 3 as a result of a different order of wind turbines.

Proposal 2


No difference in impact significance, but the noise distribution differs from proposals 1 and 3 as a result of a different order of wind turbines.

Proposal 3


No difference in impact significance, but the noise distribution differs from proposals 1 and 2 as a result of a different order of wind turbines.

Municipalities

Proposal 1


If proposal 1 is chosen then revenue from public fees will be awarded to the Rangárþing ytra Municipality.

Proposal 2


If proposal 2 is chosen then revenue from public fees will be awarded to the Rangárþing ytra Municipality and to the Skeiða & Gnúpverjahreppur Municipality.

Proposal 3


If proposal 3 is chosen then revenue from public fees will be awarded to the Rangárþing ytra Municipality.

Tourism industry

Proposal 1


There is no difference in impact significance between proposals.

Proposal 2


There is no difference in impact significance between proposals.

Proposal 3


There is no difference in impact significance between proposals.

Tourists

Proposal 1


There is no difference in impact significance between proposals.

Proposal 2


There is no difference in impact significance between proposals.

Proposal 3


There is no difference in impact significance between proposals.

Archaeological remains

Proposal 1


Cairn No. 65 and No. 67 are located outside the proposed area, but cairn No. 66 is on the boundary of the area outlined in proposal 1. The three cairns have a very low relic and protection value.

Proposal 2


Archaeological remains No. 68 - 71 are located in the northern boundary of proposal 2, but they do not cross the boundary. The relics have a protection value due to their age and are protected according to the law.

Proposal 3


All archaeological remains are located outside the area outlined in proposal 3.

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Environmental impact - natural environment

Landscape

Proposal 1


No difference in impact significance. Visibility within the uninhabited wilderness is the least in proposal 1 (92 km2).

Proposal 2


No difference in impact significance. Visibility within the uninhabited wilderness is the greatest in proposal 2 (106.5 km2).

Proposal 3


No difference in impact significance. Visibility within the uninhabited wilderness in proposal 3 (97.5 km2) is more than in proposal 1 but less than in proposal 2.

Geological formations

Proposal 1


Proposal 1 will create the least disturbance, but there is no difference in impact.

Proposal 2


The greatest disturbance will be caused by proposal 2, but there is no difference in impact.

Proposal 3


The same disturbance as in proposal 2 will be seen in proposal 3, but there is no difference in impact.

Vegetation

Proposal 1


No difference in impact significance. Proposal 1 will cause disturbance to blue grass (Leymus arenarius).

Proposal 2


No difference in impact significance. Proposal 2 will affect grassland and moss vegetation within some areas. Proposal 2 will have the greatest effect on natural vegetation and also in re-vegetated areas of birch planting area in the Hekla Forest project.

Proposal 3


No difference in impact significance. Proposal 3 will affect grassland and moss vegetation in some areas, but this would be less than what will be experienced in proposal 2. Natural vegetation will be disturbed in proposal 3, but this disruption is less than what would be seen in proposal 2 and larger re-vegetated areas of birch planting area in the Hekla Forest project would be affected than in proposal 1.

Birdlife

Proposal 1


There is no significant difference between the proposals with regard to the effects on birdlife. The extent of the effects is considered to be comparable, but proposal 1 is the best option in this regard.

Proposal 2


There is no significant difference between the proposals with regard to the effects on birdlife. The extent of the effects is considered to be comparable, but proposal 2 is the worst option in this regard.

Proposal 3


There is no significant difference between the proposals with regard to the effects on birdlife. The extent of the effects is considered to be comparable, but the effects of proposal 3 are somewhere between the effects outlined for proposals 1 and 2.

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Búrfellslundur Wind Farm EIA report

The Búrfellslundur Wind Farm EIA report can be accessed here.
Further discussion on comparison of proposals is in chapter 8.2

EIA report

186 MB PDF