A number of comments and suggestions were submitted during the preparation and presentation of the project:
- The close proximity of the wind farm to the Dómadalsleið mountain road
- The potential effects of the wind farm on re-vegetated areas by Sölvahraun
- The visual impact of aviation obstruction lighting on the wind turbines
- The reduced visibility from the Landvegur Road to Hekla if the road were to go through the Búrfell Wind Farm
- The number of wind turbines within the Búrfell Wind Farm
- The negative impact on the physical landscape close to tourist spots such as Áfangagil Gorge and the Hólaskógur Forest
- Disturbance to vegetation and re-vegetated areas within the wind farm
- Effects on birdlife
- Noise impact from wind turbines
Proposals on the demarcation of the Búrfell Wind Farm have been developed throughout the assessment process with the objective of accommodating suggestions and reducing the negative environmental impact of the proposed project. These working procedures are in accordance with the objectives outlined in legislation for environmental impact assessments, which aim to reduce the negative environmental impact of projects as much as possible.
One proposal for the demarcation of the Búrfell Wind Farm was put forward in the scoping document. To accommodate concerns over the close proximity of the wind farm to the Dómadalsleið mountain Road and re-vegetated areas, two proposals were put forward in the EIA report. The final EIA report presents proposal 3 in order to accommodate the comments regarding the visual effect of the wind farm in residential areas and on tourist spots, such as the Áfangagil Gorge and the Hólaskógur Forest, which came from the presentation of the EIA report. Proposal 3 is within the limits of proposal 1 and proposal 2, and it is, therefore, not defined as a new area. Rather, it is considered a further development of the proposals under assessment in the EIA report.
Landsvirkjun also presents a proposal to avoid the use of aviation obstruction lighting to reduce this portion of visual impact. A precedent has been set for this type of working procedure in Scotland in areas that are not in close proximity to airports. Furthermore, there is a possibility to move the Landvegur Road if proposals 1 or 3 are chosen to avoid the diminishment of the view to Hekla.
A well-known mitigation measure to reduce the visual impact of wind farms is to select fewer, larger wind turbines rather than a higher number of smaller wind turbines. This will be considered during the decision process for the size and number of wind turbines at the Búrfell Wind Farm.
The reduction of negative environmental impacts is considered during the design phase. An example of this would be the implementation of a de-icing system to reduce the risk of ice throw. The choice of turbine colour is sky grey, the remaining forest life in the Klofaey islet is considered and storage facilities are kept to a minimum to reduce the extent of disturbed areas.
The results of the EIA report show that the characteristics and extent of the environmental impact, in most cases, do not call for mitigation measures (noise, disturbance to land, vegetation, birdlife and archaeological remains). The structures pertaining to the project are so high that their visual effect can only be mitigated by factors such as colour choice, distribution of turbines and the minimisation of aviation obstruction lighting.
Landsvirkjun will cooperate with the municipalities within the area and members of the tourism industry to utilise the development of the Búrfell Wind Farm in such a way that it will create new opportunities in tourism.
Búrfellslundur Wind Farm EIA report
The Búrfellslundur Wind Farm EIA report can be accessed here.
Further discussion on mitigation measures is in chapter 8.1.1
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