It is one thing to support wind power in general; it is another to have it in your backyard. Consequently, wind power developers face public opposition for both perceived and legitimate reasons, all of which deserve attention. Careful planning and community involvement can reduce opposition, get community members on board initially, and keep them happy once the wind farm is operational.
One of the best ways to minimize public resistance to wind farms is community involvement. Residents are more likely to support a wind farm development when they understand the direct benefits to them personally, they have a hand in the planning, and the developer addresses their concerns thoroughly and transparently.
Residents will be more enthusiastic about a wind farm project if they will benefit directly from it, so aligning the farm location with the service area is important. Also, when people have a say in the planning, they take ownership and will naturally become more supportive of the project.
Finally, addressing concerns like noise and how the project will avoid problems seen in other developments will help maintain the community's support. As evidenced by Vinalhaven, Askam and Deeping St Nicholas, avoiding noise problems is often a matter of observing conservative setbacks and noise thresholds.
Maintaining the support of the community is important for the future of wind power, especially in the early stages of infrastructure development, in order to pave the way for future projects. Wind power developers face public opposition for both perceived and legitimate reasons. Careful planning and community involvement can reduce opposition, get community members on board initially, and keep them happy once the farm is in operation.