Track: Taller Turbines and Repowering – Permitting Policy and Environmental Considerations
New Cultural Resource Challenges from Maturing Wind Energy Development Scale and Reach
Presentation Description: State and federal laws that manage impacts to cultural resources - most notably Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act - often apply to wind energy development. As renewables gain traction and technology allows for ever taller turbines, their visual impacts change too. Whether a taller hub opens new areas of the country to development or its viewshed impacts stretch across more land, these modern projects may be impacting historic structures and districts, archaeological sites, and cultural sites in new ways. It is important, then, to know how the cultural resource regulators view these projects and how best to approach new archaeological, historical, or cultural constraints from larger turbines. This poster provides a visual summary of how regulators across the US view wind projects including project components of highest and lowest concern; hub height impacts on Areas of Potential Effects; and wind energy project familiarity across different states. The author intends to convey in a quick-reference format the points of primary concern for cultural resource regulators to assure that wind projects are as successful and challenge-free as possible. It will highlight broad trends and (where applicable) nuances between different states’ cultural resource laws as well as the regulators’ procedures and opinions. This information will then help permitting specialists plan ahead for new projects in different regions.