Publication Details

Mitigating Visual Impacts of Utility-Scale Energy Projects

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Donaldson, Joseph J.

Year Published

2018

Publication

In: Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C., eds. Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-183. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 237-243.

Abstract

Visual resources are often a focal point of controversy and uncertainty and are becoming a growing concern for agencies, developers, and the public alike for the variety of utility-scale energy projects, including transmission, substation, power plant, and renewable energy projects. Agencies are increasingly challenged to interpret and enforce regulations for visual resources and balance multiple and often conflicting purposes for public lands. Developers are challenged by uncertainties about visual impacts of their proposed projects, strong public reactions and opposition, and how impacts can best be mitigated cost effectively. The public is most often concerned about impacts to views, changes to visual character and quality, and the effects of these on their property values and quality of life. Developers and utilities are finding that facility sites and potential transmission routes are increasingly constrained and agency requirements for mitigating visual impacts are expansive and costly. This paper focuses on approaches, processes, and techniques for mitigating visual impacts of utility-scale energy projects and explores the effectiveness of some commonly employed mitigation techniques.

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Citation

Donaldson, Joseph J. 2018. Mitigating Visual Impacts of Utility-Scale Energy Projects. In: Gobster, Paul H.; Smardon, Richard C., eds. Visual resource stewardship conference proceedings: landscape and seascape management in a time of change. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-183. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 237-243.

Last updated on: February 7, 2019