The term 'wind farms' has a misleading meaning, while the official one is 'Wind Power Plants'. Wind farms are industrial installations that occupy large areas of land and require significant interventions in the space both for their installation and for the transmission of electricity. Impacts on the natural environment can not be estimated without a clear picture of the size of the projects required for their installation. The following data come from environmental impact studies and environmental condition approvals and reveal the invisible side of RES that is never discussed by any of their proponents.
Wind-turbine tower height and blade length
w/t 2MW: tower 60 –80 m., rotor blade 80 m. Total height: 115 m.
w/t 3MW: tower 90 m., rotor blade 90 m. Total height: 135 m.
Space around the wind-turbine
Around each wind turbine an area of 0,50 - 0,62 acres is deforested and leveled in the center of which the wind turbine is installed.
The foundation of each wind turbine is made in a square-shaped sandpit with a side of 14m. and depth 3m. Surface coverage: 196 sq.m. and volume of concrete 588 cubic meters.
Each wind farm includes a lodge for material storage or for staff accommodation. Also fences may be made and access to the public is prohibited.
Wind farms with the necessary accompanying projects (roads and transport lines), occupy thousands of acres of land. Access roads, highways, high voltage pylons and transmission lines are defined as an occupation zone by the companies' studies, but it does not exclude unnecessary openings, clearings and deforestation.
Each wind turbine occupies land for exclusive land use, called 'intervention zone' and is calculated as follows:
For each 2MW wind turbine the intervention zone is 2,72 acres.
For each 3MW wind turbine the intervention zone is 3,46 acres.
Researchers do not calculate the area of intervention of the accompanying projects that they consider rather negligible (!). The wind turbines that have been approved for Ochi mountain (in S. Evia island) according to the above, will occupy 562 acres, without calculating the land use for the accompanying projects.
Each wind farm requires internal road construction that connects the wind turbine with each other and external road construction that serves the access for its installation and maintenance. As wind farms are located in remote locations, access roads are tens of kilometers away. They have a maximum width of 5m. and specifications for the movement of heavy vehicles up to 70 tons. Their construction requires excavations and rockfalls with permitted use of explosives. For the wind farms of Enel - Kopelouzos and TERNA, 79 km of internal road construction and 78km. of new access roads will be constructed, while the existing rural roads will be utilized. The excavation products are estimated at 237,000 cubic meters, but most likely they will exceed any calculation since the roads must be shaped with a minimum slope of 12% on slopes with a slope of 45%! The approval of environmental conditions prohibits the extraction of materials from the mountain slopes, so materials (soil and gravel) will be transported from the quarries of the area.
For the transfer of the generated energy, the wind farms require a medium voltage network from the wind turbines to the substations and a high voltage network from the substations to the central system. In the already installed wind farms, the medium voltage networks are all above ground, but in the planned wind farms of Ochi mountain, the undergrounding of the medium voltage networks is planned, while the high voltage line remains above ground. For the wind farms of Enel - Kopelouzos and TERNA, an excavation will be needed for the undergrounding of the medium voltage in a length of 125 km in an existing road construction as well as an excavation of 16.5 km. off road network.
The high voltage line will transfer the generated electricity above ground and underwater from South Evia to Attica. The wind farms of Enel - Kopelouzos and TERNA will be served by a 150KV high voltage overhead line with a length of 23km. The last 600m. of the line at Spilia Bourou will be undergrounded, while then, the line will run underwater to Rafina at a distance of 45km. The high voltage line will be accompanied by 3 voltage-lifting substations that will be constructed in Amygdalia, Antia and Platanistos.
During the construction, a huge construction site is created in the heart of nature. The construction of roads and surrounding space of each wind turbine is accompanied by dust, noise and pollution from petroleum products, spare parts and all kinds of useless materials. The surrounding vegetation will either be burried by the movement of huge volumes of soil and rocks on the slopes or it will be violently cleared. Only for the creation of the surrounding space around each wind turbine of Enel - Kopelouzos and TERNA companies, 78 acres of vegetation will be cleared (126 wind turbines X 0,62 acres).
After the completion of the construction, the environmental conditions require the removal of the construction site facilities. The soil that will be left over from the excavations should be formed in places according to the instructions of the Forest Service. Plantings are also defined, even on the slopes of the roads after a special forestry study, but with the reservation ‘where possible’ (!). To date, in the existing wind farms, there has not been restoration with plantings, on the contrary, it is possible that one sees abandoned barrels with oil and other rubbish. Also, in order to protect the vegetation near the projects, the companies are required to install fire hydrants to supply the fire trucks in case of fire, a provision that is also not observed to date. Finally, the companies are required to dismantle all the facilities and restore the environment in case of permanent shutdown of a wind farm.