New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance

Printed: 9/30/2023 6:32:17 PM

20.3.III Wind Farm

1.  The design of the wind farm shall conform to applicable industry standards, including those of the American National Standards Institute, as such standards exist as of the date construction is commenced. The facility owner or operator shall submit certificates of design compliance obtained by the equipment manufacturers from Underwriters Laboratories, Det Norske Veritas, Germanishcer Lloyd Wind Energies, or other similar certifying organizations.

2.  The wind farm shall comply with all applicable building and construction codes.

3.  All wind turbines shall comply with the following:

a. All wind turbines shall be newly manufactured as of the date of installation.

b. Experimental/prototype wind turbines may only be approved with a conditional use.

4. All wind farms shall be equipped with a redundant braking system. This includes both aerodynamic over speed controls (including variable pitch, tip, and other similar systems) and mechanical brakes. Mechanical brakes shall be operated in a fail-safe mode. Stall regulation is not considered a sufficient braking system for over speed protection.

5.  All electrical components of the wind farm shall conform to applicable local, state, and national codes, and applicable international standards.

6.  An engineer's certificate shall be completed by a structural engineer, licensed in the State of Louisiana, certifying that the tower and foundation of the wind turbines are compatible with, and are appropriate for, the particular model of wind turbine used, and that the specific soils at the site can support the wind turbine.

7.  Wind turbines shall comply with the following design standards:

a. Wind turbines shall be a non-obtrusive and non-reflective color such as white, off-white, gray, or black. The facility owner or operator shall maintain the paint on wind turbines at all times in good repair.

b. Wind turbines shall not display advertising, except for reasonable identification of the turbine manufacturer, or the facility owner and operator.

c.  Within the wind farm, wind turbines shall be of a generally consistent size, design, and color, of similar height and rotor diameter, and shall rotate in the same direction.

d. Wind turbines shall not be artificially lighted, except to the extent required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other applicable regulatory authorities.

e. On-site transmission and power lines between wind turbines shall, to the maximum extent practicable, be placed underground, reach the property line, and be located and constructed in such a way as to minimize disruption to the property's primary purpose as well as to facilitate the interconnection of other commercial wind power generating facilities.

f. Non-essential appurtenances shall not be affixed to any wind turbine, including, but not limited to, cellular or radio antennae.

g. A clearly visible warning sign advising persons of the presence of high voltage levels shall be placed at the base of all pad-mounted transformers and substations.

8.  The applicant shall commission and submit at the time of permit application a wildlife assessment (impact study), conducted by a qualified wildlife expert having no less than ten (10) years of experience conducting wildlife assessments, indicating possible risks to local wildlife, habitat, and migratory birds. Additionally, the applicant's wildlife expert shall also develop a mitigation plan, if applicable, that addresses/mitigates any risk to wildlife, migratory birds and affiliated habitat. All wind turbines at time of application shall be located out of bird and bat migration pathways/corridors to which wind turbine construction would pose a substantial risk.

9.  Wind turbines shall not be climbable up to a height of at least fifteen (15) feet above ground surface. All access doors to wind turbines and electrical equipment shall be locked or fenced, as appropriate, to prevent entry by non-authorized persons.

10.  Wind farms shall meet the following setback regulations:

a. Wind turbines shall be set back from all occupied buildings and barns, garages, machine sheds, and livestock buildings located on a participating property owner's property a distance of no less than the turbine height. The setback distance is measured from the nearest point on the outside edge of a tower to the nearest point on the foundation of the occupied building.

b.  All wind turbines shall be set back from the nearest property line a distance of not less than the normal yard requirements for that zoning district or one-hundred and ten percent (110%) of the turbine height, whichever is greater. The setback distance is measured from the property line to the nearest point on the outside edge of a tower. Operation and maintenance building(s) and substations shall be located in accordance with zoning district yard requirements. All wind farm structures, except for wind turbines, shall comply with the regulations of the zoning district.

c.  All wind turbines shall be set back from the nearest public right-of-way a distance of one-hundred and ten percent (110%) of the turbine height, as measured from the right-of-way line to the nearest point on the outside edge of a tower.

11.  The facility owner or operator shall make reasonable efforts to avoid any disruption or loss of radio, telephone, television, or similar signals, and shall mitigate any disruption or degradation of signals caused by the wind farm in a manner reasonably calculated to remedy such signal degradation, including, but not limited to, providing alternative methods of delivery of signals to affected households at facility owner or operator's expense. The foregoing provision shall not in any way be interpreted to excuse compliance with any regulations, codes, or laws specifically governing electronic transmissions.

12.  The facility owner or operator shall comply with all applicable codes and ordinances regulating sound generation. In the event that any sound levels from a wind turbine are found to be in excess of permissible levels, the facility owner or operator shall take necessary measures to bring sound levels down to a level acceptable.

13.  A wind turbine’s shadow flicker shall not fall on any window of an existing structure or within the buildable area of an adjacent lot, as defined by current yard requirements.

14. The facility owner and operator shall, at their sole expense, complete decommissioning of the wind farm, or individual wind turbines, within one (1) year after the end of the useful life of the wind farm or individual wind turbines. The wind farm or turbine will be deemed to be at the end of its useful life if it is abandoned for a period of time in excess of one-hundred eighty (180) days. Decommissioning includes removal of wind turbines, structures, roads and foundations to a depth of forty-eight (48) inches, and any other element constructed by facility owner or operator for the purpose of maintaining or operating the wind farm.