Article 9.53 - Wind Energy Facilities

.1 No wind energy facility, or addition of a wind turbine to an existing wind energy facility, shall be constructed unless a Special Use Permit has been issued to the facility owner or operator approving construction of the facility under this Ordinance.

.2 Any physical modification to an existing and permitted wind energy facility that materially alters the size and/or type of wind turbines or other equipment shall require a Special Use Permit modification under this Ordinance. Like-kind replacements shall not require a permit modification.

.3 Permit Requirements: In addition to Special Use Permit Requirements found in Article 11.4.10, the permit application shall contain the following:

(a) A narrative describing the proposed wind energy facility, including an overview of the project;

(b) The proposed number, representative types and height or range of heights of wind turbines to be constructed, dimensions and a description of ancillary facilities;

(c) Identification and location of the properties on which the proposed wind energy facility will be located;

(d) A site plan showing the planned location of all wind turbines, property lines, setback lines, access roads and turnout locations, substation(s), electrical cabling from the wind energy facility to the substation(s), ancillary equipment, building(s), and transmission and distribution lines. The site plan must also include the location of all structures and properties, demonstrating compliance of the setbacks;

(e) Other relevant information as may be reasonably requested by the Town of Huntersville to ensure compliance with the requirements of this Ordinance.

(f) Decommissioning plans that describe the anticipated life of the wind power project, the estimated decommissioning costs in current dollars, the method for ensuring that funds will be available for decommissioning and restoration, and the anticipated manner in which the wind power project will be decommissioned and the site restored;

(g) Signature of the Land Owner and Applicant.

(h) Certification of compliance with applicable local, state and federal regulations, such as FAA and FCC regulations.

(1) The applicant shall avoid any disruption or loss of radio, telephone, television or similar signals, and shall mitigate any harm caused by the Wind Energy Facility.

(i) All wind energy conversion systems shall be equipped with manual (electronic or mechanical) and automatic over speed controls to limit the blade rotation speed to within the design limits of the residential wind energy system.

.4 General Requirements

(a) Setbacks: The following dimensional requirements shall apply to the installation of wind turbines and/or wind energy facilities:       

 
Wind
Energy
Facility
Type

 Minimum Setback Requirements1
 
Maximum
Height
from Grade

 
Minimum
Turbine
Blade
Clearance

 Occupied
Structures
(Subject
Property)

Occupied
Structures
(Adjacent
Property)

Property
Lines

Street
Right-
of-Way

 Minor
 0.02
 2.5
 2.0
 2.0
 75ft.
 20ft.
 Major
 1.0
 2.5
 2.0
 2.0
 150ft.
 20ft.

1 The setback is calculated by multiplying the minimum setback requirement number by the wind turbine height and measured from  the center of the wind turbine base to the property line, public street, or nearest point on the foundation of an occupied structure.
2 Minor wind facilities attached to the roof of a structure are prohibited.

(b) Minimum Lot Size Requirements:

(1) The minimum lot size required for a minor wind facility shall be 10 acres.

(2) The minimum lot size required for a major wind facility shall be 30 acres.

(c) Maximum number of turbines:

(1) There shall be no more then one wind turbine that serves as a minor wind energy facility on a single property.

(2) Any property with more than one wind turbine shall be considered a major wind facility.

.5 Installation and Design

(a) The installation and design of the Wind Energy Facility shall conform to applicable industry standards, including those of the American National Standards Institute, and take into consideration local conditions.

(b) All structural, electrical and mechanical components of the Wind Energy Facility shall conform to relevant and applicable local, state and national codes.

(c) Any on-site collector system shall, to the maximum extent possible, be placed underground.

(d) The visual appearance of Wind Energy Facilities shall at a minimum:

(1) Turbine(s) shall be of a coloration that will blend with the surroundings (example: brown, green, gray, off-white or white).

(2) Not be artificially lighted, except to the extent required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other applicable authority that regulates air safety; and,

(3) Not display advertising (including flags, streamers or decorative items), except for identification of the turbine manufacturer, facility owner and operator.

(4) The base of the turbine(s) shall be a monopole construction rather than a guyed pole or lattice construction.

(e) Noise:

(1) Audible sound from a Major or Minor Wind Energy Facility shall not exceed fifty-five (55) DBA as measured from any adjacent property line of any Non-Participating Landowner.

.6 Decommissioning

(a) The Wind Energy Facility Owner shall have 6 months to complete decommissioning of the Facility if no electricity is generated for a continuous period of 12 months.

(b) Decommissioning shall include removal of wind turbines, buildings, cabling, electrical components, and any other associated structures required by staff.

(c) Disturbed earth shall be graded and re-seeded.

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