Wind Energy: Engage, Involve, Energize!

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Download the  WE Engage Toolkit glossary



WE Engage Toolkit Glossary


Topic Definition
Basic The key measures to be taken in each phase of the wind development.
Supplementary The additional measures that will enhance engagement.
Keep people informed Keep communities, local residents and all other people interested about the project informed of a wind project.
How much will this measure cost to the developer /TSO ?
The more ‘euro signs’ you have the more expensive the measure .
How long will it take for the developers/TSO to carry out this measure ?
The more ‘clock signs’ you have the more time required.
How many staff members will be needed by the developer to carry out this measure ?.
The more ‘staff member signs’ you have the more staff needed to carry out this measure.
Measures: Information
Press releases A written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy on a wind project.
Community newsletters A regularly distributed publication about a wind project to its subscribers.
Letter notification A letter of notification sent to inform people of important information about a wind project .
Public meetings A meeting for an assembly of people : to keep local residents informed of a wind project.
Mail drops A delivery of mail about a wind project.
Use of social media and internet Use of internet and social media as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…. to keep citizens informed about a wind project.
House visits Door to door information about a wind project.
Information road show A show of information about a wind project.
Formal consultation documentation Right to consult documents about a wind project.
Mobile exhibitions A mobile public display about a wind project.
  Measures: Engagement
Community drop-in sessions Visit from the developer on an informal basis without booking or appointments.
Presence at local community events Presence from the developer at local community events.
Stakeholder forum/workshops A place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a wind project can be exchanged by stakeholders.
Telephone hotline A direct telephone line setup for a specific wind project.
Workshops and focus groups A meeting at which all focus groups engage in an intensive discussion and activity on a wind project.
Web-based consultations Seek information or advice on the web about a wind project.
Meetings in homes An assembly of people for discussion about a wind project in homes (organised meeting).
Street stalls A booth or stand in which information is displayed in relation with a wind project.
Measures: Financial participation
Public private partnership Public private partnership means a partnership between one or several private-sector companies and one or several public entities for the purpose of owning a wind farm or part of it. Public-private partnerships can be used to finance, build or operate projects. (Wise Power, 2015). Partnership including both private and public partners, among which at least one partner is a public entity (municipality, public authority).
Private partnership A private partnership is a structure involving one or several private developers and/or one or several citizen cooperative(s) committing funds to own a wind farm or part of it
Private partnership incl. cooperative Partnership exclusively with private partners among which at least one partner is a citizen cooperative.
This is the more restrictive definition involving at least one citizen cooperative that was used for this survey. For the purpose of the WISEPower project the following broader definition has been used:
PP = Private partnership, a private partnership means a structure involving one or several private developers and/or one or several citizen cooperative(s) committing funds to own a wind farm or part of it (Wise Power 2015).
Innovative investment fund Innovative financing/ funding models are mechanisms enabling to finance a project or part of it, other than by usual bank loans or long-term credits granted by financial institutions. Often these innovative models are set up by actors which are not traditional actors of the financial sector. (Wise Power 2014).
Bonds Debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (corporate or governmental) that borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a fixed interest rate.
Crowdfunding Participative mechanism of funding a project by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. The contributions can be rewarded or not. The rewards can bear various forms, described below. There is no automatic obligation of result in terms of amount collected. (Wise Power 2014).
Crowdfunding can be:

  • Donation-based: no monetary reward
  • Reward-based: supporters of the project receive some form of reward
  • Lending-based: funding based on loans from private partners
  • Equity-based: funding mechanism enabling to become a shareholder of the company or organisation developing the project (corresponds to cooperative model)
Leasing Financial arrangement in which a developer pays to use land for a particular period of time. (Cambridge, 2015).
Sponsoring To give money to support a person, organization, or activity. (Cambridge, 2015).
Discount on electricity bill A reduction in the usual price of the electricity bill. (Cambridge, 2015).
Distribution of dividend Part of the profit of a company that is paid to shareholders. (Cambridge, 2015).
Financial compensation A financial compensation means that specific groups are paid directly. Note that when using this approach the gains of the project go to a small number of community members and do not support the community as a whole.
Community fund In a Community fund (RAB-2) money supplied by the project developer is provided as community benefits. It should be decided within the community what the money is to be spent on, preferably under the premise that the whole community has the opportunity to take advantage of it.
Local contracting Local Contracting (RAB-2) means that where possible tasks are executed by local contractors.
Wind farm development phases: phase 1 to 4
Phase 1: Site selection This step includes the selection of suitable sites and proposed size of the wind farm, usually based mainly on its economic potential and technical feasibility. At this point, research into the social context of the community should also be undertaken for promising sites. This includes identifying and mapping relevant stakeholders as well as initial consultations with key members of the community such as the local administration, landowners and (environmental) citizen groups. Subsequent formal public presentations in the community will explore the feasibility of the development. From the outset, it is important to manage expectations through open and transparent discussions concerning additional annoyance / disturbance and future benefit sharing.
Phase 2 : Planning In this phase the planning is refined and an application for formal permission submitted.
Social Acceptance: The communication channels established to date should be maintained and enhanced by pro-actively seeking opinions about the project as it progresses. Where possible suggestions from the community should be implemented in order to minimize impact and to foster the acceptance of the project.
Phase 3: Construction The construction phase includes building the concrete foundations, the access roads, erecting the wind turbine, and connecting it to the grid.
During the actual construction of the wind-farm, proactive engagement methods are essential as the construction process usually leads to annoyance for local citizens e.g. noise, heavy transport. Information of upcoming events and a contact point e.g. via a telephone hotline, for local citizens to issue complaints are therefore advised
Phase 4: Operation The operation phase covers all necessary services to operate a wind turbine during its life cycle. It includes maintenance, monitoring, repair of the wind turbines, as well as financial management.
Social Acceptance: Throughout operation it is advisable to maintain all communication channels and keep in contact with the relevant local stakeholders.
Further definitions
Decommissioning Modern wind farms are designed to operate for at least 25 to 30 years, during which time they are carefully managed and maintained. It is important to have a plan for what will happen to these facilities when their useful life has come to a close.
When wind farms are “decommissioned,” or taken out of service, they are removed and the land under them is restored, as well as the surface of the land. Every component of the turbine within four feet of the surface is removed from the site. This ensures that agricultural uses and other future uses can continue unimpeded, and no remnants of turbine structures are visible.
Repowering Repowering is the process of replacing older wind power stations with newer ones that either have a greater capacity or more efficiency which results in a net increase of power generated. For wind power, repowering can include (NREL 2013) two types of actions:
• Full repowering refers to the complete dismantling and replacement of turbine equipment at an existing project site,
• Partial repowering is defined as installing a new drivetrain and rotor on an existing tower and foundation. Partial repowering allows existing wind power projects to be updated with equipment that increases energy production, reduces machine loads, increases grid service capabilities, and improves project reliability at lower cost and with reduced permitting barriers relative to full repowering and greenfield projects.

The terms detailed on this page are used throughout the WE Engage website, and should be understood in advance of using the tool. Alongside these terms, a more comprehensive glossary is available on the WISE Power website. This comprehensive glossary can be viewed here.