There are many things to consider when buying or selling a 5-year wind farm or older in France. Like many things in life, with ages comes growing potential wear and tear and issues and the same can be said for wind turbines.

Below are outlined some of the few considerations you may want to be aware of before agreeing to purchase or sell.

5-year old wind farmNoise

The noise regulation changed in 2011, in France. Many acoustic studies performed on wind turbines before, and sometimes after, this change are obsolete.

New wind farms are subjected to post-construction noise analysis within a few months after commissioning. But the operational wind farms built before 2011 are not safe from the regulation obligations either. These requirements are retroactive. A new noise analysis can be requested in case of resident complaints or ICPE inspection, for example. The non-compliance of a wind farm can in that case be revealed after several years of operation.

The new, up-to-date standard provides indications on the expected quality of a noise analysis (measurement locations, number of data points, noise level indicator, calculation of reference wind speed…). New noise measurements do not necessarily need to be carried out if their quality meets the standard requirements. However, it is usually the case that analysis itself has to be run again in order to achieve comprehensive, accurate data.

Noise from wind farms is still a very sensitive topic in France. Its financial implications on a wind farm acquisition can be considerable. Greensolver recommends to consider noise aspects with great care during a wind farm transaction process and is ready and willing to provide an expert opinion on acoustic reports.

Cable maps

In addition to noise, French wind farms are subject to many other legal obligations. One of them is the production of comprehensive documentation on the various equipment constituting these wind farms.

However, crucial documents, such as cable maps, can sometimes be missing for wind farms commissioned in the early 2000’s or before. Greensolver has occasionally observed this lack in technical due diligence work performed on operational wind farms.

It is essential to know the accurate location of the various electrical and telecommunication cables for safety reasons. Cables are buried at about 80 cm deep (although this can sometimes be less). An accident can therefore occur, during basic civil works for example, if the exact location of the cables is unknown. Moreover, in case of failure of this equipment, precise knowledge of its location allows for direct intervention to take place and therefore limits the loss of revenue related to the wind turbines downtime.

As part of a wind asset transaction, buyers have to make sure these cable maps exist. If these documents are missing, a geolocation of cables by magnetic detection can be performed by a specialised company. A map of the underground cables can thus be produced as well as an estimate of their depth. Greensolver’s team offers its expertise to its clients to assist them on these kind of technical issues, and many others related to construction, operation or transaction of wind farms.

For both noise acoustic studies and cable map considerations, Greensolver are able to provide a comprehensive scope of services for assisting you in either buying or selling a 5-year old wind farm (or older), in France. See our advisory and technical operations services, or alternatively contact us for more information.