Technical and Environmental

EIA & Environmental Planning

Green Cat Renewables has undertaken Environmental Impact Assessments on a wide range of wind and hydro projects.

Our capabilities include:

  • Planning Strategy and Policy Advice
  • Project Management
  • Environmental Assessment Co-ordination
  • Application Co-ordination and Reporting

Environmental Assessment:

  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Residential Visual Amenity Assessment
  • Cultural Heritage and Archaeology
  • Hydrology and Hydrogeology
  • Shadow Flicker
  • Noise Assessment
  • Traffic and Transportation
  • Energy Balance

In addition, our Environmental Planning Team has built up a wealth of experience dealing with statutory consultees including SNH, SEPA and Historic Scotland. Our broad understanding of planning requirements and long established relationships enable the team to quickly find effective solutions to manage planning risk.

Energy Yield Analysis/Modelling

We are technical experts in carrying out Energy Yield Assessments for wind, solar and hydro schemes across the UK, informing project benefits to assist in the financing process in a cost effective and flexible manner.

Feasibility Study & Assessment

In most cases we would suggest undertaking a feasibility study to understand the resource and constraints your particular site has. Our team has vast and varied experience of 420+ unique sites which means we have hands-on experience in dealing with, and finding solutions for, a wide range of often complex environmental, technical and engineering constraints.

A feasibility study and assessment would generally include the following:

  • Initial concept design and technology appraisal including recommendations on layout, scale and infrastructure design;
  • Consideration and mapping of the key technical, environmental and planning constraints to flag any potential concerns and making recommendations for further work to manage risk where necessary;
  • Initial resource and energy yield estimate; and
  • Planning strategy and advice.

A proposed plan for the development of the project would be set out which then leads into the project design phase.

Landscape & Visual Impact Assessment Services

Landscape & Visual Impacts are amongst the most critically assessed area of any renewable energy development and in particular wind projects. The Planning and Environmental Department within Green Cat Renewables has an experienced team of Landscape Consultants and Graphic Technicians. The team has supported the delivery and assessment of almost 200 renewable energy projects, ranging from small-scale wind turbines, to large commercial wind farms, solar parks and hydroelectric schemes. As well as supporting the overall planning team in project delivery, standalone LVIA, Residential Assessment and Visualisation work can also be undertaken. All work is carried out to current standards as set by SNH and relevant Local Authorities, utilising the latest software and technology, such as GIS Mapping, ReSoft Windfarm and Augmented Reality Real-Time Visualisation software.

Our Landscape Consultants are experienced in the following:

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Desk based Initial Landscape Assessment
  • Outline and Detailed Design Work
  • Project Management
  • Pre-application consultation with Local Authorities/Consultees
  • Public Consultation/Exhibition
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Residential Visual Amenity Assessment (RVAS)
  • In-House Landscape Photography (compliant with both SNH and Highland Council Standards as necessary)
  • Visualisation production (compliant with both SNH and Highland Council Standards)
  • GIS Constraints Mapping
  • Augmented Reality Real-time Visualisations via IPad software

Noise Assessment Services

Having taken more than 200 projects through the planning process Green Cat Renewables has developed a broad range of expertise in pre-planning and post-construction noise assessment, with a pro-active approach to assessing and addressing noise related issues.

Our dedicated team of noise specialists has developed significant experience of noise assessment including measuring wind turbine sound power levels, identifying faults using noise measurement, construction noise assessment and designing noise insulation solutions for plant enclosures. The team has supported in the delivery of over 200 wind projects through the planning phase, in addition to providing ongoing post-construction monitoring services for planning compliance and complaint investigation through the operational phase.

In House Capabilities

  • For wind projects: ETSU-R-97 background noise assessment for planning applications and post-construction planning compliance assessments, using current Institute of Acoustics (IoA) Good Practice Guidance; assessment of wind turbine amplitude modulation employing the currently emerging methods being developed via the IoA, using audio recording for noise source validation.
  • BS EN 61400-11 sound power level measurements for noise warranty compliance.
  • Noise complaint investigation.
  • Noise mitigation design for wind, hydro and industrial development.
  • BS 4142 assessment of industrial noise affecting mixed residential and industrial areas.
  • BS 5228 construction noise assessment.
  • BS 8223 control and insulation of noise in and around buildings, including noise insulation specifications for buildings such as powerhouses for hydro schemes.
  • Desktop noise predictions and studies to determine noise constraints at an early stage of project development.
  • Liaison with EHOs and planners to determine noise monitoring requirements including the production of noise contour maps.
  • Cumulative noise assessment to determine the capacity of a site, influenced by neighbouring developments.

Planning and Environmental

With our dedicated team of Environmental Consultants, Project Managers, Engineers and Technical Specialists, the Planning and Environmental Team can provide the full range of support services, tailored to your needs, to economically deliver small to large scale wind and solar PV projects from initial feasibility through to planning consent. In addition the team are supported by the GCR Engineering, Technical Services and Geotechnical Departments who provide invaluable input and advice through all phases of the project development.

Project Management

The team of project managers have built up considerable experience working with planning authorities across Scotland and England. This in-depth knowledge of local planning policy and the established relationships with planning departments and officers has meant that almost 90% of our consented developments were able to be determined at a local level, the benefit of this to the project and client is that timescales and planning risk are both significantly reduced.

Public Engagement

An important aspect in the development of any renewable energy project is public consultation and community engagement. Our business was formed to serve the smaller scale locally owned and community owned renewables market. Public engagement is central to the success of this type of project.

Green Cat have significant experience in:

  • Public consultation events
  • Community information presentations
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Preparation and distribution of project information brochures
  • Preparation of consultation reports
  • Socio-economic Assessment

In addition we are able to provide specialist Residential Visual Amenity Assessment (RVAS) for residential dwellings closest to the proposed development. With the aid of real-time visualisations via iPad software, we are able to show local residents a real-time image of how a proposed development will appear in the landscape.