Resource Practices Branch

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Wind energy developments on forested landscapes - visual quality: the public response

Author(s) or contact(s): British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Source: Resource Practices Branch
Subject: Visual Resource Management
Series: Recreation
Other details:  Published 2015. Hardcopy is available.


Wind energy is becoming an increasingly popular power-producing alternative in British Columbia. Although five developments have been completed and several more are going through the provincial Environmental Assessment process, the public response to the visual impacts of these developments is not well understood. To gain a better understanding of the public response to wind energy developments, the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' Resource Practices Branch undertook a visual perception survey involving 591 participants in eight communities across the province. Conducted between January and June 2014, this survey asked participants to assign an acceptance rating and visual quality class to 70 scenes that contained various wind energy developments on forested landscapes under different viewing conditions.

Specific objectives were:
(1) to determine the public response to scenes with and without wind turbine generators, and
(2) to determine whether an attribute, or combination of attributes, can be used to predict public acceptance ratings (PARs) and visual quality classes.

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Updated August 06, 2015