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How Are LiDAR Services Used in Promoting Clean Energy?

Clean, renewable energy is absolutely essential for combating climate change and building sustainable communities. However, you may be wondering exactly how LiDAR services fit into the promotion and development of wind, solar, and other green energy projects. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law directed $17.9 billion to clean energy and power. It turns out that high-quality LiDAR data provides many valuable insights that support renewable energy in impactful ways.

Optimal Site Identification and Planning

LiDAR is ideal for thoroughly mapping terrain typography and identifying the most suitable locations for building new wind and solar farms. The detailed aerial views show elevation, obstacles, vegetation, and more, thus allowing energy companies to pinpoint sites with maximum solar exposure or consistently strong wind resources. LiDAR also aids planning by clearly revealing critical wildlife habitats, water features, and sensitive areas to avoid. Robust, accurate data from LiDAR services fuels smarter, environmentally responsible site selection and design.

Efficient Infrastructure Placement

Once sites are selected, LiDAR supplies precise elevation models and surface detail for planning the most efficient placement of turbines and solar infrastructure. For wind farms, LiDAR informs turbine height specifications and the optimal distance between each structure to maximize energy production. For solar installations, LiDAR data enables the positioning of access roads, transmission equipment, and solar panels for ideal sun exposure throughout the day and year. The facts provided by LiDAR services allow clean energy infrastructure to be sited for peak performance.

Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment

New renewable energy projects must thoroughly assess and minimize ecosystem impacts through careful siting and planning. LiDAR identifies vegetation types, canopy density, hydrologic features, and protected environmental areas with accuracy. This allows energy developers to responsibly site necessary access roads, transmission lines, substations, and other infrastructure to limit disturbance and fragmentation. LiDAR facilitates planning that balances renewable energy goals and conservation needs.

Ongoing Performance Monitoring and Maintenance

Even after construction, LiDAR continues to play a role by monitoring vegetation growth around solar and wind infrastructure, which could eventually cause shading or block airflow. The data helps determine optimal schedules for selective tree/brush clearing or trimming to maintain unobstructed sun exposure and wind flow. For coastal wind farms, LiDAR also shows shifting coastlines, seafloor changes, and sediment buildup affecting turbine foundations over time. This technology enables proactive maintenance for maximum energy production.
From initial location scouting to long-term performance monitoring, LiDAR services are an indispensable tool for the successful sustainable growth of clean wind and solar energy. Ultimately, the unique capabilities of LiDAR help build our clean, renewable energy future. Our team at ACI Corporation can help you promote clean energy with our civil engineering and construction management services. Call us today to learn more.
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