Regulatory Permitting Applications

Our broad understanding of permitting requirements and environmental constraints for renewable and alternative energy projects enable the GCR team to quickly find effective solutions to manage and mitigate project development risk.

  • Planning Strategy and Policy Advice;
  • Application Coordination and Reporting;
  • Permitting Management;
  • Project Extensions, Amendments and Re-Powering Applications;
  • Environmental Assessment Co-ordination;
  • Permitting Appeals;
  • Expert Witness Services and Hearing Support;
  • Permit Compliance and Condition Amendments;
  • Stakeholder and Public Engagement;
  • Production of Technical Studies; and
  • Project Management.

Noise Impact Assessment

GCR have a dedicated team of noise consultants to support clients with the delivery of wind, solar and battery energy storage projects throughout the permitting phase. In addition, we can provide ongoing technical support and compliance noise monitoring through the operational phases.

GCR’s capabilities include:

  • Noise impact assessments (NIA’s) to support regulatory approvals in line with ISO 9613:2;
  • Expert witness testimony;
  • Measurement of third party energy related facility sound power levels;
  • Identification of faults using noise measurement equipment;
  • Construction noise assessments;
  • Compliance measurement and assessments;
  • Designing noise insulation solutions for equipment enclosures;
  • Assessment of amplitude modulation for wind turbines (using audio recording for noise source validation);
  • Noise mitigation design, involving liaising with wind turbine manufacturers;
  • Peer review of noise studies.

Solar Glare Hazard Assessment

Glint and glare refers to the reflection of the sun’s light from the surface of an object into an observers eye. Glare has the potential to impact stakeholders and increase the risk associated with operators performing regular daily tasks, and/or causing an irritation. Impacts associated with solar glare can be a regulatory consideration for conventional photovoltaic solar arrays and centralized solar power plants.

. Our core competencies include:

  • Assessment of glare on residences, roads, and aviation assets (including control towers, airplanes and helicopters);
  • Expert witness testimony;
  • Production of Solar Glare Hazard Assessments concurrent with applicable legislation;
  • Regulatory advice surrounding glare impacts (in light of relevant jurisdictional regulations);
  • Evaluation of mitigation options to achieve regulatory compliance or eliminate glare
  • Peer review of third-party glare assessments.

Visualizations and Visual Assessments

GCR’s team of landscape consultants complete visual renderings of renewable energy projects to current standards and best practices using the latest software and technology. Subject to client needs, GCR complete visualizations using a range of full-frame digital camera images, GIS mapping, ReSoft Windfarm, WindPRO and augmented reality, real-time, visualization software (Ventus AR).

Our Landscape Consultants are experienced in the service offerings below:

  • Visualization production;
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment;
  • Cumulative Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment;
  • Residential Visual Amenity Assessment (RVAS);
  • In-house Landscape Photography;
  • Augmented reality, real-time, visualizations, utilized in support of stakeholder engagement.

Shadow Flicker

Wind turbines have the potential to cast shadows over large areas. Where these shadows cross windows, into enclosed spaces, there is a risk of the spinning rotor causing a fluctuation in light levels, which is called shadow flicker. As part of the permitting of wind energy projects, regulators typically require the submission of a shadow flicker assessment.

GCR’s service offering relating to shadow flicker includes:

  • Assessment of theoretical and real case shadow flicker impacts on receptors, including dwellings and workplaces;
  • Evaluation of turbine layout optimization to minimize impacts;
  • Jurisdictional and software reviews to support regulators considering changing or revising legislation;
  • Development of shut-down scheduling to ensure thresholds are not breached.

Stakeholder Engagement

The appropriate identification of stakeholders and a comprehensive engagement strategy are critical to the successful development of energy projects. Our business originated to serve distribution scale projects (local and community owned) where public engagement is central to the success of each project. GCR’s in-depth understanding of jurisdictional regulatory requirements bring significant experience in public consultation and community engagement across distribution and transmissions scale energy projects. GCR’s core services include:

  • Strategic development of a stakeholder engagement process;
  • Management, co-ordination and execution of a stakeholder engagement process;
  • Production of stakeholder engagement and participant involvement reports;
  • Stakeholder identification, line list creation, and associated mapping;
  • “Open House” strategy, organization and execution;
  • Development and distribution of a project information package;
  • Personalized one-on-one consultation;
  • Agency consultation;
  • Administration and review of communication registers.

GCR have strategic alignments with licensed land agents and support clients with land acquisition when requested.

We also produce specialist visualizations of development projects, inclusive of utilizing real-time imaging to help stakeholders conceptualize how projects will appear once operational.

Emergency Response Planning

With experience on over 500 energy projects to date, GCR thoroughly understands the many risks associated with energy projects, including the appropriate response measures to mitigate risks, in the event of emergencies. GCR’s Emergency Response Plans (ERP’s) support project permitting and stakeholder engagement, establishing key processes to be followed by contractors and operators during the later stages of project development and construction and also during operation.

Our ERP’s are site and jurisdiction specific and include procedures for managing risk related to:

  • General emergency response and evacuation;
  • Medical emergency;
  • Fire response;
  • Pollution release and hazardous materials;
  • Vehicle or transport;
  • Severe weather;
  • Project specific concerns.

Procedures are packaged in a formal report, alongside key project and key contact information, to support regulatory and stakeholder engagement. ERP’s also form the baseline for the construction and operational emergency response procedures, produced by the contractor and operator.

Decommissioning Plans

Plans for the decommissioning of renewable energy projects are often requested from developers, by municipal or provincial regulators and/or landowners, during project permitting and lease discussions.

The GCR team have experience in preparing decommissioning plans concurrent with local guidelines. Each plan is tailored to project needs, jurisdictional requirements and includes:

  • Key project details;
  • Regulatory requirements;
  • Reinstatement of temporary works;
  • Decommissioning commitments and process;
  • High-level schedule.

Hearing Support and Expert Witness Services

Our team of energy experts have experience supporting a range of energy projects through regulatory hearing procedures, which includes providing impartial testimony at quasi-judicial proceedings. Our hearing experience includes wind, solar and battery energy storage development, where our experts have provided testimony related to specialized aspects of project development.

Air Quality Dispersion Modeling

The GCR team have experience conducting air quality modeling for conventional energy generation and other business activities (agricultural production). We follow local guidelines and regulations, relating to various jurisdictions and conducting Air Quality Dispersion Modeling, utilizing the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) AERMOD integrated atmospheric dispersion modeling software.

We have strategic partnerships and alignments with third party consultants who conduct both onsite and ambient air quality measurements to support assessments.

Green House Gas Assessments

Our team have experience with the assessment of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions associated with a range of projects and technologies. GCR conduct assessments of both directly attributed and upstream activities. Our assessments are tailored to the local jurisdiction and are typically quantitative in nature. We also provide commentary on the assessment findings relative to jurisdictional targets and thresholds.

GCR are aligned with consultants that deliver GHG verification in line with ISO 14065 and hold ANSI – Accredited Greenhouse Gas Verification Body status.

Please contact GCR  to learn how we can assist with a professional and independent review of your projects.