Project development

Project development comprises the entire process for the creation of a wind farm. From the first idea for the project to its realisation and the commissioning of the turbines, wpd guides the project through all its phases - at its own risk and using a holistic approach. Because wpd combines all the technical departments required to successfully implement a project, under one roof.

Constuction of a wpd wind farm (Animation)

Every project begins with an idea and a series of questions. We get to the bottom of the question, which areas are basically suitable for a wind energy project, on the basis of the following criteria:

  • basic analysis of wind potential
  • topography
  • species protection
  • exclusion criteria such as distance from residential area or conservation area, known restrictions due to military or civil air traffic control, etc.
  • planning laws and emissions


The result of the location evaluation is a statement as to whether a wind farm is fundamentally conceivable from a technical planning perspective and in terms of planning regulations.

Two central requirements must be met for the planning and realisation of a wind farm project:

  • The civil law basis – the contractual agreement of the owners of the land
  • The basis under planning regulations – the agreement of the responsible public planning authorities to designate the area as a priority area for the utilisation of wind energy in regional or local urban development planning

As the ideas and desires of the landowners are as individual as the projects, our project developers draw up a tailored concept together with the owners.

Suitable areas for wind energy are designated in Germany via regional planning and municipal construction planning. If the local authority shows interest, our technical department will provide extensive support in the construction planning process to create or refine area usage and development plans.

As part of the permission process, an extensive review and evaluation of the possible impact on fauna and flora will be conducted. As a basis for this investigation, we will obtain reports and analyses of protected species from independent experts.

Our Nature Conservation Department will support this planning step by commissioning the reports, liaising with the experts on an ongoing basis and conducting a final evaluation of the reports.

Having clarified the fundamentals with respect to the wind conditions when evaluating the location, wpd now conducts an exact determination of the potential of the wind and the energy yield obtainable. This is often achieved on the basis of wind measurements at the location itself set up for this very purpose. If there are existing turbines in the vicinity, there will be a chance to estimate the potential on the basis of the revenues which these turbines are already generating. In the later course of the project, the external wind reports will form the basis for the finance and the choice of turbines.

  • Preparation of internal reports to support project management in its strategic planning
  • Use of the latest measurement technology such as LiDAR equipment
  • Calculation of yield
  • Preparation of external wind reports which will form the basis for the finance and the choice of turbines in the later course of the project.

After securing the land, investigating the wind conditions and nature conservation requirements as well as creating the planning foundations, technical project management will optimise the location plans based on the insights gained. The result of this planning step is a refined plan which serves as the starting point for the permission process.

If after reviewing or preparing the planning fundamentals, it is clear that the project can be realised, implementation planning then begins with subsequent support for all permission processes.

  • Support for spatial development plan and process to obtain permission to deviate from planning objectives
  • Planning preparation / adaptation of development and zoning plans
  • Completion of application documents in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Immissions Control Act
  • Support for the permission process

Some of this material – such as the site plans, in particular – will be produced in-house by the CAD department, other parts of it will be contributed by externally commissioned experts and by the manufacturer. The application process requires intensive management incl. technical and legal support.

All the planning steps will be examined from a nature conservation perspective.

  • Preparation of green space plans, landscape management plans, environmental impact studies and compatibility tests with regard to the Fauna & Flora Habitat Directive.
  • Coordination and support of animal protection reports and monitoring as well as preparation of field of view analyses by wpd. At the same time, compensation measures and their implementation will be planned, supported and coordinated.

For connection to the grid, wpd will firstly determine the relevant electrotechnical parameters of every turbine and will then contact the particular grid operator. There follows a technical and financial analysis of various grid connection alternatives. In order to ensure smooth interaction between wind farm, wind farm operator and grid operator in the future, the communications connections for the project are now planned and prepared.

wpd GmbH’s finance department will draw up business concepts and work with prestigious banks which have a high level of expertise in the field of renewable energies. The aim is to guarantee solid finance and as lucrative a structure as possible for every single wind energy project for buyers or for in-house operation. For example, this includes profitability calculations and liquidity planning; in short, it means supporting the financing of the wind farm throughout the entire finance phase. wpd will normally provide the equity and secure loans from the banks.

  • Preparation of and participation in the call-for-applications under the Renewable Energy law for guaranteed feed-in compensation
  • Optimising the cash flow taking into account project contracts as well as local tax and depreciation rates
  • Coordination of due diligence process
  • Negotiation of loan and collateral contracts with German and international banks

wpd will plan and complete procurement of the turbines in close consultation with the developers responsible for the federal states and the project. The focus is on the long-term reliability and cost-effectiveness of the turbine. For that reason, wpd relies solely on mature technology provided by reputable manufacturers.
In making the selection, it is essential to clarify the following issues:

  • What type of turbine fits best with the particular location, can be relied on to be available as well as being affordable and insurable?
  • Are the necessary structures in place for maintenance and repair or can they be created?

wpd will take on the project management for the entire construction of the wind farm and coordinate the construction work with all those involved.

  • Design and execution planning for roads, cable routes and foundations
  • Calls-for-applications, awards and construction management for cableworks, substations, transformer substations as well as roadworks, foundations and earthworks
  • Construction management in accordance with the relevant state building regulations, coordination of health and safety at work measures and records of the state of the project during every phase of construction
  • Coordination of collaboration between grid operators and telecommunications companies
  • Ongoing supervision of schedules and budgets, cost estimates and costings, verifying feasibility of layouts and transport routes
  • Approval of infrastructure and reworking of existing documentation
  • Handover of project to operational management

In wpd’s view, the location-specific development of compensation and replacement measures is a significant building block for the success of a project – both for the requirements relevant for the permission process and for the local acceptance of projects. wpd has maintained its own landscape planning department for many years in order to guarantee compensation measures “from a single source”. As a result we are able to guarantee comprehensive and at the same time sustainable planning from project development to final approval.

Our landscape planners generally support the projects over a period of five to six years: From the first nature conservation assessment of the potential area, through the commissioning of reports all the way to the landscape planning contributions to the permission process and the planning and execution of compensation measures.

During further operation, all pending actions of compensation and replacement measures will be executed by wpd windmanager.