LVIA Solar Energy

Although solar energy is only an emerging form of development in Ireland, the landscape and visual assessment of solar farm projects is a seamless transition for Macro Works based on our experience in the wind energy, electricity transmission infrastructure and civil engineering sectors. From its inception in the ROI, Macro Works has set about developing a focussed and efficient appraisal method for solar energy projects. This culminated in the first successful solar planning application (Coolroe Solar Farm, County Wexford) in 2015.

Macro Works Operates to Highest International Standards

Macro Works operates to the highest international standards and recognised best practice for both the assessment of Landscape and Visual Impacts as well as the preparation of associated photomontages and visibility mapping. Macro Works is professionally affiliated to the Irish Landscape Institute (ILI), which is, in turn, associated with the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA). Senior staff members also have corporate membership status with the ILI.

All appraisals are carried out in accordance with the ‘Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Assessment’, 3rd Edition, 2013 (Landscape Institute and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment).

Innovative Solar Solutions

In addition to following best practice, Macro Works also endeavours to establish best practice through constant innovation that takes advantage of latest technologies.

For solar projects, Macro Works use drone survey to map three-dimensional terrain and land cover (hedgerows), which allows the generation of realistic visibility mapping to highlight the advantages of well screened sites, and then, the benefits of any supplementary screen planting. Macro Works has also completed a project in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and the National University of Ireland (NUI- Maynooth), to produce accurate ‘Glint and Glare’ analysis model for solar panels that also accounts for terrain and vegetative screening. (For more detail see the Glint & Glare Analysis and ‘Photographic & Terrain Surveys tabs on this website)

Our strong working knowledge of spatial datasets helps us deliver effective mapping solutions

Spatial constraints mapping for site selection and route planning

Landscape Character & Sensitivity analysis and mapping

Specialist viewshed mapping