UKA – we are experts in forest wind energy

Forests are the greatest means of climate protection our Earth has – not only as natural carbon reservoirs, but also as effective sites for generating environmentally friendly wind energy. Wind turbines in forests therefore protect people without destroying the forest’s habitat.

Building wind turbines in a forest setting can only be achieved by experienced project developers, so that the forest remains preserved as a natural habitat and recreational area worthy of protection. UKA implements forest wind energy projects in areas with monocultures – primarily in areas used to grow coniferous wood. As a basic principle, ecologically important forests are excluded from the choice of acreage.

The UKA Group has already installed more than 80 wind generators in commercial forests. These include both expansion turbines for existing wind farms as well as major projects, such as the Klein Leine wind farm (Brandenburg, Dahme-Spreewald district), which has 22 3.3-3.45 megawatt wind turbines.

UKA leads by example

In December 2017, the German Agency for Onshore Wind Energy (FA Wind) added UKA's forest project "Göllnitz-Lieskau-Rehain" as a best practice example to the publication "Windenergie im Wald - Good Practice / Lessons learned - 16 gute Beispiele".

The publication provides examples of how relevant project elements can be implemented in forests. This is intended to stimulate the mutual exchange of experience on the subject of "wind in the forest" within the industry.

In its article, the UKA Group presents, among other things, measures for nature and wildlife conservation as well as the implementation of compensatory measures in cooperation with the municipality.

Forest projects

Windpark Göllnitz-Lieskau-Rehain

Windpark Göllnitz-Lieskau-Rehain

Built in 2013

Expanded 2014, 2015 and 2016
29 wind turbines:

  • 17 Vestas V112, 3.0 MW, 140 m hub height
  • 2 Vestas V126, 3.3 MW, 137 m hub height
  • 3 Vestas V117, 3.3 MW, 141.5 m hub height
  • 7 Vestas V126, 3.45 MW, 137 m hub height
Windpark Klein Leine

Windpark Klein Leine

Built in 2014

Expanded 2015, 2016 and 2017
22 wind turbines:

  • 1 Vestas V136, 3,45 MW, 149m hub height
  • 3 Vestas V126, 3.45 MW, 137m hub height
  • 19 Vestas V112, 3.3 MW, 140m hub height
Windpark Calau-Schadewitz

Windpark Calau-Schadewitz

Built in 2012

7 wind turbines:

  • Vestas V112, 3.0 MW, 140m hub height

Wind generators in the forest: is protecting the climate compatible with protecting the forest?

Forests are the greatest means of climate protection, since they act as gigantic, natural carbon reservoirs. Forests cover 30 per cent of the Earth’s land surface and store around half of the carbon captured on Earth. At the same time, a large portion of these forests used for forestry or affected by calamities can also be used for environmentally friendly wind energy generation. Wind turbines thereby contribute to protecting the climate and the environment. In contrast to conventional power plants they emit no carbon dioxide, thereby curbing the process of global warming and preserving flora and fauna.

Wind generators do not destroy the forest habitat. Each turbine takes up 0.7 ha of space permanently. To offset this, UKA reforests ecologically important, species-rich mixed woodland on a 1:1 basis. The paths that were required solely for the construction of the turbine are converted into stepped forest fringe with deciduous shrubs. This raises the biodiversity in monocultures as well as being a mechanism for species and fire protection.

Do you have any questions or concerns regarding forest wind energy? Please see our FAQ for answers.

Additional income for forest owners

Thanks to the compatibility of wind energy with other forms of forest development it represents an additional source of income for forest owners: they can benefit from a leasing income for the site, or profits gained from their own financial involvement in the investment.

Five benefits of forest wind energy

  1. Generating wind energy in a forest is both effective and economical. With the towers in use today, which rise up to 170 metres in height, the rotors are situated in an air layer that is characterised by high wind velocities. Their height means that the yield-diminishing turbulence of the treetops is virtually eliminated.
  2. Forests offer new wind energy sites that are urgently needed as part of the energy revolution.
  3. The increase in the hub height has other advantages too: firstly, towers higher than 100 metres lead to around a one per cent increase in revenue for every extra metre of height. Secondly, power generation can also be enhanced through the use of longer rotor blades.
  4. The installation of wind turbines in commercial forests away from human habitation protects people. The trees act as a screen hiding the towers from sight so that the towers can hardly be seen, even from close up. In addition, the background noise of the forest usually blocks out that of the wind turbines. People who live in the area do not, therefore, feel that their quality of life is constrained by the shadows or noise from the turbines.
  5. Species-rich mixed woodland is the result of the offsetting measures taken. For every square metre of cleared forest another is planted in another location on a 1:1 basis. This increases levels of biodiversity in monocultures and also benefits fire protection.