Bosnia?s first wind farm

To be located at Tomislavgrad in the west of the country, the wind farm is to comprise 22 wind turbines with the output of 2MW each, thus generating a total of 44 MW. The farm, called Mesihovina, is planned for construction near the southern town of Tomislavgrad. It will include 22 wind turbines with an expected annual production capacity of 128,527 MW. Over the past few years Germany has provided more than 200 million euros for the development of Bosnia’s energy sector.

Construction of the proposed project is planned in the district of Tomislavgrad. The wind energy park consists of three main rows stretching from the south-east to the north-west, following the highest points of a ridge. 22 turbines of around 2 MW are proposed, with a total wind power of 44 MW.

The towers, turbines and accompanying plant will be transported to the location by special lorries able to carry extreme loads. The towers will be transported in parts and assembled on the site with the help of a crane. Each wind turbine will need a total of 8-9 lorries and a minimum road width of 5 metres to allow the lorry to manoeuvre.

An approximate surface area of 15x15x2.5 m will be excavated in order to lay the foundation for each wind turbine. This will allow full earth encapsulation of the foundation. A so-called plateau (flat area) will be made at the installation site of each wind turbine. The purpose of the plateau is to facilitate assembly by ensuring sufficient space for fitting of the tower, generators and propellers. The space is also useful for movement of the lorries and crane. The surface area of the plateau will be approximately 50×50 m in diameter for each assembly location.

The parts of the wind turbines and accompanying plant will be transported by special lorries to the assembly location. A purpose-built crane, able to lift heavy loads, will be used to lift the parts and will facilitate installation of the wind turbines on their sites. A trench will be dug along the internal road linking the wind turbines in the wind park to contain medium tension cables and other electric connections. This trench is typically 80 cm wide and 1 m deep. The building to contain the control and measuring instruments, the switchboard for medium tension, the remote monitoring and control system, telecommunications and other equipment will take up an area of around 120 m2.

The production of electric energy, on the basis of the proposed turbine type, wind farm type, spatial arrangement of the turbines and wind assessment carried out, is assessed at 128,527 GWh.

The Mesihovina wind farm is situated immediately below Duvanjsko Polje in a region of the Grabovica mountain range. This area falls within the sub-mediterranean landscape, i.e. the sub-mediterranean rocky ground ecosystem. A layer of dense thickets at the location contains hazel (Corylus avellana). The layer of thickets also sporadically contains the following species: spindle (Evonymus europea), wild rose (Rosa arvensis), and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). Herbaceous plants present here are hellebore (Helleborus multifidus), horse-tail (Equisteum sp.), plantain (Plantago holosteum), milfoil (Achillea millefolium), lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum), clustered bellflower (Campanula glomerata), fens ruby (Euphorbia cyparissias) and others. Endemic species have not been noted at this location.

The location for construction of the wind park is in south-western Bosnia, a mountainous region made up of karst valleys: the Glamoè, Livanj i Duvanjska valleys. Mesihovina is part of the Dinara mountain, in which can be distinguished anticline, syncline groups of flexure and individual flexure. The Midena mountain range represents the south-eastern part of the Dinara tectonic unit. Mesihovina includes the hilly areas of the Midena mountain range, made of upper thick layered cretaceous limestone with chondrodont. The layers are 30-50 cm deep.

Hydro-geologically the karst is permeable, with fractured rocks and porous permeability. The dolomites are a partial hydro-geological barrier which, depending on their position in relation to the geological pole, may play a role as supporting layered barriers. The ground represents a firm and hard base for works and a suitable foundation for the work. The firmness of the limestone varies from 80 to 110 MPa. The dynamic quality is well balanced and dolomites can be distinguished where the significant variability of those parameters is directly related to the degree of grusification of the rocks.

The operation of a wind turbine creates sound due to the flow of air around the blades and the column (aerodynamic noise) and sound from movement of the mechanism (mechanical noise). Modern wind turbines are extremely quiet and as a rule the noise of a large modern wind turbine is completely obscured by the noise of the wind at a distance of 200 metres.

Computer modelling was carried out in order to assess the real impacts of noise on the nearest settlements. The results showed that the noise level in the nearest settlements will be under 35 dB(A) except for the settlements of Æuræiæa and Gornji Brišnik where the sound level may reach 44 dB(A), which is still below the permitted limit of 50 dB(A). It can be concluded that noise will not have negative impacts on the local population and environment.

The proposed project comprises the construction of the Mesihovina wind farm with an installed capacity of 44 MW at a location in the district of Tomislavgrad. The project is particularly significant as it allows the investor, JP EP HZHB, to better satisfy the electric energy supply requirements of the area it services, without excess reliance on importation.

The chosen location is registered in the district registers as a forestry land area – even though vegetation is limited – far from protected areas or areas of special ecological interest. Therefore very limited impacts on the natural environment can be expected. The visual impacts, and impacts arising as a result of shadow flickering and the emission of noise have been assessed using computer models and taking account of the proximity of neighbouring settlements. In all cases such impacts have been assessed as negligible.