Wind energy project development is still in its early stages in Finland and so standard procedures and best practices are still emerging. One of the goals of the Finnish Wind Power Association is to influence project development practices to follow a generally accepted code of conduct.
The purpose of the code of conduct is to clarify communication between developers and stakeholders and to provide a set of guidelines for communication at different project stages. These guidelines may also serve as best practice guidance for new developers.
The code of conduct is designed to inform and guide all developers and stakeholders involved at any point during the different project phases. These guidelines cover not only the project planning stage, but also construction and commissioning.
• Abides by Finnish law and follows regulatory and legal developments actively
• Strives to follow wind industry best practices
• Takes social issues into consideration to achieve local acceptance fro the project e.g. during public consultations and communication planning.
• Respects environmental values and makes allowances for them in their activities
• Strives to minimize risks to humans and the environment in all activities
• Enters contracts with socially responsible companies and service providers
• Acts ethically in all situations
• The project developer communicates about their project openly and at an early stage, informing both the authorities and local community about their plans
• Community cooperation activities should be started as early as possible – the local community should be made aware of when each aspect of the project will be designed and when and how they can influence the design.
• Continuous dialog with the local community is important
• Project updates, open dialog and taking local community concerns into consideration should also continue during construction and commissioning.
• Project developers will endeavor to cooperate with other developers in the region, so that any possible synergy benefits (e.g. grid connection) can be identified and enacted to reduce negative project effects.
• Project developers are encouraged to share their experiences and best practices in obtaining local acceptance (community engagement meetings, regional authorities, county area planners, the military and other stakeholders)
• Project developers are encouraged to make use of and share existing surveys and investigations, if they are applicable to other projects in development and can be used to reduce any negative effects on the environment and local community.
• Project developers will inform the Finnish Wind Power Association about their project development, as a minimum as often as the association requests a project update.
• The Finnish Wind Power Association expects member companies to fully meet the obligations of the Contractor’s Liability Act. One way in which the documents required by this law can be managed is to use a business registration service provider e.g. Tilaajavastuu.fi.
• Project developers are encouraged to sign land lease agreements not only with those landowners on whose land the wind farm will be built, but also with any landowners who are in the immediate vicinity of the turbines, even if no construction will take place on their property. One model for this is the so-called Tarasti-model, in which co-existence agreements are also signed with landowners whose lands are within five rotor diameters of a wind turbine.