GEI can provide technical support services throughout the entire lifecycle of projects, including initial siting assessments, ecological services, design, visual impact assessments, regulatory permitting, engineering support, construction oversight, and post-construction performance monitoring. Our integrated delivery process provides our clients with efficiencies that save time and money throughout the project.
GEI conducts vigorous spatial and site analyses to assess preferred and alternative sites in order to maintain project goals while minimizing impacts to regulated resources. GEI’s interdisciplinary team of technical experts and planners helps our clients evaluate the environmental effects of proposed renewable projects, including site suitability assessments and alternatives analyses. On behalf of the owner, our team establishes collaborative working relationships with regulatory and permitting agencies and effectively interacts with members of the public to better define and perform scopes of work that address the requirements of our clients, regulatory agencies, and project stakeholders while supporting defensible decision making.
GEI’s biologists, landscape architects, and cultural resource specialists assist in identifying regulated features such as greenways, waterways, wetlands, threatened or endangered species habitat or occurrences, migratory birds and raptors, and sensitive cultural resource areas within or near project sites. Our environmental scientists can assist with remediation measures when the project encounters known or unknown subsurface contamination affecting the construction. Our planners can reveal creative ways areas of ecologically sensitive areas can be accessed so that stakeholders can gain a sense of stewardship.
Our integrated ecological, cultural resource, environmental, and geotechnical services can save money and time while helping our clients avoid construction headaches and redesign during the siting process.View project experience
Natural Resources Environmental Assessment
Before projects can be designed and permitted, our clients, stakeholders, and regulators must have a full understanding of how future use and development will affect the natural environment. Accurate assessments of regulated natural resources, cultural and Tribal resources, and environmental constraints early in the siting process allows GEI to effectively analyze and evaluate proposed and alternate sites. These results, coupled with our extensive regulatory compliance experience, allow us to assist with the layout and expeditious permitting of a variety of energy projects.View project experience
Phase 1 ESAs
Phase I Environment Site Assessments (ESAs) and/or state specific documents, as applicable, are generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. These reports address both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property. GEI’s team of environmental engineers and scientists, and landscape architects have performed over 10,000 site evaluations for hazardous materials while adhering to or exceeding the ASTM-E-1527 standard for Phase I ESAs. The Phase I ESA helps the client:
- Understand the project
- Keep the focus on the project goals
- Stay consistent in scope and findings
- Determine the constructability of a parcel
- Identify and quantify risks
Our team of GIS analysts, database specialists, and computer programmers provide the well-rounded expertise required to develop project- and client-specific GIS tools and mapping. We apply this to wind and solar projects by developing facility-specific GIS databases with current topographic mapping and site imagery along with georeferenced historic data. Having the data in a GIS database supports the design of improvements by streamlining access to the data for future and repeatable use.
GEI team members employ a variety of CAD and GIS technologies to develop project plans, including current versions of AutoCAD, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Micro Station, Revit, and ArcView-GIS. We use these tools to assist project and task managers in design development, cost estimations, permit package preparation, and plan creation. We ensure efficiency and consistency in our graphic deliverables and adherence to client standards with the GEI CAD Graphics Style Guide and Operations Manual, Resource Sheets, and library of CAD details.View project experience
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
GEI provides cutting-edge aerial mapping, inspection, and site analysis services. We maintain state-of-the-art equipment and software in order to develop maps and models of the highest accuracy. Our licensed pilots provide a wealth of information for a fraction of the cost of traditional survey and inspection methods. We collect information from hazardous, or otherwise difficult to reach, sites with no impact to the area or personnel.
GEI utilizes UAV to capture survey-grade imagery, conduct aerial mapping, and perform detailed inspections. The images are used to develop detailed digital elevation models and contour information for 3D site models. All of GEI’s pilots have a technical background in engineering or science, allowing them to make real-time decisions in the field during the flight and collect necessary and appropriate imagery and data to accurately perform inspections.
Mapping & Surveying
- High resolution imagery
- 3D modeling
- 3D point cloud
- Contour mapping Georeferenced information GIS
- Construction progress models
- Volume calculation
- Initial triage inspections
- Flood risk
- Virtual inspection models Infrared and thermal imaging
- High resolution imagery and videos
- Topographic basemapping
- Population boundary estimation
- Invasive species assessments
- Infrared monitoring of soil conditions
- Environmental impact assessment
GEI provides in-house visual analysis services, including 3D modeling, photo simulations, visual rendering, viewshed analysis mapping, visual resources inventory, and visual impact assessment reports. To determine visual effects of a project, GEI prepares visual simulations of the proposed projects from publicly accessible viewpoints along roads and sensitive receptors located within the vicinity of the project. Information sources, including publicly available GIS resource datasets, GPS field data, LiDAR, and aerial imagery are used to create a digital landscape for visual analysis. Based on the surrounding topography and land cover, GEI analyzes potential changes in the line-of-sight from the most sensitive representative viewpoints, including public recreation facilities and residences.
Our 3D models of the proposed project are created using programs, including SketchUp, AutoCAD, 3D Max, and InfraWorks. Potential impacts are then assessed during the planning phase to determine feasible options for impact reduction (e.g., structure location, dimensions, color) or mitigation (e.g. vegetative screening, berming, fencing). GEI can transpose data from the 3D models to create photographic simulations or graphic renderings for presentations with stakeholders or regulatory agencies.View project experience
Local, state, and federal regulations can add significant costs and time to renewable energy projects. These may include environmental, zoning, or safety requirements related to brownfield redevelopment, wetlands, streams, stormwater, threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, golden and bald eagles, or flood hazards. We understand that the regulatory permitting process can be complex and time consuming. Our team includes local and national experts in a variety of fields that can guide renewable energy clients through the regulatory process by providing permit application preparation and management, environmental and engineering constraint determinations, survey and engineering management, stormwater runoff management, and impact evaluations. GEI routinely provides licensing and permitting support services to our clients to help them navigate the complexities of the regulatory approval process. GEI’s staff are solution-focused and can help develop plans and permit submittal packages that streamline and shorten the review process while effectively communicating our clients’ needs to regulatory agencies.
Working closely with regulatory officials and clients, our strategy is built on a critical path to obtaining permits while minimizing obstacles and offering environmentally sound and compliant solutions.
GEI’s team begins by mitigating the predictable impacts to the project. The permit process relies on initial field investigations and establishing realistic baseline information on which site plans can be developed. By methodically delineating wetlands, streams, and waters of the U.S., GEI can make sure all regulatory standards are met. GEI’s approach is based in science and the use of the latest technologies, such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to accurately depict and analyze the cultural or natural resources that may be impacted, as well as to serve clients’ needs with our knowledge of local ecology, vegetative communities, soils, and hydrology.View project experience