A Wind Turbine Noise Measurement & Control System — Specification

A System Specification prepared by the Waubra Foundation to be used retrospectively for existing wind energy projects, and for yet unbuilt projects. Sept 2011

The Need

Wind Energy Projects (“WEPs”) exist in all states of Australia. At this time (September 2011) some 2000 turbines mostly of capacities of 1.5 to 2.5 MW are in operation. In order to meet its nominated 2020 renewable energy target, the Federal Government is largely reliant on the wind industry adding another 9000 MW of renewable energy capacity by the 2020 date which might be satisfied by around another 4000 turbines.

Projects have mostly been located by the presence of strong winds and the proximity and access of power grids. Locations have not been sensitive to the presence of farmers and other householders. Nor can this be expected to change substantially.

Despite much denial, it is a fact that many neighbours of WEPs are suffering serious health problems that are linked to noise emissions by turbines and that this will be worsened by the increasing use of larger turbines.

The noise forecasts prepared by those consultants favoured by the industry omit infrasound as do the planning guidelines and or regulations for WEPs. Complaints by sufferers are largely ignored and relevant bureaucracies have not been keen to find any fault with an industry so favoured by Government.

The Purpose

The purpose of this document is to set out a specification for a practical and relatively low cost noise measurement and control system that will allow residents adjacent to WEPs to live in their homes in a healthy and essentially uninterrupted environment.

The Waubra Foundation has therefore prepared this specification for:

  • planning, public health and environment protection authorities which, by requiring that a NMACS system be installed in existing and new WEPs, can be certain that no damaging health problems will be caused to families living in the vicinity of a WEP;
  • local groups who have a legitimate need that the health and well being of their families be guaranteed, now know that there is a workable NMACS to effect these objectives; and can confidently insist that planning and other relevant authorities require installation of such a system;
  • developers and operators of wind energy projects have a practicable and affordable means of ensuring that their projects will no longer pose unacceptable threats to their neighbours;
  • businesses or organisations that may be interested in proposing one or more technical solutions that could quite quickly be trialed and deployed on existing and new WEPs.

Download the complete specification →