Friday, 14 June 2013

Macarthur wind farm operating ‘well within’ noise limits
30 Apr 2013

On the same day that a powerful pro-wind alliance has petitioned Premier Denis Napthine to amend Victoria's prohibitive wind farm planning laws, the owners of the state's newest and largest wind farm have confirmed it has successfully passed strict noise compliance conditions since its opening on April 12.

AGL Energy and New Zealand's Meridian Energy announced today that the 420MW Macarthur wind farm-the largest in Australia and the southern hemisphere-was successfully operating within the noise limits set in its State Planning Permit, according to an independent assessment produced by AECOM.

The Macarthur Planning Permit, which is enforced by the Victorian government, required noise monitoring to be carried out at specified dwellings neighboring the 140 turbine wind farm. Noise loggers were installed between February and March 2013 to capture the noise data for the assessment.

AGL Energy says that the results of the independent assessment taken at 13 neighbouring dwellings shows that the newly opened wind farm is operating "well within" the acoustic requirements of the Planning Permit-that is, the wind farm noise should not exceed the background noise level before the wind farm was operating by more than 5dB(A) or a level of 40dB(A), whichever is higher.

"We appreciate some community members have been concerned about wind farm noise levels so we wanted to make sure it was operating correctly from the start and give the community a greater level of comfort", said AGL Energy's Group General Manager Power Development, Scott Thomas. "Over 40,000 hours of noise monitoring has been conducted at Macarthur, which is well beyond the amount of noise monitoring required in the Planning Permit".

The testing also monitored for special audible characteristics (clearly audible tones, impulses, or modulation of sound levels), none of which were determined to be present at any of the noise monitoring locations.