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Case Studies

Project Name:
Cumulative Wind Farm Noise Model
Client:
Confidential
Year:
Jul 11, 2011
Keywords:
ETSU, Cumulative, Wind farm, TAN 8
Summary:
Introduction Ecosulis was appointed by confidential client to manage a complex cumulative noise wind farm model for a ten turbine scheme located within a TAN 8 ...

Introduction

Ecosulis was appointed by confidential client to manage a complex cumulative noise wind farm model for a ten turbine scheme located within a TAN 8 area. Our client had produced an Environmental Statement for the development in 2007, but for various reasons had never submitted the ES to the Local Planning Authority (LPA). 

Since the Environmental Statement been prepared completed three further wind farms development (all significant schemes requiring Environmental Impact Assessment) had also been lodged with the LPA meaning our client needed to re-visit the potential for cumulative effects prior to submitting the Environmental Statement They also want to understand before potential progressing field work whether cumulative noise issues potentially were a show stopper.

Terms of Reference

The purpose of our appointment was to determine whether the cumulative noise emissions from all of the wind farm schemes now in the study area in combination would comply with the guidance set out in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) guidance document ‘The Assessment and Rating of Noise from Wind Farms, reference ETSU-R-97’, dated September 1996 (henceforth ETSU-R-97).   ETSU-R-97 requires that the acceptability of noise emissions from wind farms be evaluated in the context of the overall wind farm noise in a given area; it is the cumulative noise emissions from all schemes that are compared to the assessment criteria, not the noise emissions from any scheme in isolation. 

Modelling

A noise model was constructed for each of the four schemes to replicate the predictions set out in the Environmental Statement This modelling served as a calibration prior to combining the four schemes into a cumulative model. In combining the four models, the modelling parameters were homogenised to ensure compatibility across the four schemes as quite wide variation was noted in the three subsequently submitted schemes.

The assessment demonstrated that in the majority of instances, the cumulative noise levels would meet the adopted criteria. The criteria are only exceeded at two locations and in these instances the contribution of our client’s scheme was minimal.

The assessment provided a number of comments to allow our client to further progress the work if necessary although we understand they were re-assured that the Environmental Statement they had produced was robust. On the basis of the noise predictions, we concluded that noise need not be a material reason to prevent the proposed scheme proceeding.

It was interesting to note the variations in predicted noise for the other three schemes when comparing our model to the proponents.  We also noted variation in the three subsequently submitted schemes including but not limited to:

  • Adopted noise limits
  • Ground absorption
  • Barrier corrections 

 

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Taylor Wimpey, Welsh Power, Morgan Cole, DPDS Consulting, Wates Developments, WSP, Gamesa