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Resource Documents: Australia (140 items)

RSSAustralia

Unless indicated otherwise, documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are shared here to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate. • The copyrights reside with the sources indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations.


Date added:  August 30, 2019
Australia, Law, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Recent developments in the regulation of noise from wind energy facilities in Victoria

Author:  Asten, Heidi; Tarasenko, Ellen; and Ellicott, Thomas

Wind energy facility proponents should take note of recent developments in the regulation of noise impacts from wind energy facilities in Victoria, which signal increased scrutiny of noise impacts from operations. This includes:

These developments highlight the significance of proactive and robust management of noise impacts for both existing and proposed wind energy facilities.

South Gippsland Shire Council’s investigation of Bald Hills Wind Farm under the PHW Act

In March 2019, the South Gippsland Shire Council (Council) determined that the Bald Hills Wind Farm had caused nuisance under the PHW Act as a result of noise from the operation of its wind turbines. The decision followed a Supreme Court of Victoria ruling requiring the Council to engage an independent health assessor to consider the complainants’ concerns.

In reaching its finding that a nuisance had been caused, the Council attributed weight to noise logs, and evidence of health impacts provided by the complainants. Significantly, the decision was made notwithstanding reported compliance with the noise conditions of the planning permit for Bald Hills Wind Farm. The lack of directly comparable data correlating timing, location and nature of noise emissions between the formal noise compliance monitoring and the noise complaints presented some challenges to all parties.

The decision is the first finding of nuisance under the PHW Act in relation to noise from the operation of wind turbines. The decision has not been appealed, and may set a precedent for other local government authorities in PHW Investigations. Our key observations in relation to the decision are:

The new general environmental duty

The Environment Protection Act 2017 (Vic) will require wind energy facilities to comply with a new ‘general environmental duty’ (GED) when it comes into effect (along with a whole suite of other reforms), currently expected to be in mid-2020. The GED will operate separately from planning permit requirements, and from noise nuisance considerations, including under the PHW Act.

The GED will require that ‘a person who is engaging in an activity that may give rise to risks of harm to human health or the environment from pollution or waste must minimise those risks, so far as reasonably practicable’. Significantly, ‘human health’ is defined to include ‘psychological health’. The GED will require management of noise impacts from operations, given that the definition of ‘pollution’ includes noise pollution. A person commits an offence if they contravene the GED in the course of conducting a business undertaking.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will have primary responsibility for regulating the GED. However, third parties may also bring actions for breach of the GED in some circumstances, and seek civil and compensation orders in respect of injury, loss or damage resulting from a contravention.

Wind energy facility operators should consider:

The EPA is yet to release detailed guidance as to how it intends to regulate the GED, including in the context of wind energy facilities. Once released, such guidance will be an important means of understanding the EPA’s likely approach. The EPA will also be releasing subordinate legislation under the new regime, including environmental reference standards which will regulate noise emissions and replace existing State environment protection policies.

The Naroghid decision

In Naroghid, VCAT considered a planning permit application for a 12 turbine wind energy facility in Corangamite, in the vicinity of Cobden.

VCAT refused to grant a permit for the wind energy facility on a number of grounds. However, of broader relevance to the industry, the decision provides a discussion of the application of the high amenity noise limit under the 2010 NZS to the Farming Zone. The high amenity noise limit under the 2010 NZS applies a limit of 35dB or background +5 dB, as opposed to 40dB or background +5 dB in other areas under the 2010 NZS.

While the Tribunal did not make a final ruling on the issue, it expressed the view that the high amenity noise limit should apply to non-stakeholder dwellings in the Farming Zone. The discussion on this point is contrary to the finding in another VCAT decision in Cherry Tree Wind Farm Pty Ltd v Mitchell SC & Ors (Includes Summary) (Red Dot) [2013] VCAT 521 that the high amenity noise limit does not apply in the Farming Zone. While the Tribunal in Naroghid agreed that the planning scheme is the relevant ‘plan’ relevant to application of the NTS 2010 in this context, the Tribunal’s discussion went on to attach particular weight to EPA Publication 1411 Noise from Industry in Regional Victoria (October 2011). Based on the approach to noise amenity in NIRV (a reference document in the Planning Scheme which is currently being updated), the Tribunal suggested that a high amenity noise limit should be applied to the Farming Zone.

While the discussion in Naroghid is not authority for the application of the high amenity noise limit to the Farming Zone, wind energy facility proponents may wish to consider noise compliance risks at dwellings within the 35dB noise contour.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP – Heidi Asten, Ellen Tarasenko and Thomas Ellicott
August 30 2019 lexology.com

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Date added:  July 6, 2019
Australia, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Bald Hills noise monitoring data

Author:  Thorne, Bob; and Noise Measurement Services

Bald Hills Wind Farm Summary Report (45.04 MB) [alt. link]

Bald Hills Noise Monitoring PTR Data: “The 40 dB(A) noise limit is exceeded on the days coloured ‘peach’/’transparent red’ (PTR)”

Bald Hills Noise Diary Analysis May 2018 to March 2019 Final.xlsx (0.29 MB) [alt. link]

Comparison of wind vs special audible characteristics (SACs) vs power generation (SCADA), May-Sept 2018 (5.64 MB) [alt. link]

Bald Hills Wind Farm Video (141.79 MB) [alt. link]:

Sample noise event charts (colour dots represent noise complaints):

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Date added:  June 22, 2019
Australia, Noise, RegulationsPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbine sound limits: Current status and recommendations based on mitigating noise annoyance

Author:  Davy, John; Burgemeister, Kym; and Hillman, David

Abstract:
This paper describes existing wind turbine sound limits in Australian states and several other countries with similar constraints, how these were established and a method that could facilitate their harmonisation. Most existing limits appear to have been adopted to avoid sleep disturbance using data derived from sound sources other than wind turbines. This seems to have been a reasonable approach at the time of their adoption because of the paucity of other suitable data. More recently the concept of “annoyance” has been used to encapsulate negative reactions to wind turbine sound. Many studies have now demonstrated a significant relationship between annoyance and wind turbine sound level, whether or not sound was the major source of the annoyance. Thus there is a logical basis for now deriving a wind turbine sound limit based on limiting annoyance. This paper describes such an approach. The derived limit is compared to existing Australian and international limits. Its value lies within the range of these other limits. It provides a method for harmonisation of future limits based on direct assessments of human response to wind turbine sound.

John L. Davy, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University, Victoria, Australia
Kym Burgemeister, Arup Acoustics, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
David Hillman, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia, Australia

Applied Acoustics
Volume 140, November 2018, Pages 288-295
doi: 10.1016/j.apacoust.2018.06.009

Fig. 1. The percentage of highly annoyed people as a function the outdoor wind turbine sound level exceeded for ninety percent of the time in a 10 min period. The sound pressure levels have been converted to LA90(10min) from their original values.

Fig. 2. The percentage of highly annoyed people according to the Community Tolerance Level model as a function the outdoor wind turbine sound level exceeded for ninety percent of the time in a 10 min period. The sound pressure levels have been converted to LA90(10min) from their original values.

Fig. 3. The percentage of highly annoyed people as a function the outdoor wind turbine sound level exceeded for ninety percent of the time in a 10 min period. The sound pressure levels have been converted to LA90(10min) from their original values.

Our analysis derives a maximum sound level limit for wind turbine sound based on permitting no more than 10% of the population to be highly annoyed when exposed to wind turbine sound at the maximum sound level limit. Such a 10% threshold is commonly used when setting hearing protection noise limits, and is similar to the 8% used when setting the Dutch wind turbine sound limits. Thus Fig. 3 and Eq. (2) suggest that the mean limit for wind turbine sound should be an LA90(10min) of 35 dBA.

Fig. 4. The percentage of highly annoyed people indoors and outdoors as a function the outdoor wind turbine sound level LA90(10min). The Canadian curves are based on survey data from Ontario and Prince Edward Island provinces. The European curves are based on Dutch and Swedish survey data. The original Lden and LAeq levels have been converted to LA90(10min).

Table 1. Wind Turbine Sound Limits.

Standard Quantity Area Time Background LA90(10min) Limit
ETSU-R-97
England
LA90(10min) No financial Involvement Day ≤30 to 35 dB 35 to 40 dB
ETSU-R-97
England
LA90(10min) No financial Involvement Day >30 to 35 dB BKGND + 5 dB
ETSU-R-97
England
LA90(10min) No financial Involvement Night ≤38 dB 43 dB
ETSU-R-97
England
LA90(10min) No financial Involvement Night >38 dB BKGND + 5 dB
ETSU-R-97
England
LA90(10min) Financial Involvement Any ≤40 dB 45 dB
ETSU-R-97
England
LA90(10min) Financial Involvement Any >40 dB BKGND + 5 dB
VIC NZS 6808:1998 LA95(10min) Any Any ≤35 dB(LA95) 40 dB
VIC NZS 6808:1998 LA95(10min) Any Any >35 dB(LA95) BKGND + 5 dB
SA EPA 2003 LAeq(10min) Prediction LA90(10min) Measurement Any Any ≤30 dB 35 dB
SA EPA 2003 LAeq(10min) Prediction LA90(10min) Measurement Any Any >30 dB BKGND + 5 dB
WA 2004 LAeq(10min) Any Any ≤30 dB 35 dB
WA 2004 LAeq(10min) Any Any >30 dB BKGND + 5 dB
SA EPA 2009 LAeq(10min) Prediction LA90(10min) Measurement Standard Any ≤35 dB 40 dB
SA EPA 2009 LAeq(10min) Prediction LA90(10min) Measurement Standard Any >35 dB BKGND + 5 dB
SA EPA 2009 LAeq(10min) Prediction LA90(10min) Measurement Rural Living Any ≤30 dB 35 dB
SA EPA 2009 LAeq(10min) Prediction LA90(10min) Measurement Rural Living Any >30 dB BKGND + 5 dB
VIC NZS 6808:2010 LA90(10min) Standard Any ≤35 dB 40 dB
VIC NZS 6808:2010 LA90(10min) Standard Any >35 dB BKGND + 5 dB
VIC NZS 6808:2010 LA90(10min) High Amenity Day ≤35 dB 40 dB
VIC NZS 6808:2010 LA90(10min) High Amenity Day >35 dB BKGND + 5 dB
VIC NZS 6808:2010 LA90(10min) High Amenity Evening or Night less than 6 m/s ≤30 dB 35 dB
VIC NZS 6808:2010 LA90(10min) High Amenity Evening or Night less than 6 m/s >30 dB BKGND + 5 dB
NSW Draft 2011 LAeq(10min) LA90(10min) + 1.5 dB Any Day ≤30 dB 35 dB
NSW Draft 2011 LAeq(10min) LA90(10min) + 1.5 dB Any Day >30 dB BKGND + 5 dB
NSW Draft 2011 LAeq(10min) LA90(10min) + 1.5 dB Any Night ≤30 dB 35 dB
NSW Draft 2011 LAeq(10min) LA90(10min) + 1.5 dB Any Night >30 dB BKGND + 5 dB
QLD 2016 LAeq Prediction Non-host lot Day and Evening ≤32 dB 37 dB
QLD 2016 LAeq Prediction Non-host lot Day and Evening >32 dB BKGND + 5 dB
QLD 2016 LAeq Prediction Non-host lot Night ≤30 dB 35 dB
QLD 2016 LAeq Prediction Non-host lot Night >30 dB BKGND + 5 dB
QLD 2016 LAeq Prediction Host lot Any ≤40 dB 45 dB
QLD 2016 LAeq Prediction Host lot Any >40 dB BKGND + 5 dB
Demark LAeq, 8 m/s@10 m Standard Any Any 44 dB
Demark LAeq, 6 m/s@10 m Standard Any Any 42 dB
Demark LAeq, 8 m/s@10 m Noise Sensitive Any Any 39 dB
Demark LAeq, 6 m/s@10 m Noise Sensitive Any Any 37 dB
Canada, Ontario LAeq (1hr) Urban Any ≤38 dB RefBG 45 dB
Canada, Ontario LAeq (1hr) Urban Any >38 dB RefBG RefBG + 7 dB
Canada, Ontario LAeq (1hr) Rural Any ≤33 dB RefBG 40 dB
Canada, Ontario LAeq (1hr) Rural Any >33 dB RefBG RefBG + 7 dB
Sweden LAeq, 8 m/s@10 m Standard Any Any 40 dB
Sweden LAeq, 8 m/s@10 m Quiet Any Any 35 dB
Netherlands LAden Any Any Any 47 dB
Netherlands LAeq Any Night Any 41 dB

Download original document: “Wind turbine sound limits: Current status and recommendations based on mitigating noise annoyance

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Date added:  June 18, 2019
Australia, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Prevalence of wind farm amplitude modulation at long-range residential locations

Author:  Hansen, Kristy; Nguyen, Phuc; Zajamšek, Branko; Catcheside, Peter; and Hansen, Colin

Abstract:
The presence of amplitude modulation (AM) in wind farm noise has been shown to result in increased annoyance. Therefore, it is important to determine how often this characteristic is present at residential locations near a wind farm. This study investigates the prevalence and characteristics of wind farm AM at 9 different residences located near a South Australian wind farm that has been the subject of complaints from local residents. It is shown that an audible indoor low-frequency tone was amplitude modulated at the blade-pass frequency for 20% of the time up to a distance of 2.4 km. The audible AM occurred for a similar percentage of time between wind farm percentage power capacities of 40% and 85%, indicating that it is important that AM analysis is not restricted to high power output conditions only. Although the number of AM events is shown to reduce with distance, audible indoor AM still occurred for 16% of the time at a distance of 3.5 km. At distances of 7.6 and 8.8 km, audible AM was only detected on one occasion. At night-time, audible AM occurred indoors at residences located as far as 3.5 km from the wind farm for up to 22% of the time.

Kristy L. Hansen, Phuc Nguyen, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Tonsley, Australia
Branko Zajamšek, Peter Catcheside, College of Medicine, Flinders University, Bedford Park, Australia
Colin H. Hansen, School of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

Journal of Sound and Vibration
Volume 455, 1 September 2019, Pages 136-149
doi: 10.1016/j.jsv.2019.05.008

Download original document: “Prevalence of wind farm amplitude modulation at long-range residential locations

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