Atlantic Wind Power Corp had participated in the Wind Power Production Incentive (WIPPI) which is a grant of $10 million (of tax payer’s money) over a period of nine years. Natural Resources Canada (NRC) has asked AWPC to produce a proposal as to how they can mitigate the excessive noise at Pubnico. If they cannot produce a proposal (and act on it) to NRC’s liking they can cancel the grant.
Last May, NRC retained Howe Gastmeier Chapnik Limited (HGC Ltd) to conduct a noise study (again, tax payer’s money) of the Pubnico wind farm. This was in response to noise complaints by Daniel d’Entremont and his family.
HGC is an engineering consultancy firm in Ontario which specializes in noise, vibration and acoustics http://www.hgcengineering.com/
The study was conducted from 5-11 May 2006.
The study confirmed that the d’Entremont home was sometimes being exposed to higher than recommended noise levels, sometimes by as much as 13 dBA. The noise was worst when it came from the direction of the turbines and when the wind was light.
HGC used noise level criteria from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE). MOE uses higher threshold levels than the World Health Organization.
When the winds were too light for any turbines to operate (< 5m/s) the d'Entremont home was observed to show a sound level of 30dBA. The MOE criteria for turbine noise are 40dBA at "cut in " wind speed of 5m/s up to 53dBA at a wind speed of 11m/s. At higher wind speeds, the sound of wind in the trees etc is supposed to mask turbine noise. (Not many leaves on the trees in winter!). Sound levels at high wind speeds (49dBA at 9m/s) were just barely compliant. Using methods of the CONCAWE* noise assessment protocol, predictions can be made for worst case scenarios. HBC concluded "that the predicted 49dBA level could be as high as 54dBA at the d'Entremont residence" under certain conditions. * Conservation of Clean air and water -- Europe Pugwash Windfarm
5 July 2007
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