Wind farms environmental noise guidelines
The Wind farm guidelines aim to help developers, planning and enforcement authorities, government agencies, acoustic engineers and the broader community assess environmental noise impacts from wind farms.
The core objective of the guidelines is to balance the advantages of developing wind energy projects in South Australia with protecting the amenity of the surrounding community from adverse noise impacts.
Draft guidelines were released for public consultation in September 2019. The consultation period has concluded and the submissions are currently under consideration and review.
Development process and ongoing regulations
Wind farm developments are referred to the EPA by the SA Planning Authority for advice. The EPA provides advice on wind farm compliance based on its Wind farms environmental noise guidelines and will also set conditions to be included if the wind farm is approved.
The EPA does not currently regulate wind farms after the development process is completed. As a condition of development, the EPA recommends post-construction noise monitoring to be undertaken by the proponents.
This post-construction noise monitoring report is assessed by the EPA to confirm that the operational noise of the subject wind farm meets the requirements as recommended by the guidelines. Further issues with wind farms are then handled under the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016.
Waterloo Wind Farm environmental noise study
A 2-month environmental noise study was undertaken surrounding Waterloo Wind Farm in 2013 to investigate concerns of the community regarding noise from the wind farm.
The wind farm is located in the Mid North, approximately 100 km north of Adelaide. The wind farm comprised Vestas v90 3MW wind turbine generators at the time of the study. Each turbine had a hub height of 80 m and a rated generation capacity of 111MW.