AGL Energy (AGL), operator of the Hallett Hill wind farm (Hallett 2) in mid-north South Australia near the township of Mt Bryan, has taken a range of steps to deal with a noise complaint at Hallett 2.
During commissioning of Hallett 2, which consists of 34 x 2.1 MW wind turbines, extensive noise testing and monitoring was carried out by specialist noise consultants to determine compliance with noise guidelines.
When a resident neighbouring the wind farm raised concerns about noise, AGL engaged a specialist noise consultant to assess noise conditions at the residence. During the second round of noise testing at the residence, preliminary results showed that some audible tones were detected under certain conditions.
Upon becoming aware of the tonality issue in December 2010, AGL promptly shut down a number of wind turbines in proximity to the residence. Sixteen (16) of the 34 turbines are currently shut down at night.
AGL has been working with the turbine supplier to rectify the defect and co-ordinate testing with the neighbouring resident. The supplier has developed a permanent acoustic treatment to address the tonality issue.
AGL General Manager Power Development Scott Thomas said: "Until the permanent acoustic treatment is implemented, we will continue to operate Hallett 2 with sixteen of the wind turbines shut down at night so that the noise is within acceptable levels.
"The wind farm will resume normal operation once the treatment has been implemented.
"We understand that one of our neighbours has been inconvenienced and we apologise. We want to be a good neighbour and we're committed to working with local communities and taking any concerns that they have about our projects seriously."
AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on over 170 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.