AGL Energy (AGL) today announced that the Macarthur Wind Farm is successfully operating within the strict noise limits set in the wind farm's State Planning Permit, as evidenced in the Macarthur Wind Farm Noise Compliance Assessment independently produced by AECOM Australia Pty Ltd (AECOM).
The Planning Permit, which is enforced by the Victorian State Government, required that pending landowner approval, noise monitoring was to be carried out at specified dwellings neighboring the Macarthur Wind Farm. Noise loggers were installed between February and March 2013 to capture the noise data for this objective assessment.
This Noise Compliance Assessment is part of a wider noise monitoring program implemented by AGL since the first turbines started operating in late September 2012. All noise monitoring results received to date at 13 neighbouring dwellings demonstrate that the Macarthur Wind Farm complies with the acoustic requirements of the Planning Permit.
Scott Thomas, AGL's Group General Manager Power Development said "AGL is pleased that the independent AECOM Assessment demonstrates that the Macarthur Wind Farm continues to operate well within the Planning Permit requirements."
"We appreciate some community members have been concerned about wind farm noise levels so we wanted to make sure it was operating correctly from the start and give the community a greater level of comfort. Over 40,000 hours of noise monitoring has been conducted at Macarthur, which is well beyond the amount of noise monitoring required in the Planning Permit."
"All results received to date confirm that Macarthur Wind Farm remains compliant within the Government's strict noise regulations that are in line with the World Health Organisation's guidelines for noise limits," Mr Thomas said.
The Planning Permit requires that the noise level from an operating wind farm, measured outdoors of a dwelling at any relevant nominated wind speed, shall not exceed the background noise level before the wind farm was operating by more than five dB(A) or a level of 40 dB(A), whichever is higher. The combined noise levels were assessed at 10-minute intervals at the specified dwellings. Compliance was assessed throughout the entire day, and separately at night when the background noise level is typically lower.
The testing also monitored for special audible characteristics (clearly audible tones, impulses, or modulation of sound levels). Special audible characteristics were not determined to be present at any of the noise monitoring locations.
This independent assessment, conducted in accordance with the relevant Standard, has been submitted to the Victorian Government for review, and uploaded to the Macarthur website.
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 175 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.