Bigger, louder and closer to townships
Noise pollution emitting from OSMI and HVP’s proposed Delburn Wind Farm is a key concern of SCA.
Wind turbine noise is not a sound of nature. It is repetitive like a dripping tap. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has acknowledged that wind turbines produce low frequency and infrasound, and that the special noise characteristics are not natural.
The impact poses a major threat to the community:
1. Largest on-shore turbines
2. Too close to populated areas
3. Victoria’s weak & poorly enforced regulations
- Victoria has the lowest setback distances and the weakest noise protections in Australia.
The setback distance between turbines and dwellings is just 1km. The Commissioner recommends 2km setbacks for turbines taller than 200m. Only 9 turbines would be allowed under a 2km setback limit, not 35.
Noise regulations focus only on audible (A-weighted) sound.
- The Victorian noise limit for turbines, as measured outside a home, is 40 dB(A). The Independent Scientific Committee on Wind Turbines and the Commissioner recommend 35 dB(A) to ensure minimal annoyance.
- The State Government outsources compliance testing to private companies employed by the developers and operators of wind farms.
- Despite Marshall Day Acoustics being singled out in the 2015 Senate inquiry into wind farms for its poor practices and falsifying data, the company has been engaged to do the modelling and pre-construction noise assessments for the Delburn Wind Farm.
4. Worse than the troubled Bald Hills Wind Farm (and Waubra and Cape Bridgewater)
- Despite the proposed Delburn turbines being bigger and noisier than those at Bald Hills, and located in hillier terrain where sound can project further, they will be placed at similar distances to houses.
- The Bald Hills Wind Farm has been proven to be in breach of the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act. A recent independent and peer reviewed noise assessment found it to be non-compliant with the regulations.
- The same bodies involved in the development of the Bald Hills Wind Farm are involved in the Delburn proposal. This includes OSMI directors Peter Marriott and Stephen Buckle, and Marshall Day Acoustics.
Among a number of key points, the WHO (who added turbine noise to their 2018 Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region) noted the following:
– Health effects of individuals living in the vicinity of wind turbines can theoretically be related not only to long-term noise exposure from the wind turbines but also to disruption caused during the construction phase.
– The noise emitted from wind turbines has other characteristics, including the repetitive nature of the sound of the rotating blades and atmospheric influence leading to a variability of amplitude modulation, which can be a source of above average annoyance (Schäffer et al., 2016).
|World Health Organisation Regional office for Europe. Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region. 2018||Click here for more info|
|Australian Government, 2018, Annual Report of the Independent Scientific Committee on Wind Turbines||Click here for more info|
|Flinders University Wind Farm Noise Study|
– research project (current)
|Click here for more info|
|Flinders University – wind farm noise recorded up to 9km away||Click here for more info|
|EPA Victoria – wind farm sounds and health||Click here for more info|
|Bald Hills Wind Farm nuisance case. August 2019 update.|
South Gippsland Sentinel Time
|Click here for more info|