Inadequacy of wind turbine noise regulations and their application
by John P Harrison
This talk was presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Acoustics Association.
Last month (September 2009), the regulations for future wind-energy development under the Ontario Green Energy Act were released. This Act removes municipalities from the approval process and puts the final decision on projects with the Ontario government. The regulations for noise at a receptor issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) include a minimum setback from residences of 550 metres. There is a complex matrix of setbacks that depend upon the size of the project. However, developers can, if they wish, perform a standard Environmental Noise Impact Study and site turbines so as to conform to the October 2008 MOE noise regulations for wind turbines. Germany aside, these regulations are not so different from those in other jurisdictions. One difference is that turbine noise is allowed to increase with wind speed although with a proviso.
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