Latest Wind Farm News!
The Institute of Acoustics (IOA) has published its Good Practice Guide on wind turbine noise assessment today.
Following an extensive consultation exercise last year after the publication of its draft guide, the Institute's working party has completed the redrafting of the document which will be officially launched on 21 May in Bristol at a one-day conference on wind turbine noise, the eighth in a series of IOA events on the subject.
The document provides significant support on technical issues to all users of the ETSU-R-97 method for rating and assessing wind turbine noise, and should be used by all IOA members and those undertaking assessments to ETSU-R-97.
IOA President Bridget Shield has written to Government to confirm the guide as being current industry practice, and a response is expected shortly.
Work on the document began in 2011 following a request from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to take forward the recommendation of the Government-commissioned Hayes McKenzie report on Analysis of How Noise Impacts are considered in the Determination of Wind Farm Planning Applications. (Ref HM: 2293/R1 dated 6 April 2011).
In announcing its publication, Richard Perkins, working group chairman, said: “The working group wants to thank all those who responded to the consultation exercise, and the peer reviewers, whose contribution has been phenomenal.
“We believe that the work has achieved the aim set out in the terms of reference agreed with DECC, which was to review the available evidence, and to produce good practice guidance on wind turbine noise assessment.
“The terms required us to look at the technical elements of the methodology, but did not allow us to consider the noise limits, which are a matter for Government, or to discuss the potential health effects.”
The report can be viewed here
Wind Turbine developer Banks Renewables has installed equipment to measure wind speeds and background sound levels at a rural site in Dumfries and Galloway, which could pave the way for a community wind farm.
The wind mast has been set up at the proposed Knockendurrick Wind Farm, 3km north-west of Twynholm to confirm whether the area is suitable for a wind farm development.
The 60m high test mast represents the first in a new type of wind mast to be used by us and was raised in April 2013. The new mast series has been engineered with a unique slot together design, which results in a reduced environmental impact.
As all components can be lifted safely by no more than two people, no large plant is required, which minimises disruption to local road networks, farmers and livestock. The mast is also slimmer in appearance, meaning there is even less visible in the surrounding landscape.
Colin Anderson, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “The use of the new H1 series of test mast reconfirms our promise to communities to ensure that appearance of the mast within its landscape setting is acceptable.
“Developing a wind farm is a demanding process and it is necessary to carry out a number of technical and environmental assessments initially in order to conclude if the site is suited to accommodate a wind farm.
“The purpose of the test wind mast is to confirm both the basic wind resource while also assisting us to make precise noise assessments which will allow us to ensure the design will be acceptable for neighbouring properties.
“If the wind mast confirms our expectations about the wind resource at Knockendurrick, we intend putting forward a direct partnership proposition to the surrounding communities, which would see them being directly involved in the project.”
Banks Renewables has been speaking to community groups around the proposed Knockendurrick site for a number of months to gauge interest in the idea of taking forward a community wind farm partnership at Knockendurrick.
Although at the early stages of this proposed wind farm we have recently held a number of successful public exhibitions where it liaised with local communities and provided further information on the proposed 10 turbine Knockendurrick Wind Farm.
Such a partnership would see communities having a direct stake and involvement in the wind farm, as well as the option to increase their interest through a community purchase post construction.
SSE plc has reached agreement with Renewable Energy Systems Group (RES) to acquire the Dunmaglass wind farm project, located near Loch Mhor, 25km south of Inverness.
The 33 turbine Dunmaglass project received planning consent in December 2010 and off-site pre-construction works have already begun. SSE expects to begin full construction of the wind farm in late 2013 with an expected project completion date of early 2016. Once constructed, the project will have an installed capacity of 99MW.
The total investment in the project is expected to be around £200m and is consistent with the scale and composition of SSE’s planned investment programme to 2015. The expected completion of the project in early 2016 will ensure that it is able to qualify for support through the ROC (Renewables Obligation Certificate) regime.
Met mast data for the project and general area has demonstrated that Dunmaglass will benefit from exceptional wind resource, with potential load factors of above 40%.
Projected output from the wind farm is over 350GWh per year.
Jim Smith, Managing Director Renewables at SSE, said:
“We have said that we will pursue both acquisitions and disposals in order to optimise our wind farm portfolio in the UK, and this acquisition of Dunmaglass wind farm is completely in line with that objective.
“Dunmaglass is a well designed project which benefits from an excellent wind resource compared to typical onshore sites. The construction timetable for the project fits well with our existing development portfolio and will enable us to optimise the use of existing resources and contracts.
“As an established operator and responsible developer of renewable projects in the area, we have a long-standing commitment to the local community and businesses. We intend to honour the commitments already made in connection with this project and ensure that real economic and social benefits flow into the area.”
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