Wind turbine tests enforced
The Victorian Government has launched new rules for testing wind turbine noise.
All new wind farm developments will now be required to have their noise levels checked by an independent auditor approved by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The checks will be performed twice — before and after construction of the turbines.
The new regulations come in the wake of an unsatisfactory independent audit of wind turbines at the Lal Lal Wind Farm under construction near Ballarat.
The Lal Lal Wind Farm was sold to Macquarie Capital last year.
Macquarie Capital chose to have the predictive noise levels at turbines tested by Adelaide-based company Sonus, and found 19 of the 60 turbines were not compliant with noise regulations.
It means Lal Lal must change the times when its turbines are turned on and off, so the farm will not generate as much income is it otherwise could.
New wind farm planning permits must now include audits of predictive noise before a permit can be granted.
After construction, noise levels will be checked by an EPA-approved auditor, and the results made public on the EPA Victoria website.
The majority of complaints lodged to the office of the national wind farm commissioner relate to noise.
National wind farm commissioner Andrew Dyer welcomed Victoria’s move.
“It means that all new wind farms must abide with this new process, which will give the community confidence about wind farms in the future,” he said.