WIND POWER INVESTMENT - SOUNDSCAPE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

IS MEASURING BACKGROUND NOISE WORTHWHILE BEFORE WIND POWER INVESTMENTS?

 

Both global and Nordic wind power developers have used background noise measurement to their advantage. In Finland, sound and noise have been a topic for many years and noise from wind turbines has been one of the talking points for around 20 years.

 

The measurement and mapping of the sound from wind turbines is based on the sound modeling and measurement guidelines drawn up by the Ministry of the Environment (YM 2014). It may be required to investigate noise caused by wind turbines after the production has begun, for example due to a complaint from a private individual. The most sensible option for wind farm developers/owners is to understand the soundscape better and utilize sound data in the early stages of wind power projects before the park is completed and production begins.

 
Benefits of understanding soundscape before wind power investment

 

Before investment

Measuring background noise is a benefit for wind power operators in many ways. Primarily, it provides significant pre-information on the existing sound levels/sound qualities of nearby houses, nature conservatories including Natura 2000 areas and the soundscape during different conditions including different wind speeds, wind directions, summer weather and winter weather etc.. Before wind power investments, measurements can be used to find out variations in the soundscape in the neighborhood, in the forest, road traffic as well as different acoustic conditions during summer & winter time.

 

When turbines are operating

When wind turbines are operating, soundscape can then be compared to background measurement data.

When performing background noise measurements, long-term measurements provide best results. It gives sufficient data on sound levels and minimizes changes in weather conditions and wind speed/direction, natural sounds like trees, bushes, natural life, community sounds, traffic etc.

Antti Leskinen, CEO - antti.leskinen@apl.fi

Roy Hjort, Head of Reporting - roy.hjort@apl.fi