Noise Impact Assessment

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Noise impact assessments (NIA) are an essential part of the planning process for renewable energy developments and our expert noise team has the capability to conduct assessments at all stages of the project lifecycle. The team is experienced in acting as due diligence assessor for banks and lending institutions who have noise considerations as part of renewable energy investments.

We have worked on NIAs for wind power projects globally, representing over a gigawatt of capacity. As part of this, we have conducted noise assessments for some of the largest onshore wind farms, including Whitelee wind farm, the UK’s largest onshore wind farm, as well as for power stations, overhead lines, substations and non-energy projects.

Industry standards

Noise impact assessments

The noise team will conduct every noise impact assessment in accordance with recognised and cited industry criteria, including:

  • ETSU-R-97 (in conjunction with the Institute of Acoustics’ (IOA) May 2013 good practice guide)
  • British Standard (BS) 4142: 1997
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines
  • Noise Rating (NR) curves.

The team is also actively involved in working with industry partners to provide guidance for adhering to industry standards and we have been involved in the production of independent white papers relating to NIAs.

Noise services

Our experienced noise team can support you through the life cycle of your project, from the early stages of development, through to construction, operation and decommissioning.

For wind farm projects, this can include:

  • Assessment of different candidate turbines
  • Micrositing
  • Development of curtailment strategies
  • Scheduling construction activities
  • Compliance measurement
  • Complaint investigations
  • Scheduling of decommissioning
  • Our range of noise services is extensive, some of which are outlined below.

Noise modelling

At the early stages of a wind farm development, SgurrEnergy’s noise team can model the noise contribution from wind turbines at nearby noise sensitive receptors. Our noise team has conducted noise modelling across the globe, including the UK, USA, France and Pakistan. Noise modelling can assist with turbine selection, determine feasibility of schemes and provide a baseline in discussions with statutory consultees.

For non-wind developments, the noise team carries out NIAs in the UK in accordance with BS 4142.

Scoping documentation

As part of our noise services, the team is involved in the preparation of scoping documents, which cover identification of noise sensitive receptors and initial outline modelling. These can help developers identify a feasible layout for their renewable energy development with indicative sound pressure levels reaching the receptors. Once the project has been modelled and consultation on the scoping report carried out, the requirement for background noise monitoring will be established.

Noise monitoring

SgurrEnergy has its own specialist noise monitoring equipment and an expert in-house measurement team who can supply either met masts or remote lidar devices to correlate wind speeds with background noise data. Once background noise monitoring has been completed, results will be compared with modelled data and the ability of the project to meet planning consent conditions determined.

Reporting

The noise team can prepare either stand-alone technical documentation for the impact of noise from the construction and operation of a wind farm or other development; or an environmental statement chapter conforming to the environmental impact assessment manager’s template. For wind farms, the team can also report on curtailment strategies to enable the maximum number of the largest turbines to operate in the highest possible operational strategy.

Complaint investigations

SgurrEnergy has experience in reviewing planning conditions relating to noise and assessing potential problems in their interpretation. The noise team has previously prepared protocols for complaint investigation and for addressing issues relating to cumulative noise impact and the apportioning of liability.

Expert witness

The noise team are trained in the presentation of evidence to public inquiry. We have presented at both UK and international conferences in specialist technical areas of wind farm noise, including amplitude modulation and have prepared independent papers for the UK Institute of Acoustics’ bulletin and other publications.

Industrial and residential projects

As well as NIAs for renewable energy developments, SgurrEnergy can also provide bespoke noise services for other industrial and residential projects.

For more information on the noise and vibration services that we provide, get in touch online or by calling +44 141 227 1700.