Credit:     (25/07/11

The UK wind industry is scrambling to respond to a High Court ruling that affirmed the legaltiy of conditions placed on the Den Brook wind farm near Devon, limiting ampltude modulation of wind turbine noise to a level that could be very hard to comply with. After years of pooh-poohing the reports of neighbors who said that the pulsing quality of the turbine noise made it especially hard to live with, including a much-criticized study a few years back that found nearly no AM at UK wind farms, Renewable UK (formerly the British Wind Energy Association) is fast-tracking a far-reaching study of AM, which they hope to complete in just seven months.


The new study, funded by Renewable UK (a trade organization of wind industry companies), aims to develop better models for predicting AM, including assessment of the effects of high turbulence and closely spaced turbines, as well as noise predictions both nearby and at a distance. In addition, they aim to develop a listening test that could inform a possible penalty-assessment approach to dealing with AM noise when it does occur; such an approach, common in many regulations, forces the overall noise level to be lower when AM is present.


After years of claiming there is no need to assess or regulate AM, it appears that the industry has now found itself suffering the consequences of denying the problem. Instead of working to create regulations that take the issue seriously (whether or not it is common), the industry is now vulnerable to being out of compliance when AM does occur.


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