NSW draft Wind Energy: Noise Assessment Bulletin (the draft Noise Bulletin)

NSW draft Wind Energy: Noise Assessment Bulletin (the draft Noise Bulletin)

The draft Noise Bulletin was released in August 2016 as part of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s proposed new wind energy planning framework that is presently being exhibited. The NSW Government is seeking feedback on the new framework by 16 September 2016.

The consultation documents can be found here:


Marshall Day Acoustics’ Review

The draft Noise Bulletin at a glance:

  • The draft Noise Bulletin outlines an approach that is broadly similar to the current NSW government approach to assessing wind farm noise. The approach is based on the 2009 South Australian document Wind Farms – Environmental Noise Guidelines, with adjustments for use of the document in the NSW context
  • New wind farm projects that have been designed to achieve compliance based on the current NSW approach would also meet the requirements of the draft NSW Bulletin in most instances. However, assessment outcomes may differ in some cases.
  • The draft Noise Bulletin proposes the continued use of a lower base limit (35 dB) than is generally applied in South Australia and Victoria where wind energy development has occurred at a greater scale
  • The draft Noise Bulletin proposes low frequency noise criteria in a similar form to that of recent project approvals in NSW, but now applies the criterion in a more stringent and prescriptive manner. The criteria could be restrictive for some sites and may falsely penalise some projects, irrespective of whether low frequency noise is problematic for neighbouring residents.
  • The draft Noise Bulletin’s requirements for control of tonality are lenient compared to other jurisdictions. This approach may ultimately be counterproductive to the long term interests of renewable energy development in NSW.

Our full critique of key aspects of the draft Noise Bulletin can be downloaded here.

Please contact us if you would like further information:

Christophe Delaire: cdelaire@marshallday.com

Dan Griffin: dgriffin@marshallday.com


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