Prediction and assessment of operational noise at solar farm

TNEI was commissioned by Green Hedge Renewables to provide an environmental Noise Impact Assessment (NIA) to support the planning application of a proposed solar farm in Fife, Scotland. The purpose of the NIA was to determine the impact of the development in noise terms on nearby noise sensitive receptors (NSRs) and provide details of any required mitigation, where necessary. The assessment included the following methodology:

  • Noise predictions — noise propagation modelling to recognised international standards for two development layouts, based on a centralised system and a de-centralised system, as well as considering multiple noise sources, including transformers, centralised inverters, string inverters and associated cooling.
  • Assessment of noise — noise imission levels were compared against noise rating (NR) curves including calculation of internal noise levels and consideration of tonal content.
  • Production of figures – operational noise contour plots were presented as isopleth contour lines overlaid on digital mapping data.
  • Consultation with the Environmental Health Service in order to discharge noise related planning conditions.

The NIA report was submitted on time as part of the planning application for the development. No comments were received from the Environmental Health Service during the determination of the application and the development was subsequently consented.

Following issue of the decision notice, TNEI consulted with the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) to discharge a noise related planning condition, which was resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of both the client and EHO.