Ontario seeking bids on offshore wind farm noise study
Just prior to the 2011 Ontario election, the Dalton McGuinty government announced a “moratorium” on offshore wind development. It was widely thought this move was to stave off any criticism (and lost votes) from Toronto, the Ontario Liberal stronghold, as there was significant opposition to a project proposed off the Scarborough area, where lake views are prized.
Now, it’s 2014, and the Liberals have a majority and four years ahead in power.
Last Friday, a request for proposal for a noise impact study for offshore wind “farms” was posted on MERX here.
Technical Evaluation to Predict Offshore Wind Farm Noise Impacts in Ontario
This Request for Proposals is an invitation to prospective proponents to submit proposals for the Technical Evaluation of Sound Propagation Modelling Methodologies to Predict Offshore Wind Farm Noise Impacts in Ontario.
Scope of Work
The Preferred Proponent will be required to conduct a technical evaluation of sound propagation modelling methodologies to predict Offshore Wind Farm noise impacts in Ontario (the “Study”), and create a report about the Study to the satisfaction of and for approval by the Ministry (the “Study Report”). The scope of work to be performed by the Preferred Proponent includes:
(i) Conducting a literature review and consulting technical and government specialists;
(ii) Preparing and submitting the Study Report based on the literature review and consultation;
(iii) Providing the chapters of the Study Report to the Ministry in draft form for review, comment and approval by the Ministry, and revising the chapters and final Study Report to the satisfaction of the Ministry; and,
(iv) Participating in kick-off meeting/teleconference and periodic teleconferences with Ministry staff as required.
Field measurements, validation testing and/or the purchase of Offshore Models are outside the scope of this study.
Note that this is essentially a literature review; actual noise measurement is “outside the scope.”
It is also likely only related to audible noise: low frequency noise has not been mentioned in the study scope.
Offshore wind power generation projects have been proposed for several areas in Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron. Concerns about such development range from worries about noise, damage to the lake beds, especially in Erie where the toxic substances have settled, and for property values of adjacent properties.