Introduction To Wind -
Wind Farms And Public Acceptance -
Wind Power Around The World -
Economic Data -
Land Values -
Noise -
Noise Standards -
Visual Impact -
Flickering Shadows -
Health -
Wind Farm Syndrome -
Operational Safety -
Aviation & Farming -
Birds -
Tourism -

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The impact of noise depends on the sensitivity of the surrounding land uses, existing background noise levels, topography and wind speed and direction.  
Noise from wind farms must conform with strict standards and guidelines.

State Policy   Requirement
Qld Environmental Protection Policy  
  • below 30dB(A) indoors at night
  • 35 dB(A) during daytime and evening
    Qld DERM Guidelines for Low Frequency and Infrasound  
  • below 85dB(G).
    SA EPA Wind Farm Noise:  
  • Rural Zone: below 40dB(A) or background noise + 5dB(A) outdoors
  • Residential Zone: below 35dB(A) or background noise + 5dB(A) outdoors
    Victorian EPA Guidelines and South Australian EPA Guidelines  
  • Comply with the noise limits recommended for dwellings and other noise sensitive locations in the New Zealand NZS 6808.2010 – Acoustics – Wind Farm Noise.  The Standard specifies a general 40 decibel limit for wind farm sound levels, or the sound should not exceed the background sound level by more than five decibels, whichever is greater.  

    A draft new Queensland Wind Farm Guideline was released for public comment in May 2014.

    Wind farm sound varies because the level, character, and frequency of the sound depend on a number of factors. These factors vary within and between farms. They include:

    • Distance from the nearest turbine or cluster of turbines
    • Number of turbines on the wind farm (or in the nearest cluster, if the farm is very large)
    • Model, size and arrangement of the turbines (different turbines produce different sound levels)
    • Topography of the surrounding land
    • Wind speed and direction.

    Computer models of wind farms prior to construction take account of all these factors and predict noise levels likely to result from the turbines at different locations.  This influences the type of turbines used, the placement of the turbines, and their operating conditions. Sound measurements taken after construction can then be compared to predicted measurements.

    Planning permit conditions should require post installation noise compliance to be monitored and demonstrated to the satisfaction of the responsible authority.

    The Clean Energy Council Wind Farm Technical Paper Environmental Noise S3387C6 9 Nov 2010 states:
    "The information in this Technical Paper results in the following key conclusions:

    • The standards and guidelines used for the assessment of environmental noise from wind farms in Australia and New Zealand are amongst the most stringent and contemporary in the World;
    • There are inherent discrepancies associated with a number of different approaches from jurisdiction to jurisdiction;
    • The rate of complaints relating to environmental noise emissions from residents living in the vicinity of operating wind farms is very low;
    • Complaints relating to environmental noise emissions from residents living in the vicinity of operating wind farms generally relate to concerns regarding low frequency noise and health related impacts; and
    There is detailed and extensive research and evidence that indicates that the noise from wind farms developed and operated in accordance with the current Standards and Guidelines will not have any direct adverse health effects."