Homer Solar Farm Noise Assessment

Ecology and Environment, Inc.

Homer Solar Farm is a proposed 90-megawatt solar energy generation facility in New York State. As part of the permitting process, EDF Renewables sought noise control engineering services to comply with New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (NYCRR), Part 900 (also known as Section 94-c).

RSG completed a project noise impact assessment for the facility. As part of our noise impact assessment, we conducted background sound level monitoring at the site. Monitoring took place during both the winter and summer to account for various foliage conditions. Our team selected monitoring positions to represent diverse soundscapes. This ensured adequate representativeness while avoiding impacts from human sound sources such as highways.

After establishing a baseline noise condition, our team conducted sound propagation modeling following the ISO 9613-2 standard and procedures. We used the Cadna/A sound prediction model. This model considers varying terrain, source spectral content, and several other factors that influence sound attenuation and propagation. Sound modeling was conducted for 4 operational scenarios, 2 cumulative scenarios, and 15 construction scenarios to meet the Office of Renewable Energy Siting requirements. We also designed mitigation for the developers to incorporate into the facility so it could meet Section 94-c noise standards. Mitigation included the use of low-noise transformers and a sound barrier at the proposed substation.

After completing site monitoring and modeling for Homer Solar Farm, RSG documented our findings in a report. This report included information on local and state noise limits, sound level monitoring procedures and results, sound modeling procedures and results, noise contour mapping, and construction noise results.