New noise concerns over work at Rampion offshore wind farm

Minimising piling noise from offshore wind farm construction is increasingly an issue of concern.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is looking into new reports of noise disruptions coinciding with the installation of offshore wind turbines for the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm off the Sussex coast.

The current plan of works includes the construction of 175 wind turbine generators that are located more than 13km from shore. While noise disruptions were an initial concern of residents and government, an initial environmental statement given to the developer E.On in July 2014, claimed that there would be no significant impact stemming from the piling needed to construct the wind farm or other associated activites.

With the new filing of noise reports, the MMO appears to have the immediate support of E.On in minimising any possible disruptions caused to the local community by noise, with a series of new initiatives to mitigate sound caused by either the driving of pilings or the general increase in activities of workers within the vicinity.

The new initiatives to mitigate noise impact include:

  • Vessels leaving Shoreham Port during night time hours will follow a new route;
  • Maintenance activities with noise producing tools will only be scheduled for daytime use;
  • Acoustic panels to reduce noise around pump equipment onshore;
  • Piling activity will be avoided at night if weather conditions are conducive to noise carrying;
  • Speed of vessels will be reduced, with the use of anchors so that engines can be off.

The developer believes that the new initiatives will mitigate potential disruptions to the community, and the MMO will continue to monitor the situation.

Interestingly, Infrastructure Intelligence recently reported on the issue of minimising piling noise from offshore wind farm construction in an article by Jonathan Sims from Hoare Lea Acoustics. The article can be viewed here.  


Despite the above the noise and vibration for residents on the coast is incredibly disturbing. So much so that I thought I was developing hearing problems and possibly tinnitis. After my hearing was tested and time away from my home on Brighton Kemptown seafront I now realise it is all as a consequence of the works at sea on Rampion which is contunuous day and night even at weekend.There is no respite. Even with noise cancelling headphones this can't nullify the vibration. If you want to investigate my claims you only need to stand at the top of Duke's Mound on Marine Parade. If anything can be done to mitigate these noises and vibrations or enforcement of the new initiatives I would be most grateful. Undisturbed night sleep would be welcome relief.