Recently, the environmental impact of wind farms has been receiving increasing attention. As land is more extensively exploited for onshore wind farms, they are more likely to be in proximity with human dwellings, increasing the likelihood of a negative health impact. Noise generation and propagation remain an important concern for wind farm's stakeholders, as compliance with mandatory noise limits is an integral part of the permitting process. In contrast to previous work that included noise only as a design constraint, this work presents continuous-location models for layout optimization that take noise and energy as objective functions, in order to fully characterize the design and performance spaces of the wind farm layout optimization (WFLOP) problem. Based on Jensen's wake model and ISO-9613-2 noise calculations, single- and multi-objective genetic algorithms (GAs) are used to solve the optimization problem. Results from this bi-objective optimization model illustrate the trade-off between energy generation and noise production by identifying several key parts of Pareto frontiers. In particular, it was observed that different regions of a Pareto front correspond to markedly different turbine layouts. The implications of noise regulation policy—in terms of the actual noise limit—on the design of wind farms are discussed, particularly in relation to the entire spectrum of design options.

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