Case Studies

Sarnia Regional Cogeneration Plant

Sarnia Regional Cogeneration Plant Acoustic Assessment

Location: Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Owner/Operator: TransAlta

TransAlta is an electrical generation facility operator and developer headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. The company has been recognized for its leadership in sustainability and is Canada’s largest investor-owned renewable energy provider.

The Sarnia facility is a 499 MW combined-cycle cogeneration facility located in Sarnia, Ontario, that provides power and steam to nearby industrial facilities. The Sarnia facility uses three gas turbines, each capable of generating between 102 megawatts and 118 megawatts, two condensing steam turbines that can produce 120 megawatts, and back-pressure steam turbines capable of generating 56 megawatts. The plant also incorporates a fired boiler, river water pump houses, and water treatment plants.

The plant has long term contracts to supply steam and electricity to LANXESS, NOVA and Suncor Energy with the remainder of the generation being sold into the Ontario market via the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).

Cogeneration Plant Acoustic Assessment

HGC Engineering was contracted to update the Acoustic Assessment of the  Sarnia facility to support an application to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (“MECP”) to renew the Limited Operational Flexibility of its existing Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).

A team of our acoustical engineers visited the site to measure the sound power levels of the sound sources at the facility, and to measure noise at the nearest communities. The collected data was used to create a computerized acoustical model of the site, where the net sound level of the site and its individual sources could be quantified without any interfering contribution from other activities, such as road traffic noise or other nearby industrial operations. This method ensured that the sound levels assessed at the points of reception were in fact solely associated with the operation of the facility.

Noise Measurements of Facility’s Primary Sound Sources

The noise measurements at the site were taken over the course of several days and included detailed measurements of individual components of the three combined-cycle gas turbines, each equipped with a Heat Recovery Steam Generator, numerous steam vents, ventilation openings, pumphouse, and diesel power generators.

As part of the Acoustic Assessment, HGC Engineering identified one steam vent with a faulty acoustic silencer and helped to select a replacement steam vent silencer, to ensure that the site complies with the Provincial noise limits, specified in MECP guideline NPC-300.


Acoustical Engineering Services Included:
  •  Detailed acoustical modelling to separate the sound of the facility from background noise
  • Assistance in specifying replacement steam vent silencer
  • An Acoustic Assessment Report to support an application for Approval



Need Answers?

Reach out to our acoustical consultants now.

Call: 1-833-205-7300

Reach out to a Consultant