Solar panels are designed to absorb as much light as possible and are constructed with anti-reflection coating. Panels currently available on the market reflect as little as two percent of incoming sunlight, about the same as water. However, in certain situations, the glass surfaces of the panels can produce some glint and glare.
In order to better understand the potential of glare occurrence, EPCOR engaged a third party to model our proposed installation. The results of the study told us that the project is expected to have either no glare or low levels of glare at most locations, including the residences along the east and west ridges of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Along the recreational trail located south and west of the project site which overlooks the proposed solar farm, up to 45 minutes of glare per day may occur on clear, sunny mornings between March and September.
The study results indicate that looking at the solar farm from the trail during these times will be similar to looking at the sun reflecting off a lake. At these times, the reflection from the panels could cause you to glance away or temporarily experience spots in your vision. The glare study also identified that drivers using Anthony Henday Drive will not experience glare from the solar farm.
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Artist rendering: Potential early morning glare from the solar farm on a spring day (looking northeast from the recreational trail located southwest of the project site)
We do not anticipate an increased level of noise in the area as a result of this project being operational. If approved, the inverter stations that will be located throughout the project area are the only equipment that will generate some sound. To help mitigate this, we will house the inverters within enclosures.
A noise study was conducted to ensure that the proposed equipment will meet the City of Edmonton's Community Standards Bylaw for Noise Control and the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) Rule 012 for Noise Control. Based on our preliminary design, the cumulative sound level for the project is below the permissible sound level specified by the AUC.