RICE Plant low frequency noise control

Client Name
Marquette Board of Light & Power
Michigan, USA
  • Acoustics & vibration


Following the commissioning of their new 50MW Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine (RICE) Power Plant, the client started receiving noise complaints from the local community. The Plant comprises 3x 17MW dual-fuel reciprocating engines and generators in one building. While the Plant was shown to be compliant with the local noise laws and ordinances, the Plant continued to elicit an adverse community response and so the client was committed to resolving the situation.


SLR’s ANV team was called in to investigate the situation, both to understand the characteristics of the noise causing the complaints and to assess all areas of the plant from which the problem noise sources may be arising. SLR’s engineers performed detailed field measurements on the Plant and built a noise model to locate the dominant noise sources.

The building housing the engines and generators was found to be the main contributor.


The SLR team then set about custom-designing a retrofit solution for the building envelope which worked with the existing structure and the Plant’s mechanical systems. The Plant had to keep operating while the retrofit took place, to continue delivering power to the community. SLR prepared all the drawings, specified and quantified all the materials and supervised the retrofit construction work. Once field-tested, the retrofit design was found to exceed expectations on its acoustic performance.