Saratoga Since June, constant noise from continuous power units (CPU) at the GlobalFoundries site has been tormenting some residents of Malta and Stillwater; and they’re fed up.
“It’s already been three months that we’ve endured this and now you’re telling us the best we’re looking at is hopefully four [more] months but no guarantees … so we’re looking at almost a year of this noise and you’ve not investigated anything besides hay to absorb the sound?” said Jeff Ehrenberg, a resident in earshot of the drone.
Ehrenberg and a handful of other concerned residents spoke at a packed meeting of the Community Response Board and GlobalFoundries on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the Malta Community Center.
The town and GlobalFoundries have been inundated with complaints from residents who can’t handle and don’t want to handle the 24-hour (yes, it’s around the clock) noise. Carol Henry of the CRB read an email detailing GloFo’s solution to the problem, which has a rough 16-week timetable of completion.
“We believe the CPS units, which are part of our back-up power generation system, are the source of the sound. The mitigation strategy includes replacing the louvers in the building which house the CPS units with sound attenuation baffles, which are designed to keep much more of the sound within in the building,” wrote Jessica Shahda, communications specialist at GlobalFoundries, in the email.
Mike Russo, director of U.S. government relations at GlobalFoundries, said sound engineers originally thought the noise was related to construction and eventually discovered that the backup power generator units were the source of the noise because they’re always running and spinning.
“We shut down the CPS units, which helped that weekend for a few days. The noise didn’t go away but it was better,” said Russo.
Construction efforts continue to grow at the chip fab, which means more CPS units need to run. Russo said GloFo is hopeful they’ve found a solution and implored residents to bear with the company a little longer while it went out to bid for baffles.