The Dean Report

Acciona Energy's Waubra wind farm, located in western Victoria, Australia is the largest operating wind facility in the southern hemisphere. The site's 128 turbines (192 megawatts installed) started generating electricity in Spring 2009 and were fully energized by that July.

Within weeks of the towers first being turned on, Noel Dean began suffering adverse health effects. Australian newspapers quoted Dean this way: "I was waking up two days in a row with headaches, I'd have to take Panadol but they'd be gone by dinner time. When the wind is blowing north I got a thumping headache, like someone belted me over the head with a plank of wood and I didn't know whether to go to the hospital or what to do. You couldn't really work." Other symptoms he and his wife experienced included general malaise, nausea, sleeplessness and general uneasiness.

By July, the Deans had packed up and left their farm.

Around the same time, an investigation of wind farm noise complaints was underway in New Zealand. Residents living near the towers in New Zealand were filing complaints of sleep disturbance, annoyance, anxiety and nausea. As more people in both Australia and New Zealand became comfortable in talking about their health concerns a picture began to emerge that researchers found unusual. There were compelling similarities between experiences in two totally different countries, totally different environments and totally different turbines.

Audible wind farm sound and consequential sleep disturbance, annoyance and anxiety responses were similar for people in both countries. These effects were also experienced even under situations of near inaudible wind turbine sound.

The concerns of the Deans and others living within 3500 meters of operational wind farms triggered more than twelve months of intensive study by a group of 4 qualified researchers.

The result is The Dean Report, a detailed peer-reviewed analysis of the sound levels near the Dean's properties and the potential adverse effects of wind farm activity on human health.

Dr. Robert Thorne PhD[1], who authored the report, based his findings and conclusions on extensive field work, personal investigations, case studies and the development of sound analysis methodologies. He told Windaction.org that "the Dean Report, in its various forms, has been placed in evidence subject to cross-examination before a Board of Inquiry and formal wind farm hearings for the purposes of peer-review and critique. A hypothesis as to cause and effect for adverse health effects from wind farm activity is presented."

In news reports today, wind farm operator, Acciona Energy, insisted "there is already enough existing credible evidence proving there are no health effects from wind farm noise."

We respectfully disagree. The Dean Report makes clear we are only just beginning to understand problem.

[1] Dr. Thorne is a principal of Noise Measurement Services Pty Ltd in Australia. He holds a PhD in Health Science from Massey University, New Zealand. His professional background is the measurement of low background sound levels and the assessment of noise as it affects people.

Windaction.org wishes to express its thanks to Dr. Thorne and Mr. Dean for sharing the Dean Report with us and permitting us to provide its content to our readers.

JUL 28 2010
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