Library filed under Noise from Australia
A scientific researcher whose groundbreaking study into the impact of wind turbines on nearby residents has criticised the ABC’s Media Watch program, saying its journalist hounded his company about alleged media misrepresentations without reading or understanding his report.
Dr Christopher Hanning submitted this testimony to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines explaining the impact of turbine noise on sleep. The summary of his testimony is provided below. The full submission can be accessed at the links on this page.
The Acoustic Group’s Principal, Mr Steven Cooper, was commissioned by wind developer Pacific Hydro to undertake an investigation into “noise” emitted at the Cape Bridgewater wind energy facility. Symptoms reported by residents living near the turbines include severe nausea, headaches, ear pressure, inability to concentrate, and severe and debilitating sleep problems. The primary document explaining the study and the results can be downloaded from this page. The full study, including six appendices, can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The report found offending sound pressure was present at four distinct phases of turbine operation: starting, maximum power and changing load by more than 20 per cent either up or down. Mr Cooper said the findings were consistent with research into health impacts from early model wind turbines conducted in the US more than 20 years ago.
Wind farm critics are hoping an expert’s report to be presented in Portland next month will strengthen their case for official recognition of noise and health issues linked to turbines. Among those planning to attend the report’s release will be Cape Bridgewater residents, some of whom claim their property values have been eroded since wind turbines were erected in the past decade.
This important study examines the noise emissions of an operating wind facility during periods when the turbines are generating electricity and when the turbines are shut off. The abstract of conclusion of the study are provided below. The full study can be accessed at the links on this page. The study found "consistent and significant differences in noise spectra ...for the shutdown and operational cases, particularly for frequencies below 100 Hz. These differences can be observed at distances up to 8.7 km from the wind farm.
In a fiery address to the council’s meeting on Tuesday night, Cr Jim Doukas refused to accept a peer review commissioned by the shire which found company AGL was operating the 140-turbine wind farm within noise guidelines. “It is the biggest load of garbage I’ve ever read in my life and AGL should be tied to a tree and flogged with a whip,” Cr Doukas said.
Acoustician, Steven Cooper, has been asked to measure noise emissions at the Cape Bridgewater wind energy facility in Australia following years of noise complaints since the project was placed in service in 2008. Mr Cooper has tested inside three homes near the wind facility over eight weeks, including a two-week shutdown of the turbines. His preliminary report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page. His initial findings are provided below.
The results from recordings and residents’ diaries show that a change in power output of more than 20 per cent leads to a change in sensation for the residents. “The main thing I get from the study is that there is a direct correlation from the noise coming out of the wind farm and the response in my body to that noise,’’ Ware says.
But Pacific Hydro has agreed to a key request from residents to allow acoustician Steven Cooper to investigate whether noise and power levels correspond with complaints from nearby residents. The decision by the company to allow Mr Cooper to measure noise is significant because of Mr Cooper’s previous reports critical of wind farm noise.
The Piper Alderman firm says the council has an obligation to take action after it received 20 official complaints from residents about noise coming from AGL’s 140-turbine wind farm last year.
This report describes the results of full spectrum acoustic monitoring conducted at a number of homes located between 2 km out to nearly 10km from the Waterloo Wind Energy facility. This monitoring was independent of the that conducted by the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (SA EPA) and was requested by Mrs Mary Morris and other concerned residents in the Waterloo district. The monitoring occurred during the period of the South Australian EPA Acoustic Survey, conducted in mid 2013. The conclusions of the monitoring are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Noise levels from wind farms should be monitored by the state’s top environmental watchdog, a Western Victorian MP says.
Dr. Bruce Rapley filed this response letter with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) objecting to the AMA's position on wind turbine noise that the "available Australian and international evidence does not support the view that the infrasound or low frequency sound generated by wind farms, as they are currently regulated in Australia, causes adverse health effects on populations residing in their vicinity." The concluding paragraphs of the letter are posted below. The full letter can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This is a story about the wind industry and turbine manufacturer, Vestas and the global campaign to counter dissent about the adverse impacts caused by their product to an often ignored minority of people living in rural communities worldwide.
This important paper prepared by acoustics expert Les Huson examines the permitted noise limits imposed on the Flyers Creek wind energy facility in the context of actual infrasound noise emissions from other operating wind projects. Mr. Huson determines that the Flyers Creek project will not satisfy the noise conditions or the South Australian EPA Environmental Noise Guidelines for wind energy facilities. Excerpts of the paper are provided below. Readers are encouraged to download and read the full paper by clicking the link on this page.
Locals in South Australia’s Mid North are banking on independent research to confirm their claims about health effects of living near wind farms. Marija Jovanovic reports.
Senator Madigan of Victoria in Australia delivered this speech on the floor of the Australian Senate wherein he announces findings from freedom of information requests that show the Waubra wind farm to be noncompliant, yet the agencies responsible for enforcement of the permit(s) say otherwise. In the speech, Senator Madigan explains that Waubra's breaching of its planning permit conditions is part of a broader culture of noncompliance arising from "systemic regulatory failure that impacts every wind farm in Victoria." The Senator's full speech is provided below and can be downloaded by selecting the link on this page.
Measurements were undertaken both indoors and outdoors at a typical rural residence approximately 2km from the nearest wind turbines at Waterloo wind farm to determine the appropriate turbine noise limits for rural areas. The abstract and conclusions of the paper are provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The submission by Pacific Hydro also raised concerns that the conditions of the permit were insufficient to protect the clients and occupants of the health farm from the potential noise and nuisance arising from the wind farm, and the conditions were insufficient to protect the wind farm owners, developer and operators from legal or statutory action by clients, occupants, owners and operators of the proposed health farm.