Library filed under Noise from Illinois
Citizens for Protection of Libertyville scored another victory in court this morning. Judge Mitchell Hoffman issued a 2nd temporary restraining order against Aldridge Electric and DPR Investments LLC that shut down the turbine until July 14, 2009. Citizens for Protection of Libertyville, a group of neighbors who live in the surrounding area, are suing the Village of Libertyville, Aldridge Electric Inc. and DPR Investments LLC to force the permanent shut-down of the 146' turbine that was erected within a few hundred feet of their backyards.
The huge fan blade of the 126-foot wind turbine behind a Libertyville electrical contractor stands still now, a temporary concession to neighbors who find it a nuisance despite being touted as green energy. ...Shortly after the turbine was installed -- about 275 feet from one resident's backyard -- neighbors began complaining about noise, light from the turbine's reflective surface and the "flicker effect" created by the rotating fan blade.
The two sides are scheduled to meet Tuesday night at the company headquarters to discuss the company's 120-foot wind turbine. It was installed in April "to help Aldridge Electric offset their retail rate electricity," according to a company news release. Since then, neighbors have complained of noise levels, light from the turbine's reflective surface, and the "flicker effect" created by the rotating fan blade.
Aldridge Electric's new wind turbine has stopped spinning, while the company attempts to strike a compromise over what neighbors are calling excessive noise. On Tuesday, a group of nine residents who live near the Libertyville company, 844 E. Rockland Road, obtained a restraining order signed by a judge asking Aldridge to temporarily stop the turbine from spinning.
This suit was filed against the Village of Libertyville (IL) and DPR Investments LLC shortly after a business-scale wind turbine was erected and became operational within 600 feet of residential properties. The Entegrity 50 kilowatt, 120-foot turbine is owned by DPR Investments doing business as Aldridge Electric Company. Complaints of noise, shadow flicker and blade flicker were heard right after the turbine started turning. On July 24, 2009, the Court issued a compromise ruling stating that the turbine was affecting neighboring residents and restricted the turbine hours of operation to weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (see: http://www.windaction.org/news/22373 )
Libertyville officials are investigating complaints about noise generated by a 120-foot-tall wind turbine at a local business. The concerns arose just a few days before this Friday's planned ribbon-cutting ceremony for Aldridge Electric's turbine. The device was installed earlier this month to generate cleaner energy for the business, an electrical contracting firm at 844 E. Rockland Road.
Horizon Wind Twin Grove wind energy facility, McLean County IL
Horizon Wind Twin Grove wind energy facility, McLean County IL
The Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals has been holding public hearings since April 1, getting public input on the proposed Rail Splitter Wind Farm by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC. ...Spanos presented an acoustical engineer from Michigan who said the wind towers would create noise that could affect nearby residents and a real estate appraiser who said property values near the farm could drop. "These wind farm turbines surround the properties," said Michael McCann, a real estate appraiser from Chicago who said homes near the proposed farm could drop in value between 20 percent and 30 percent.
Richard James is a noise control consultant and acoustical consultant with E-Coustic Solutions in Michigan. In his testimony before the Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals in IL, Mr. James addresses the noise study conducted by Horizon Wind for the Rail Splitter wind energy proposal. His testimony can be accessed in full by clicking on the link below and reading from page 22 of the .pdf file. Mr. James' testimony is informative and compelling.
The people affected by a future wind farm in Tazewell and Logan counties had a chance Tuesday night to meet employees of Horizon Wind Energy and ask tough questions about the giant turbines going up in their backyards. The small, serious crowd of visitors to the Emden Community Center's basement brought to the meeting a mix of optimism and skepticism. Horizon Wind Energy, which already has a wind farm in McLean County, is planning to build another wind farm that will stretch from Emden in Logan County to Delavan in Tazewell County. "I don't like it. It ain't gonna be win-win for me," said Gene Aper. Aper's home is going to be surrounded by wind turbines. Aper said he has talked to real estate agents who told him that his property value will go down 10 to 20 percent because of the nine wind turbines that will be visible from his front door.
Video presentation addressing wind turbine noise levels for the Oak Prarie Power Plant proposed for Jo Daviess County near Nora, Illinois. Play time: 2 minutes 33 seconds
As the debate over "Wind Farms" continues, and is now into court, I cannot help but wonder why it has progressed this far dividing neighbors, friends and families. I also reflect on how the whole ordeal, which has put much undue stress on all parties involved, could have been avoided had our County Board followed normal protocol regarding the granting of Special Use Permits. Last fall, when the hearing for Special Use Application was in front of the County Zoning Board of Appeals, there were several long nights of testimony from both sides. After all testimony was heard, the Zoning Board of Appeals voted 3-1 to deny the application. At that point, in normal county procedure, the issue is over and the applicants must wait a year to apply again. However, in this case, our County Board leadership decided to be above the norm and overturn the Zoning Board of Appeal's recommendation forcing themselves and the county into imminent litigation.
The noise made by wind turbines is the equivalent of background noise in a conference room, an engineer testified Monday night at a meeting before the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals. Timothy Casey of HDR Engineering, Minneapolis, Minn., continued testimony began at the last meeting on his company’s noise analysis of the proposed wind turbines. His analysis was based on a wind speed of 22 mph — the wind might blow more, but the turbines are adjusted so they don’t spin faster if the wind speed is higher. He said because of a redesign of the configuration of the blades, they are quieter and don’t “thump” like older models do. Earlier, it was reported that the county requires 1,500-foot setbacks to distance turbines from homeowners. About 100 people attended one in a continuing series of four-hour meetings that continue this month. Invenergy Wind LLC of Chicago has proposed that 100 wind turbines be located on 12,200 acres in McLean and Woodford Counties. The White Oak Energy Center would be located west of Interstate 39 and north and east of Interstate 74. A total of 83 acres of farmland would ne taken out of production in the project, Invenergy has said.
An energy and environmental consultant hired by opponents of the proposed White Oak Wind Energy Center maintains Invenergy Wind LLC fails to meet several requirements for a special-use permit for the wind farm. Tom Hewson of Energy Ventures Analysis Inc., Arlington, Va., spoke to the McLean County Zoning Board of Appeals during a hearing Wednesday night. He said the proposed 100-turbine wind farm in McLean and Woodford counties would be a detriment to the public because of noise levels and visibility. Hewson said he did a “simple approach” simulation of one turbine to see how far a person had to be away from the turbine before it complied with Illinois’ noise regulations. “At 750 feet away, it exceeded the range,” he said, noting that three property owners have asked for waivers to allow a turbine in about that range. Hewson said it wasn’t until a person was 1,200 feet away from the turbine that the noise met Illinois’ requirements.