Library from Massachusetts
This important letter by acoustician Stephen Ambrose explains how two separate court decisions, one in Massachusetts and the other in Michigan, together provide clarity on what the minimum protective noise limits should be when siting industrial wind energy facilities. Mr. Ambrose's letter includes links to the two decisions as well as supporting background information. The content of the letter is shown below. The original can be downloaded from this page.
One of the first Berkshires towns to allow wind power is poised to prohibit it — before any blades turn.
Cape Wind suffered a slow death. Efforts to develop the 468-megawatt offshore farm began in 2001 but came up against relentless opposition ...While Energy Management won several court battles, the project couldn’t survive the 2015 cancellation of contracts to sell its power to local utilities.
“Cape Wind has confirmed to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that it has ceased development of its proposed offshore wind farm project in Nantucket Sound and has filed to terminate its offshore wind development lease that was issued in 2010,” according to a statement emailed to the Times by Cape Wind vice president Dennis Duffy.
Opponents of the stalled Cape Wind project have appealed a federal agency’s decision to allow the offshore wind energy developer to maintain its long-term federal lease in Nantucket Sound, where the company had planned to build 130 wind turbines.
With three international developers within weeks of submitting landmark competitive bids to Massachusetts and its utility companies to create offshore wind farms south of Martha’s Vineyard, the gearing up of supply chain industries is not far behind.
Judge Cornelius Moriarty has denied a motion to intervene in the case filed recently by the Green Center, a nonprofit educational institute in Hatchville that supports ecological projects, and a group of Falmouth residents. They were looking for the judge to alter his ruling and come up with a more moderate solution to the problem. The motion filed by the Green Center and denied by Judge Moriarty can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
A Hatchville-based group, seeking reconsideration of a court judgment that permanently shut down two town-owned wind turbines, does not have the standing needed to file a motion to intervene and has made its move too late, according to an attorney representing a neighbor of one of the turbines.
New England currently has 1,300 MW of installed wind facilities, and about 5,400 MW more have been proposed as of April 2017. Most of the wind projects constructed or under consideration are in remote areas of the region where the wind conditions are good, but where the transmission network was built to serve low levels of area load and is currently at its performance limit.
Last week, The Green Center and a dozen citizens filed the motion asking to be allowed to intervene, even though the trial is over and a ruling has already been issued. In documents, they argue taxpayer interests had not been adequately protected by the town.
The motion argues that no evidence was presented during or after the trial regarding potential remedies available to mitigate the noise from the turbines. In addition, it states that no consideration was given to the “enormous costs associated with ceasing operation of the turbines.”
David Dardi, who lives near the turbine and who had been keeping track of the turbine noise, said the turbine continued to “disrupt the sleep and adversely impact the lives and health of both my neighbors and myself.” ...Selectman Karen Canfield said she would support to curtail the use of the turbine from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the summer.
If the power being generated causes health impacts; is that trade-off worth reducing your collective carbon footprint? Is it better to cause huge health issues to some folks so others can smugly say their power is "green"? And why is hurting folks with windmills to power your Tesla and Wi-fi OK, but cutting a thousand trees down in a state forest along an existing right of way is not OK?
On Sept. 27, Savoy voters rejected a request to adjust the wind-power bylaw residents passed nearly a decade ago. The change would have allowed Palmer Capital Corp., the firm managing the project, to increase the height of five turbines it seeks to install on West Hill near the Hawley line.
Representatives of five transmission projects proposed in July in response to the Massachusetts solicitation for 9.45 TWh/year of hydro and Class I renewables (wind, solar or energy storage) tried to explain why their projects should be among those selected in January. Contracts awarded under the MA 83D request for proposals are to be submitted in late April.
Residents in Scituate who live near a wind turbine claim it's ruining the quality of their lives. Many say the wind turbine is causing nausea, dizziness, ringing in ears and sleep deprivation and they want it shut down for good.
Acting Town Administrator Al Bangert said they agreed to shut down the turbine during the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. when the wind blows from the southwest. ...Officials said since then, complaints have dropped more than 60 percent. But there has been a financial cost as well. Bangert is forecasting a financial loss of more than $100,000 per year whenever the blades power down.
An Associated Press review of state lobbying records found that in 2016, energy interests reported spending a combined $6.7 million lobbying Beacon Hill. Six out of every 10 of those dollars — or about $4.1 million — came from groups pushing renewable energy initiatives or fighting against fossil fuel-related projects, like the construction of natural gas pipelines.
In 2015, the town conducted a study and found that complaints from residents were most common during the summer between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., when the wind was less than 10 mph and blowing in a southwest direction. During the last two summers, between June and October, the town has shut down the turbine when those conditions are met.
By a vote of 126 to 53, voters shot down the proposal to amend a bylaw that would allow Minuteman Wind LLC and its partner, Palmer Capital Corp., to increase the height of its West Hill turbine blades from 425 to 453 feet. The proposed amendment required a two-thirds majority to pass.