Library filed under Noise from Massachusetts
I was APPALLED to recently read in The Hartford Courant an exposé of the wind farms planned for the Berkshires, including one in Savoy. To quote the Green Berkshires Web site: "Wind turbines produce very little energy but a lot of tax breaks, grants, subsidies and price supports for the developers, at tremendous expense to taxpayers and electricity ratepayers." Add to that the destruction of the environment involved (20 acres cleared for each turbine, for starters) and it is clear these projects are ill-advised. ...I will clearly NOT be retiring to Savoy. My property will remain undeveloped and continue to net the town a whopping $112 per year in taxes. And I will find someplace else to spend my generous state of Connecticut pension. I find it unlikely that this will be the only revenue loss the region sustains as a result of these projects.
Eighty-two residents of that neighborhood have signed a petition against the proposal. "In spite of significant neighborhood opposition and negative vote by the ZBA, they are still pursuing something that is not economically viable," said Anne Frasca, a certified public accountant whose property abuts the park and who organized the opposition. "The savings generated are minimal - $1,900 a year. . . . That's assuming estimates on wind in the area are accurate, but they never did a full analysis on the wind." The parks commission has said that a professional study doesn't make sense financially for a proposal that will cost the town so little. While Town Meeting approved $60,000 to purchase the turbine, a state grant would reimburse the town $45,000.
Town Meeting members in April approved $57,000 to purchase and install the wind turbine, expected to save around $1,900 annually in energy costs. The town's plan required a permit from the ZBA, because the proposed windmill would have exceeded the 85-foot maximum height of structures allowed by town bylaws. At public hearings on the permit, residents from the neighborhood adjacent to Fairbanks Park expressed concern that the turbine would create noise and be visually unappealing. The ZBA voted 3-2 in favor of the plan, but four affirmative votes are required for approval. ...In the written decision, filed with the town clerk Nov. 13, ZBA Chairman John Kearney listed neighborhood opposition, lack of a ‘‘comprehensive study'' of the project and failure to consider alternative sites as reasons to deny the permit.
The biggest challenge to the proposed 1.5-megawatt wind turbine in Falmouth Technology Park may not come from the 14 local, state, and federal agencies that Notus Clean Energy LLC needs approval from. Instead it may come from nearby residents who are concerned that the machine will negatively impact their views, lower their property values, create noise pollution, and potentially cause health problems to those in the neighborhood.
Mine is one of the homes on the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative shadow flicker and sound analysis. It's one of the homes represented by the letter "G," not a family, not a face, not a name, just the letter "G." In neighborhoods like mine live the families that will be affected by the shadow flicker and noise generated from the Little Bay wind farm. They are the nameless families in neighborhoods that have been given a life sentence of sound and light nuisance.
FAIRHAVEN - WindWise Fairhaven has released a video about the adverse noise and flicker impacts of the Hull wind turbines, but the proponents of a similar project in Fairhaven have released studies showing impacts will be acceptable locally.
Neighbors of Fairbanks Park are objecting to the town's plan to build a wind turbine adjacent to baseball fields there, fearing it will produce unpleasant noise and hurt property values. Around 10 residents from McKinley and Central avenues questioned members of the Parks and Recreation Commission Wednesday night about exactly what the 90-foot high turbine will sound like from their houses. Chet Larson of McKinley Avenue said he had recently checked out a similar turbine near Costco on Providence Highway and was dismayed at the noise it created.
FAIRHAVEN - While the developer that wants to erect two wind turbines on town land is offering free bus trips to see operating turbines in Hull, members of the WindWise Fairhaven group questioning the project say they are paying for a noise study. WindWise member Kenneth Pottell made the revelation last night as the Board of Selectmen discussed the issue in the wake of a wind power forum last week. "It's really important that the town does it right," Mr. Pottell said. "We're not asking for something other towns haven't done."
FAIRHAVEN - Residents speaking at a forum on wind power last night made a lot of noise about what kind of sound two proposed Little Bay wind turbines would produce. During a sometimes chaotic meeting in a standing-room only hall, some wanted to know why a specific wind study has not been done on the project and why turbines would be erected closer to homes than what is recommended in other studies. "We have done the studies that the town asked us to do," said Nils Boldgen of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which has worked with the town on the project. "A noise study could be done." Officials also said the sound requirements would have to meet levels determined by the town's bylaw: 60 decibels at 600 feet.
As interest in wind energy spreads throughout the Commonwealth, it becomes clear that there is a need within the cities and towns of Massachusetts for suitable zoning by-laws that accommodate wind projects. To help address this need, the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources and Executive Office of Environmental Affairs developed this Model Amendment to a Zoning Ordinance or By-Law to assist cities and towns in establishing reasonable standards for wind power development. The by-law is developed as a model and not intended for adoption without review by municipal counsel:
Mr. Nye's paean to the electric companies aside, these huge industrial generators are not silent, they are not intelligent, and they are most certainly not friends to the environment.
SANDWICH - The zoning board last night unanimously approved two wind turbines in a residential neighborhood, as long as the homeowner can produce evidence they won't generate excessive noise.
"It's a mechanical monstrosity. ... It's ugly. It makes noise, said Beverly Whitcomb. It makes a whopping sound which will just drive you nuts."
"Wind turbines generate noise from multiple mechanical and aerodynamic sources. As the technology has advanced, wind turbines have gotten much quieter, but noise from wind turbines is still a public concern. The problems associated with wind turbine noise have been one of the more studied environmental impact areas in wind energy engineering. Noise levels can be measured, but, similar to other environmental concerns, the public's perception of the noise impact of wind turbines is in part a subjective determination. Noise is defined as any unwanted sound. Concerns about noise depend on 1) the level of intensity, frequency, frequency distribution and patterns of the noise source; 2) background noise levels; 3) the terrain between the emitter and receptor; and 4) the nature of the noise receptor. The effects of noise on people can be classified into three general categories (National Wind Coordinating Committee, 1998): 1) Subjective effects including annoyance, nuisance, dissatisfaction 2) Interference with activities such as speech, sleep, and learning 3) Physiological effects such as anxiety, tinnitus, or hearing loss"........ prepared by the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering University of Massachusetts at Amherst