Library filed under Noise from Michigan
The commission did not take action on the updates proposed for the wind energy systems ordinance, which originally was adopted in 2009. Commission chairman John Eby said members will again consider the matter at their regular meeting on Nov. 7, and will conduct an additional public hearing on the matter at that time. Any position that the planning commission takes will serve as an advisory one for the county. The proposed updates would adjust the allowable noise level for wind energy systems upward in areas with most zoning designations.
Consumers Energy will have to come up with a plan to mitigate noise from some of its 56 turbines in Lake Winds Energy Park, following a decision Thursday night by the Mason County Planning Commission that the turbines in question have violated the 45 decibel maximum noise standard.
The report concludes "the sound levels from the wind turbines were in general compliance with sound level criteria." But the results also show some values exceeding the limits set in the special land use permit - numbers opponents likely will highlight.
Swinbanks explained that noise is made up of many frequencies, and low-frequency noise is outside the range of human hearing. While people cannot hear low-frequency noise, it can impact a person's health. Unfortunately when measuring turbine noise, ordinances typically put more restrictions on noise within the human hearing range and do not restrict low-frequency noise enough.
"We've now moved our beds to the basement in a storage room," Shineldecker said. "After living in my house for 18 years, [we're sleeping] in a storage room on an air mattress so I can try to sleep . . . so my lovely wife can get up and go and try to teach second graders and be awake in the morning. "We have been up multiple, multiple nights and cannot sleep."
Consumers Energy Co. officials say the company is working to address some of the concerns of neighbors of the Lake Winds Energy Park wind farm - in particular, "shadow flicker" -- although the company says the wind farm already meets all permit requirements.
The lawsuit claims the plaintiffs will continue to suffer harm, including physical injury, emotional distress and loss of property value if they continue to be exposed to the wind farm's operation. The $250 million Lake Winds Energy Park development generates 100.8 megawatts of electricity. Its Vestas turbines are 312 feet high at the hub, with rotor blades having a 328-foot diameter.
County officials have been looking at what revisions might be needed to its 2009 wind energy systems ordinance -- capping wind turbine sound at 35 decibels -- to be defendable in court. Turbine developers have called the limit "exclusionary zoning" that essentially eliminates energy systems, compared to the 55-decibel state of Michigan guideline.
A group of homeowners living near Consumers Energy wind turbines in Riverton and Summit townships are currently suing the company for damages they say are caused by operating the turbines. There are 17 people who have joined as plaintiffs in the case, which was filed Monday. ...The 56-turbine park began operations on Thanksgiving Day 2012.
This lawsuit filed against Consumers Energy Company, owner of the Lake Winds Energy Park consisting of fifty-six Vestas V100 1.8 megawatt turbines with a total installed capacity of 100.8 megawatts. An excerpt of the complaint is provided below. The full complaint can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
In this video, Cary Shineldecker of Riverton Township in Mason County MI, testifies about life inside the CMS Energy Lakewinds wind plant which includes 56 Vestas 1.8MW V100 Turbines. Each machine is 476' tall. The closest turbine is 1139 feet from his home. CMS received $73 million in federal stimulus funding for the $255 Million project. The installed cost for this wind project is $2,500/KW which is 25% higher than the national average. This is because MI must use "low wind" wind turbines due to an average 6.5M/s wind resource, far lower than Iowa's 8.5M/s resource. CMS is currently planning a new combined cycle natural gas plant of 700MW capacity with a price tag of $750 million. It will have an average capacity of nearly 700MW or 28 times more capacity than the wind plant for only $1100/KW. Cary's home can be seen here: http://www.windaction.org/pictures/36123 Duration: 17 minutes 7 seconds
This letter was submitted to the Delta County Michigan Building and Zoning Board in reference to noise eminating from the Heritage Garden Wind farm, a 28 megawatt (14 turbine) energy facility sited in Garden Township. The project became fully operational in September 2012 but by October 2012 complaints of noise poured in. The document attached to this page was prepared and signed by 73 residents impacted by the project.
The Wiltzer family claims to have suffered from numerous issues as a result of the wind turbine's construction, including sleep disturbance, dizziness, stress, fatigue, weight loss, headaches, motion disturbance, and so on. According to the suit, the members of the family live in a cottage in order to avoid the health effects of living near the wind turbine.
Written 14 months ago, the context of the email was what appears to have been a successful effort by government bureaucrats to derail a pending noise level reduction recommendation. The email advising state employees delete conversations was one of several emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act pertaining to the wind turbine noise level issue.
A panel of experts who were appointed to work toward noise level guidelines for wind turbines in Michigan had their work discarded when state bureaucrats didn't like what the panel was coming up with and made up their own rules instead.
The Kobetzes claim the wind tower's motion and noise from the turbine has resulted in a loss of property value and loss of enjoyment of their property. The Spencers claim that placement of the electricity-generating tower is allowed by township zoning and protected under the Michigan Right to Farm Act.
Robert Rand has thirty years' experience in acoustics including industrial noise control, environmental sound, and architectural acoustics. He has been a member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering since 1993. In thos presentation, Rand explains turbine noise. Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition (IICC) hosted a seminar at the Blissfield Middle School in Michigan. IICC is opposing wind turbine siting in Riga, Ogden and Fairfield townships, Michigan. Duration: 59 minutes 24 seconds
Dave and Stephanie Hulthen spoke on "Life with Dekalb Turbines". They are from DeKalb County, Illinois. They live in the middle of an industrial wind farm. There are thirteen industrial wind turbines located within one mile of their home, two within 1400 feet. Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition (IICC) hosted a seminar at the Blissfield Middle School in Michigan. IICC is opposing wind turbine siting in Riga, Ogden and Fairfield townships, Michigan. Duration: 41 minutes 29 seconds
While the report says published evidence directly linking noise from wind turbines to adverse health effects is based on studies of airport and road traffic noise, "there is no reason to suspect wind turbine noise will have less of a harmful effect than noise from road traffic or airplanes," Rosenman said.
County officials began reviewing their relatively new wind ordinance after Lake Effect Energy Corporation proposed a 120-foot, 20 kilowatt wind turbine in Cross Village that failed to meet the county's required 30 decibel limit -- though average sound output for the wind turbine would be just shy of the allowable limit at 26.04 decibels.