Library filed under Impact on People from Minnesota
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will accept public comments in response to a document on the health effects of wind turbines and the issue of wind turbine setbacks. The comment period is in response to "Public Health Impacts of Wind Turbines," a document prepared by the environmental health division of the Minnesota Department of Health. The public comments will help the PUC determine whether or not to change the current setback conditions.
How tall is too tall? That's a question the city of Woodbury has been studying and discussing for the last calendar year in relation to an alternative energy ordinance it is expected to vote on this summer that would regulate the size, scope and location of wind turbines in the city limits.
A Minnesota Department of Health analysis of possible health effects from wind turbines concludes that annoyance and diminished quality of life are the most frequent complaints from nearby residents. The "white paper," a review of available scientific research, notes that people vary greatly in their sensitivity to noise, with penetrating, low-frequency sounds posing the most problems.
In late February 2009 the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) received a request from the Office of Energy Security (OES) in the Minnesota Department of Commerce, for a “white paper” evaluating possible health effects associated with low frequency vibrations and sound arising from large wind energy conversion systems (LWECS). MDH agreed to evaluate health impacts from wind turbine noise and low frequency vibrations. In discussion with OES, MDH also proposed to examine experiences and policies of other states and countries. Below are the Introduction and Conclusions of the white paper released in May 2009. The full report can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
The Freeborn County commissioners on Tuesday accepted written comments gathered by the Planning and Zoning Department on a proposed transmission line to connect the planned Bent Tree Wind Farm to the Hayward electrical substation. As recommended by Planning and Zoning Director Wayne Sorensen, the commissioners resolved to consider public concerns in an environmental assessment to be done by the Planning and Zoning Department.
Across the Great Plains the wind blows incessantly, while in the remote Nevada desert the sun bears down without relief. Each holds the potential of a vast new energy resource. While wind turbine and solar projects are ready to capture this new, eco-friendly energy source, where are the transmission lines to get the power to where it is needed?
A power line company wants to build a massive power line across seven states, including Minnesota. The line would carry electricity generated by wind to points east and the project could have major implications for Minnesota's wind developers. It would also require the erection of towers and lines across a big section of the state.
We live in Leota Township not far from the present wind farm. Instead of peaceful rolling countryside, we get to look at a hundred hulking towers over 300 feet tall. Imagine if all the street lights in Worthington were all bright red and blinked on and off at the same time. Imagine if there were 10 windmills across the middle of Lake Okabena, and the people surrounding the lake got to look at and listen to these 300-foot towers with whirling blades in the daytime and the 10 bright red beacons flashing on and off at night.
The Flat Hill project is one of several proposed wind farms that could, if built, transform the landscape of eastern Clay County and neighboring Becker and Otter Tail counties. ...Combined, the trio of projects could mean almost 375 towers dotting a landscape that contains important wildlife habitat areas - and altered views for the homes that increasingly are being built in the gateway to Minnesota lakes country.
What's "green," 18 stories tall and trashes property values? A wind turbine next to the new East Ridge High School in Woodbury - according to developers. Plans for a wind turbine roughly 200 feet tall hit a snag last week when developers balked at the idea of building houses nearby. They said buyers of high-end homes would be spooked by the noise and visual distraction of huge whirling fan blades. City officials are taking the threat seriously.
Minnesotans soon can tell state officials what they think of a plan to add hundreds of miles of electric transmission lines across the state. A group of 11 utilities, led by Xcel Energy and including Otter Tail Power Co., has proposed building three high-voltage transmission lines in Minnesota, claiming they are needed to improve service and prepare for growing electricity demands in areas such as the Red River Valley. ...Red Wing attorney Carol Overland has tracked the CapX 2020 proposal and operates a Web site that attempts to debunk the utilities' claim about needed transmission expansion. Overland said a better alternative would be to add generation facilities close to where the electricity is needed. "We're dealing with this false justification of need," said Overland, who will challenge the utilities' claims at the upcoming meetings.
As a layperson researching what Minnesota calls a: "Wind Energy Conversion System" (WECS) or also known as a Wind Turbine, there is one issue that always rears its ugly head, "Noise". I found that Minnesota is one of the many states to specify maximum exposure levels of noise to its citizens. The Minnesota Rules Chapter 7030 describes the limiting levels of sound established on the basis of present knowledge for the preservation of public health and welfare. Within this article I will attempt to provide a logical trace of the sound limiting requirements, along with some possible "delta" areas at the County Zoning Ordinance Levels with regards to a WECS application.