Library filed under Noise from Minnesota
Administrative Law Judge LauraSue Schlatter last month recommended that the Freeborn Wind farm be denied an operating permit, saying the southern Minnesota project failed to show it can meet state noise standards. Freeborn Wind’s developer, Invenergy, has objected.
"Unwanted noise on our property, shadow flicker on our property the chance that marketability of our homes, if we decide we want to move is reduced. The potential of association from the turbines to have some ill health effects,” said Doreen Hansen of the Association Of Freeborn County landowners. “So we would like to see respectful sighting. Landowners that choose to have a turbine on their land, that's fine, but none of the ill effects should go on the land of a non-participant."
Big Blue will now have to file a noise modeling of the installed wind turbines that indicates projected compliance with MPCA noise standards within 30 days of order, including monitoring during periods of curtailment; an on/off monitoring protocol within 60 days of order; and a completed on/off noise monitoring study within nine months of the order.
Phase I of the Bent Tree Wind Project began operation in January 2012. The project consists of 122 Vestas V82/1650 (1.65 MW, diameter 82 m) turbines for a total installed capacity of 201.3 megawatts. Noise complaints were filed by at least two landowners since September 2015. Staff for the Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA) unit of the MN Department of Commerce examined the complaints and believe the complaints are both Unresolved and Substantial. In this letter with supporting documentation, EERA staff recommended the MN Public Utilities Commission initiate the process for addressing the complaint. The letter to the PUC is provided below. The full letter with documentation can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
For nearly 40 years, when Kathy Blanchard looked out her kitchen window of her home she would see a beautiful view. But now, she shares land with what she sees as a new and noisy neighbor: Pleasant Valley Wind Farm project.
A couple in southeastern Minnesota say wind turbines next to their 10-acre property are disrupting their lives as well as their scene view. In addition to the noise of the turbines, Kathy and Dan Blanchard believe the windmills are disrupting their television signals.
"We don't have a noise standard that's designed to work for turbines," said Commissioner Paul Aasen, Dayton's appointee to Minnesota's Pollution Control Agency. Yet, the distance between an industrial wind turbine and your house is determined using the state's noise standard.
There is no worldwide agreement on appropriate wind turbine setback distances from homes and limited awareness of wind turbine setbacks in other countries. This report attempts to identify and clarify existing governmental requirements and recommendations regarding wind turbine setbacks from residences. The introduction of the report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
A man who suffers from Tinnitus is worried if a wind farm goes up near his home, his ears would never stop ringing. "I'll be like a man in a torture chamber," said Bernie Hagen. Wisconsin based Allina Energy will begin building the Bent Tree Wind Farm in Freeborn County in April. 122 turbines will sprout up across 32,500 acres.
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission staff members recommend longer setback requirements and noise monitoring of wind turbines in response to growing health concerns. The recommendations, made in a report released this week, will be considered by the five-member commission when it meets Monday to discuss the issues.
To Carol Lantow, it feels like her home is slowly becoming enveloped by wind farms. On a clear day, she can see the whirling blades of turbines on two distant wind farms from her home in rural Rose Creek. And even closer to home, a neighboring farmer is planning to erect a single wind turbine on his property about a quarter mile from the home Lantow shares with her husband, Jim.
The most common complaint from neighbors or prospective neighbors of wind turbines seems to be the noise. "My biggest concern is the noise," said Goodhue resident Rick Conrad said. "I don't mind looking at them, but I worry that if I'm out in my yard I will be hearing these things."
Last month, planning commissioners overwhelmingly recommended approval of the 10-kilowatt, electricity-generating wind turbine proposed by resident John Kooyman for his Geneva Avenue home. But, Wednesday, council discussion was focused primarily on noise.
Wind farms are rapidly expanding across the Midwest, and a growing number of residents who live near the wind turbines are complaining about noise. ...Leon Steinberg is CEO of Minneapolis-based National Wind. He said most wind farm developers already use setbacks that exceed state regulations. "I don't think the industry believes it's a significant problem," Steinberg said. "But I believe the industry is concerned with the perception that it may be a problem."
Minnesota regulators are inviting public comments on standards intended to protect residents from wind turbine noise. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, in response to growing concerns from residents in Clay County and elsewhere, is seeking comments on its setback standards for wind farms. ...The MPUC is soliciting comments to determine if current setback conditions "remain appropriate and reasonable," in light of the health department review.
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.
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.
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.
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.