Documents filed under Noise
The Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines, which was established in December 2014, released this final report based on a considerable volume of evidence collected from testimonies around the country and beyond. The committee received written and verbal evidence from State Governments, local councils, various federal government agencies, wind farm operators and manufacturers, country fire authorities, acousticians, medical experts and representatives from various associations and institutes. In addition, many private citizens had the opportunity to voice their concerns with the planning, consultation, approval, development and operation of wind farms in Australia. The recommendations from both the interim and final reports are provided below. The full reports, both final and interim, can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, a minority, dissenting report is included.
This critical work investigated the brain's response following the stimulation with sounds at infrasound frequencies was investigated. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) a significant response was detected which was localised within the auditory cortex and which was present down to the lowest frequency presented (8 Hz). The abstract of this report is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This study looked at whether the visual, shadow flicker and noise impacts predicted by wind farm developers in documentation submitted with their planning applications are consistent with the impacts experienced once the wind farm is operational. Through an examination of 10 wind energy facilities, the authors concluded that in some cases the impacts described in the planning applications did not match the actual impact. A summary of the study and findings is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Dr. McMurtry is Professor Emeritus of Western University in London, Ontario. He has researched and reviewed the health impacts of wind turbines for nearly a decade. He appeared before the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines on June 29, 2015. The transcript of his appearance is provided below. A full transcript of the day can be found by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Clive and Petrina Gare presented their story before the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines. The Gares leased their land to a wind developer for 19 turbines to be erected. The nearest turbine was sited about 800 metres away from their home with three towers within approximately one to 1.5 kilometres away. In total, they were paid $200,000 per year for hosting the machines. The construction phase was difficult but when the turbines were placed in service in October 2010, the situation became unbearable. The Gares, and others, gave testimony before the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines. The full testimony is provided below can be accessed by clicking the links on the page.
Dr. Malcolm A. Swinbanks of MAS Research Limited presented this important paper at the 6th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise in Glasgow. In his paper, he explains how turbine noise, in particular, low-frequency noise, cannot be masked by the flow of wind noise across an individual's ear. Within a residence, severe direct health effects on humans have been reported that are attributable to low-frequency and infra-sound. The introduction and conclusion of his paper are provided below. His full paper can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Health Canada asked the Council of Canadian Academies to conduct an in-depth expert panel assessment. The Panel’s report presents findings on the acoustic characteristics of wind turbine noise; evidence on causal relationships between exposure to wind turbine noise and adverse health effects; knowledge gaps and further research; and promising practices to reduce adverse community response. The resulting report is evidence-based and does not espouse recommendations. Its purpose, rather, is to assess the scientific evidence on the question of wind turbine noise and human health in order to provide a foundation of knowledge to support governments, policy-makers, communities, and the industry. A brief summary of the study is provided below. The full report can be accessed at the links on this page.
Virginia Stewart Love, a member of Victims of Wind in Ontario, published this open letter in response to the recently released literature review by the Canadian Council of Academies CCA which found that annoyance can be caused by wind turbine noise – a clear adverse health effect. Ms. Love's full letter is posted below and can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
This important study conducted at a home situated within 1300 feet of the Falmouth MA wind turbines identified infrasonic sound pressure levels inside the residence. These results are similar to results from other international researchers with references given in the report. The executive summary and conclusions sections of the report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the link on this page.
Acousticians Paul D. Schomer and George Hessler critiqued, and positively supported Steven Cooper's study of infrasonic emissions at the Cape Bridgewater wind facility. An initial critique is provided below and can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. In addition, Dr. Schomer and Mr. Hessler have supplemented their review with a response to the Australian wind energy supporters who have been critical of Steven Cooper's report. The supplemental commets can also be accessed from this page.
Dr Christopher Hanning submitted this testimony to the Australian Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines explaining the impact of turbine noise on sleep. The summary of his testimony is provided below. The full submission can be accessed at the links on this page.
The Acoustic Group’s Principal, Mr Steven Cooper, was commissioned by wind developer Pacific Hydro to undertake an investigation into “noise” emitted at the Cape Bridgewater wind energy facility. Symptoms reported by residents living near the turbines include severe nausea, headaches, ear pressure, inability to concentrate, and severe and debilitating sleep problems. The primary document explaining the study and the results can be downloaded from this page. The full study, including six appendices, can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The authors of this paper conducted an extensive literature review of scientific articles that address the association between wind turbine noise exposure and any suspected health-related outcomes. The abstract of their findings is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. A second link on this page includes three tables listing the health studies reviewed by the authors.
The aim of this study was to investigate the time dependent nature of unweighted wind farm noise and its perceptibility, with a focus on infrasound. Measurements were carried out during shutdown and operational conditions and results show that wind farm infrasound could be detectable by the human ear although not perceived as sound. The abstract and conclusion of the paper can be read below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
This important study examines the noise emissions of an operating wind facility during periods when the turbines are generating electricity and when the turbines are shut off. The abstract of conclusion of the study are provided below. The full study can be accessed at the links on this page. The study found "consistent and significant differences in noise spectra ...for the shutdown and operational cases, particularly for frequencies below 100 Hz. These differences can be observed at distances up to 8.7 km from the wind farm.
In this paper, William K.G. Palmer discusses how interior room shape and size contribute to turbine noise complaints when wind turbines are sited nearby. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper, with presentation slides, can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page. Mr. Palmer presented his findings at the October 2014 Acoustical Society of America proceedings.
In this study, neurobiologist Markus Drexl and others at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, examined the effects of low frequency noise on human hearing. The found that after short bursts of LF sound the ear showed signs that, over time could damage hearing. The introduction and conclusion of the study's report are provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This study examines the impact of wind turbine sound emissions and the potential of masking of biological signals between species present in desert habitats. Turbine noise appear to increase the ambient noise level to the point where bioacoustic activity could not be detected. An abstract and summary of the report is provided below. The authors have not yet released the full report.
Acoustician, Steven Cooper, has been asked to measure noise emissions at the Cape Bridgewater wind energy facility in Australia following years of noise complaints since the project was placed in service in 2008. Mr Cooper has tested inside three homes near the wind facility over eight weeks, including a two-week shutdown of the turbines. His preliminary report can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page. His initial findings are provided below.