Library filed under Noise
Dr. Robyn Phipps provided testimony before the Joint Commissioners in the Matter of the Moturimu Wind Farm Application. Dr. Phipps' evidence consists of four areas of concern:
FAIRFIELD — If wind turbines are built in this northeastern Herkimer County town, one family may be forced to move. Lisa Sementilli's 11-year-old daughter Alisha has central auditory processing disorder, which means Alisha hears fine but can't concentrate when she is around background noise. Doctors have suggested that Alisha live at least one-and-a-half miles from any wind turbine, but Hard Scrabble Wind Farm towers planned in Fairfield would be less than half a mile away, Lisa Sementilli said. "If they come, I have to move," she said. "I'm not going to put my daughter in any harm."
RESIDENTS said "no" to proposals for 16 more wind turbines in Deeping St Nicholas. Villagers spoke out at a special meeting of Deeping St Nicholas Parish Council, which was called to give a reaction to proposals at Church Farm. The proposals, made by Spanish renewable energy giant Iberdrola, would add to the existing eight turbines, taking the number in the village to 24. Jane Davis, who has faced sleepless nights due to low frequency noise from the turbines, said: "They don't really understand how these large wind turbines interact with each other in a flat landscape. The research just hasn't been done.
The price of progress is now considered a pain to some ears in Shallowater. Some folks there are upset about the new wind energy turbines now being used by Shallowater ISD. The school district turned them on back in January. They’re meant to save tax dollars, but some say the by-product, sound, is too much. Chad Dugger, a resident in the area says, “I can hear them when they turn off and turn back on. It’s not too much fun living here anymore.” The wind turbine is less than 300 feet from Dugger’s back yard.
Consent for a small wind farm development in Norfolk has been quashed by the High Court and sent back to Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly for reconsideration after a judge agreed that a planning condition about noise was “unenforceable and imprecise”. The two-turbine Ecotricity scheme at the village of Shipdham was granted permission on appeal last summer after being turned down by Breckland District Council. Two villagers who live next to the proposed wind farm site took legal action to challenge that permission. After a brief hearing, the judge, Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, approved an order - agreed between the Secretary of State, the developer and the local planning authority - quashing the permission. Now a planning inspector must decide whether to hold a third inquiry into the project, accept a redrafted noise condition or reject the proposal.
SCOTSBURN – Residents living near a wind turbine on Fitzpatrick Mountain want stricter regulations put in place to prevent the turbines from being put too close to homes. In the right weather conditions, says nearby resident Wayne Pierce, the turbines can make a “noise like a jet aircraft in place overhead.” County council is in the process of creating a new bylaw to put regulations in place on the distance wind turbines must be from other properties. The proposed bylaw would require turbines to be placed three times the height of the turbine from the property line. That’s not enough for Pierce, however, who believes the distance should be taken from adjacent homes.
This important paper investigates the noise and visual effects on local residents from the existing wind turbines in the Manawatu and Tararua region of New Zealand. A total of 1100 urban and rural residents, the majority living within a 3km radius of the wind farms in the Tararua and Manawatu districts were administered a self-reporting survey. The survey asked residents to assess the visual and noise effects of the closest wind farm. This paper presents preliminary results from this study. It demonstrates that 45 percent of respondents living within 2km heard noise from the turbines, and 80 percent thought that the turbines were visually intrusive.
MARS HILL, Maine — Something has turned terribly sour for about 18 homeowners who live along the mountain roads where the state’s first and only wind farm has recently gone on line. To a man and to a woman, they feel betrayed, cheated, used, ignored, and dismissed. Put them in a room and they are spitting mad. Collectively, as they gather on a Saturday morning inside a home that sits in the shadow of the turbines, their anger is barely palatable. Since the turbines started up, they say, silence has become a luxury.
"People bought property here specifically for the silence," said Wendy Todd (with her husband, Perrin), in Mars Hill, Maine.
MARS HILL, Maine — This year, when Steven and Tammie Fletcher took their traditional New Year’s Eve walk to the top of Mars Hill, the crisp winter stillness mixed with something unfamiliar: the whoosh of the new windmills towering over the northern Maine mountaintop. This is not how it was supposed to be, say the Fletchers and their neighbors on the north side of Mars Hill, where a 28-turbine wind farm, the largest yet built in New England, began operating in December. Residents say that town officials and company representatives repeatedly assured them that the wind farm would be silent. Instead, they say, the windmills have disrupted their mountainside idyll. On days with low cloud cover, when the pulsing, rushing noise is loudest, wind farm neighbors say it can disrupt their sleep and drown out the rushing brook that was once the only sound here. “It changes your whole feeling about being in the woods,” said Tammie Fletcher, whose mountainside house boasts floor-to-ceiling views of the ridge where the windmills now stand.
FREEDOM -- Given their first chance to ask questions about a proposed wind turbine project, board of appeals members on Thursday offered a glimpse of the concerns they will carry into deliberations. Representatives of Competitive Energy Services, which hopes to erect three electricity generating wind turbines on Beaver Ridge, were quizzed on issues of noise and whether they would be able to hook the turbines into the electrical grid, should the project go forward. Anthony Rogers, the consultant hired by Competitive Energy to conduct a sound study, said he did not take ambient noise readings before concluding the proposed turbines would meet the 45-decibel limit mandated by the ordinance. He based his findings on an ambient, or background, noise level of 35 decibels. Steve Bennett, one of several abutters appealing the planning board's December decision to grant a permit for the project, said ambient sound readings he took over several days never fell below 33.5 decibels. "The predicted sound levels (of the turbines) are very close to the limit," said appeals board member Francis Walker. "Whether there are ambient noises or not might make the difference in whether the project is compliant or not."
The appeal by disgruntled neighbors of a proposed wind turbine project in Freedom moved into its second session in as many weeks Thursday evening with disparaging “earwitness” testimony about the disturbing sound the spinning rotor blades are said to make. In the latest round before the town appeals board, it was also revealed a federal postal investigator was in town earlier this week looking into what happened to some notices of appeal of the project supposedly mailed last month to the town office by a Bangor attorney that by all accounts never arrived at their destination. Perrin Todd drove three and a half hours Tuesday from his home in Mars Hill to tell about what it’s like to live next-door to an operating wind farm. What he had to say was not encouraging for Steve Bennett and other property owners near the Beaver Ridge site where Competitive Energy Services (CES), a national firm with offices in Portland, is prepared to invest up to $12 million to erect three1.5 MW tower-mounted wind turbines on a 75-acre parcel owned by local farmer Ron Price.
This is far from the simple story that proponents of wind power might have you believe. I do not wish to knock the hope of wind power. But equally I do wish people to be fully informed and understand the serious shortfall of its promise, the choices they make, and their potentially harsh consequences.
Opponents of the wind turbine project atop Beaver Ridge wrapped up their case Thursday, Feb. 8, before the board of appeals. Bearor invited Perrin Todd, a resident of Mars Hill, to come to Freedom and describe the volume and quality of noise from wind turbines recently installed there. Ultimately, there will be 28 turbines strung along the mountain for which the Aroostook County town is named. Richard Silkman, a partner in CES. Silkman said the two projects were so different that there was little to be gained from Todd’s testimony. “[His] comments are about a project that is not on Beaver Ridge, not even in the same county,” said Silkman. If appeals board members considered Todd’s comments to be valuable, said Silkman, they should also hear about the hundreds of other wind turbine projects across the United States. Furthermore, said Silkman, the noise limits set by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for the Mars Hill project were far higher than those allowed by the Commercial Development Review Ordinance in Freedom. “You’re absolutely right; the DEP has higher limits,” countered Bearor. “Mr. Todd is a living example [of the impact] of that.”
FREEDOM — Perrin Todd’s home near the wind turbine site in Mars Hill has been invaded, not by thieves or pests, but something equally annoying. “It’s a very troubling noise,” Todd told the town’s board of appeals at Thursday’s meeting. “It’s a disturbing noise.” Attorney Ed Bearor, who represents Steve Bennett and others who are appealing the planning board’s December decision to allow three electricity-generating turbines on Beaver Ridge, wrapped up his argument on Thursday, leaving the decision of whether to overturn the planning boards decision in the hands of the board of appeals. Todd, whose home is 2,100 feet removed from the nearest turbine, more than double the distance of the home closest to the proposed Beaver Ridge turbine, urged the board to use greater caution than town officials in Mars Hill had used.
In the Aroostook County town of Mars Hill, 28 wind turbines will soon be generating electricity. Even before they begin commercial operation, however, the windmills are generating considerable controversy. The biggest issue is noise.
An 11-year-old girl with Central Auditory Processing Disorder lives in a house approximately 1600 feet from the proposed site of an industrial wind turbine in the Town of Fairfield, Herkimer County, yet her Doctors say that the turbines cannot be built within a mile and a half of her home because of the noise they generate. More than 20 turbines are proposed to be built within one mile of her home. The girl is scared and does not want her family to have to move if the wind turbines are built.
He put his existing knowledge together with a little research and has now come to the same conclusion as Dr. David Suzuki: Wind farms have a place in Ontario’s energy mix, but it’s a small role, and the turbines need to be placed where the pollution from wind farms isn’t a threat to humans and animals. One key point that needs to be understood, says Lee, is that the practicality of wind power is generally overstated in the public conscious. Wind power, of course, is only available when the wind blows, which means that when the wind isn’t blowing you’d have to switch back to fossil fuel generated electricity anyway to keep the lights on — and that means wind power can’t be built out to replace our fossil fuel base load. In fact, countries in Europe that have installed wind power as base load find they end up buying power on the spot market when the wind isn’t blowing and then selling their wind power at a loss when the wind is blowing (but air conditioners aren’t being used as intensely). Denmark is often considered a leader in wind energy but according to Lee it ends up selling 84% of its power at a loss. “European countries that have put in a lot of wind power end up subsidizing their neighbors,” says Lee. “Wind power has not yet enabled the closure of a single fossil-fueled generating station anywhere in the world.” .........According to Lee, it’s often been suggested that the theoretical maximum for the amount of base load that can be derived from wind power is 15%, but even that seems to be a stretch. A more likely percentage seems to be 3% or 5%, says Lee.
The important paper reviews research articles within the field of acoustics concerning the acoustic properties of wind turbines and noise and recommends a safe buffer zone of at least 2 km between turbines and residential dwellings. The abstract of this paper is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.