Articles filed under Noise
'We've become a dumping ground for wind turbines'
A request by wind farm developer Avangrid Renewables to expand the wind overlay zone was not agreed upon by the board, according to Jody Wentzel, vice chairman of the Hopkinton Wind Advisory Board. The board is also considering setting 24-hour decibel limits for the wind towers, different than what the Town of Parishville is considering. Parishville has opted for two 12-hour periods ranging from .25 to .45 decibels.
Councilwoman Karen Carlson, who said she receives at least two complaints about the turbines per day, visited West Log Bridge Road to see for herself what her constituents had been talking about....she could hear the noise emanating from the structures. “I can understand how it makes people crazy,” she said. “Honestly it was like this drone of a jet that just kept going.”
If the new rule is adopted as proposed, sound could not exceed 42 decibels during the day and 35 decibels at night. ...The new rules also require turbines to be at least 10 times their height from the nearest home. A 500-foot turbine, for example, would have to be 5,000 feet from the nearest home.
An El Paso County commissioner said Thursday that safety and health concerns regarding the Nextera wind farm in Calhan may never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. ..."I had to move away because I was sick," said Jeff Wolfe.
Jeff Wolfe, who lives close to NextEra Energy's Golden West wind farm, said he's experienced nausea, dizziness and migraines since it began operating in fall 2015. He attributes the symptoms to the low-frequency sound waves, known as infrasound, emitted by the 145 windmills. "This is poisoning people. It's poisoning animals," said Wolfe.
State regulators have proposed new sound limits for wind turbines that some renewable energy proponents say would effectively ban new utility-scale turbines from Vermont.
Councillors were quick to voice their support for the families living close to the Raheenleagh Wind Farm and asked that the matter be put back on the agenda for April’s meeting so that it doesn’t get forgotten about. Speaking after the presentation at last Monday’s county council meeting, Cllr Shay Cullen said that the families were living a ‘ horrendous nightmare’.
South Wicklow residents living in the shadow of the Raheenleagh Wind Farm had a simple message for the elected members of Wicklow County Council this week: help us.
“Vermont Wind has deflected its non-compliance since 2011 and Mr. Brouha’s proposal to adhere to Vermont Wind’s original methodology ends the pretense,” argues Anderson. As the independent sound monitoring firm hired by the DPS, Acentech confirmed, Anderson argues, “…if Vermont Wind had tested with windows open, Mr. Brouha and the State of Vermont would not be here today. The proof of compliance is in the proper execution of the method and using the methodology that Vermont Wind used to get us here should be the one that ends this inquiry.”
Critics of industrial-scale wind farms say the Vermont Public Service Board’s new sound standards are a step in the right direction but ultimately may not help Vermonters. “On the surface it is a big improvement over the current standard, and over the first draft, but there will be more public process, and the industry will fight against what I view as still inadequate to address all the issues,” said Annette Smith, director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
"[Police] Officer confirmed that turbine noise in bedroom was excessive," the officer reported, but because the noise was coming from Plymouth, Plymouth police were called. Plymouth police told them to call the board of health, which passed the call along to the building inspector.
The Public Service Board has issued its draft rules on wind turbine sound that, if adopted, would put much stronger restrictions on wind development in the state.
Town Supervisor Don Bilow said that the town would be seeking an independent third party to conduct noise tests for the Chateaugay portion of Jericho Rise wind farm. Twenty-nine of the wind farm’s 37 turbines are located in Chateaugay, with the other eight in Bellmont.
In “Ireland must continue to invest in wind farms” (Opinion & Analysis, February 20th), Gary Healy states that new planning guidelines are being finalised that will determine how future wind farms will be developed, and adds that it is critical that these guidelines do not imperil future investment in the sector or Ireland’s obligations regarding renewables.
A pensioner claims he has been forced to give up his dog and relocate to a caravan just to get a decent night’s sleep because he is tormented by the noise from a wind farm opposite his home. Clifton Lockhart, 83, has lived in Tralodden Cottage near Old Dailly for the past 35 years, but says his golden years have been robbed from him since the turbines arrived 14 years ago and he has since been kept wide awake most nights.
"During the big windstorm two weeks ago the sound of the blades was plainly audible inside my home, and my house actually vibrated," McGrath said. "My wife had to steady a television on the dresser upstairs as it moved toward the edge." McGrath says he doesn't want to make this personal. He wants data to be gathered, analyzed, and appropriate action taken.
Village residents were surprised when one of the property owners who agreed to host a turbine said his neighbours aren’t imagining things. “I’m surprised I can hear them as loud as I do, and I wear an earpiece,” said Wally Faulkner. “They’re louder than I expected.”
The case is next listed for hearing on April 25, and will be closely observed by many of the families living in close proximity to wind farms and who claim that there should be a greater distance between homes and turbines.
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Annette Smith, of Danby, who is the executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.