Articles filed under Noise from Australia / New Zealand
Wind energy producers are in a twist after being forced to demonstrate they are operating within noise limits every time they seek to surrender renewable energy certificates. As of the start of June, all large-scale power stations accredited under the renewable energy target will have to submit a "standing notice" of ongoing compliance with all local, state and federal planning and approval requirements.
In less than a fortnight, the small community of King Island will vote on whether a crucial part of Australia's clean energy future should proceed to the next stage. But the islanders are sharply divided, after claims by health promotion company the Waubra Foundation, and their controversial CEO Dr Sarah Laurie, that the noise wind turbines make harms human health. Sarah Dingle investigates.
AGL Energy (AGL) this week announced that an independent noise compliance assessment on the wind turbines by the AECOM company had shown the farm was operating within the noise limits set down in its planning permit. However, Annie Gardner said residents who lived near the turbines could still not sleep at night.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is using noise testing near a Clare Valley wind farm to determine whether local residents' claims about health impacts are valid. ...Peter Dolan from the EPA says 57 residents will also be keeping 'noise diaries' to document their own experiences.
The EPA will measure sounds down to 0.25 hertz and will ensure wind turbine operator TRUenergy turns the wind turbines off and on when requested to get an accurate measure of background noise. The testing follows a joint study in Wisconsin in the US that found enough evidence to "classify low frequency noise and infrasound as a serious issue, possibly affecting the future of the (wind) industry".
Angry residents living in the shadow of the Macarthur wind farm are seeking political support for a senate bill which would sever government grants to wind operators that disobey noise restrictions. About 20 property owners living next to the 140-turbine wind farm expressed their anguish to member for Wannon Dan Tehan last week.
The director of science and assessment with the EPA, Peter Dolan, says the monitoring will be used to determine if the current wind farm guidelines adequately take noise issues into account. He says the current guidelines deal with audible noise but the effects of lower frequency sound needs to be investigated.
Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Ian Macfarlane said the Coalition is broadly supportive of a Private Members Bill from Senator Nick Xenophon and Senator John Madigan to impose national standards on noise emanating from wind turbines via an amendment to the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.
The state government is considering a request from Moyne Shire Council for more stringent testing of wind speed and background noise prior to construction of the Mortlake south wind farm. It follows community calls for full disclosure to alleviate concerns about possible health effects from the proposed 51-turbine project.
A provocative investigation claims thousands of people are falling sick because they live near them. The symptoms they claim to have suffered may vary – including dizziness; increased blood pressure and depression – but the theme remains the same.
The commissioners agreed the Marshalls would suffer significant adverse effects from the wind farm, but did not agree they should have a power of veto over the project. ...The Marshalls' lawyer said the appeal asks for the seven turbines closest to their property to be dropped from the project.
According to NZ Windfarms' consent application, many residents were supposed to experience "nil noise effects" from the two-bladed turbines. This did not reflect their actual experience. The residents have been vindicated, and NZ Windfarms has been found wanting.
Tararua-Aokautere Guardians president Kevin Low said resource consent conditions or compliance for many wind farms in the area were not strict enough, judging from the complaints heard by councils. The "sub-audible" low-frequency noise irritated people, he said.
In a decision released today the court has ruled the windfarm, owned by New Zealand Windfarms Limited, has been operated in such a way that the noise effects for neighbouring residents are considerably greater than those predicted in the resource consent application.
If you had neighbours either side of your apartment or your house and they played loud music 24 hours a day, would that make you sick? And you can ring the police and get them to turn it off. I can't ring the police and get them to turn a wind turbine off if it makes me sick.
A standing room only crowd that packed Portland Arts Centre to hear a discussion of wind farms and health got a highly detailed lecture on the science of acoustics at a forum organised by Senator John Madigan on Tuesday night.
More than 60 wind farms have sprung up across Australia in the last decade. Giant white propellers scattered across hilltops around the country. But some people that live close to these farms are saying they're ruing their lives.
Pulsing sensations in the head, ringing in the ears and nocturnal panic attacks are some of the symptoms which Millicent beef producer David Mortimer claims have led him to consider suicide. Mr Mortimer almost broke down while giving evidence against Infigen Energy's proposed Woakwine Windfarm.
In its recommendation, the agency said wind farms should not be built within two kilometres of homes, citing a "growing body of evidence" that wind farm noise could have health effects, the report added.
The Danish wind turbine manufacturer accuses concerned neighbours of giant wind turbines of merely wanting to destroy the wind turbine industry. A harsh smear, but it works, says a professor. Vestas rejects the criticism.