Articles filed under Noise from Canada
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Twp. council is sending a letter to the Ministry of Environment asking for an immediate response to a report on the affects of noise from wind turbines. At council's March 20 meeting, Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek said the township still has not received a response back from Minister Laurel Broten who they met while attending a conference in Toronto in late February. Coun. Doug Miller said it was the minister, herself, who said the ministry would respond to their questions and a report by Dr. Vandenberg,
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.
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.
From Barton, Vermont, to the German border with Denmark and from the shores of Lake Huron, to the Romney Marches of southern England, wind power advocates are fighting crosswinds from local residents. In Barton in mid-January, a referendum overwhelmingly rejected the wind power turbines that were planned near this upper Vermont community. ...In Germany, where one-third of the world's current wind power is generated, doubters have provoked a loud debate. The company that owns the grid that includes nearly half the wind-farms in Germany reported its wind farms generated only 11 percent of their capacity. The company said the winds vary so much the wind farm had to be backed 80 percent by the conventional power grid.
Amaranth Township Council will seek to have the Canadian Hydro Developers existing transformer substation included as an issue at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing into the Melancthon II wind-turbine project. Mayor Don MacIver told township CAO Sue Stone to advise the CHD lawyers accordingly, after the council had heard a recording of noise levels near the substation, said to be as high as 65 decibels, at Wednesday’s meeting, In playing the recording, Paul Thompson, a neighbour of the substation, said there is a constant hum from the transformer — constantly at 40 dB, he said — but rising for about 10-20 seconds to as much as 65 when the CHD transmission goes back on grid after being off for a time, according to his recorded demonstration, although the under-construction sound barriers are intended to reduce it to 31 dB. Mr. Thompson said the sound reflects off a metal shed on his property. “If you listen (long) it gets in your head, and you can’t get it out,” he said.
A Nova Scotia man and his family claim to have been left homeless after the noise from a nearby windfarm made his family home in Lower West Pubnico uninhabitable. Daniel d’Entremont says that two of the 1.8-megawatt turbines that make up the 17 turbine farm, are located just 300 metres from his home. As a result he says that his children developed disruptive behaviour and his family’s health suffered. D’Entremont’s angry that when councillors from the Municipality of Argyle, which covers Pubnico, developed their bylaw determining the location of wind turbines in relation to residential properties they came up with a 300-metre setback.
A Nova Scotia man who abandoned his home, claiming noise from a nearby wind farm made his family sick, says a study by an audio expert proves his case, even though a report to the federal government concludes the exact opposite. Daniel d’Entremont and his family left their home in the southwestern Nova Scotia community of Lower West Pubnico last February. D’Entremont says the 17 wind turbines that tower over the community — the closest just 400 metres away — were sending low-frequency vibrations into the house. This inaudible noise, he claims, deprived his family of sleep, gave his children and wife headaches and made it impossible for them to concentrate.
Experts agree that LFN, at sufficient levels, may be a health concern for those who are sensitive to its effects. The effects of inaudible levels of LFN have not been sufficiently studied to date to rule out the possibility of health effects, but commentators have weighed in on each side of the debate. Setbacks and noise surveys are common requirements imposed on new wind farm developments, in part to minimize the risk of wind turbines causing health effects on local residents.
A new report suggests a wind farm in Pubnico Point isn't the health threat a local resident claims it is. Daniel d'Entremont lives next to the wind turbines, and, he says, it's like having a pebble in your shoe: It's not terribly uncomfortable at first, but over time it becomes unbearable. D'Entremont says his wife and and one of his children are losing their eyesight because of low-level vibrations from the turbines. But the report, prepared for the federal government, says any low-frequency vibrations are not significant enough to be a concern.
An Ashfield-Colborne Wawanosh Twp. resident believes council and the planning department are not doing enough research to address concerns about health issues caused by wind turbines. Ernie Marshall presented to council, at their Oct. 17 meeting, two reports outlining health issues related to wind turbines. He said his greatest concern is the noise level from the turbines which is much higher than the level stated by EPCOR and it is causing him a great deal of distress. “The noise is not so much what you can hear but what you can feel,” he said.
A father of six children in Pubnico Point, Nova Scotia said he and his family had to move from their home earlier this year because of health problems from nearby wind turbines. Daniel d’Entremont and his family moved out of their house in February 2006, and moved in with d’Entremont’s in-laws about half an hour away. He said there are 17 turbines near his property. The fisherman personally sent the accompanying pictures on this Web page to illustrate the proximity of the turbines to his home. He said the turbines were installed and running by February 2005. D’entremont said everyone in his family had trouble sleeping once the turbines began operating. He said he’d sleep four hours, and then a “hum” or “vibration” feeling inside of him would wake him up.
Concerns with noise and health affects continue to be raised as Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Twp. council prepares their wind turbine setback bylaw. Township residents once again packed the council chambers on Sept. 19 to discuss the proposed setback requirements for wind turbines. The requirements include 400 metres from a residential building, a 600 metre setback from urban settlements and a setback requirement for roadways of 1.25 times the height of the turbine. Although council is in favour of the proposed bylaw, they deferred its passing to allow for more research to be completed and input from the public or ministry to be made. “We are leaving the setback requirements the same,” said Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek. “In general, I think most people are pleased with the setback bylaw.” Mark Kernighan stated in a letter to council that they should not consider making the proposed changes anymore restrictive as it would be difficult for smaller farm lots to establish a wind farm.
Shoreline Beacon — The Windfarm Action Group (WAG) wants the public to challenge municipal, county and wind power officials to look deeper into the health issues associated with inaudible sound and light flicker before they’re erected. A large crowd gathered at Saugeen Shores Plex’s Rotary Hall on August 30 to hear members of WAG and its guests, sharing concerns regarding wind power projects in both the Shelburne area and Kingsbridge project near Goderich. “Is it ethical, moral or just to expose residents to unwanted sound,” said WAG member Kathy McCarrel. “We’re trying to get the wind power companies and MOE (Ministry of Environment) to realize that noise is an issue.” The evening began with a short documentary entitled ‘Life Under A Wind Turbine’, which detailed the experiences of a handful of residents in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania in the United States.
About fifty residents of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh packed the council chambers last night to voice concerns over the noise from wind turbines in the municipality.
The large house in Lower West Pubnico is now empty and abandoned, d'Entremont says, because inaudible sound from the 17-turbine wind farm made his family sick.
The following links are to three audio interviews conducted by the Canadian Broadcasting Company to investigate Mr. d'Entremont's claim that noise from the Pubnico Point wind plant has driven his family from its home. Editor's Note: You will need RealPlayer to listen.
Amaranth Township has scheduled the evening of March 3 and all day Saturday, March 4, as public meeting dates to review proposals for 23 wind-turbine sites.