2/22/11 What did wind turbines sound like last night? AND Why are residents upset about new noise rules? AND Wind industry to people and wildlife: Sorry Charlie, but keeping you safe is cost-prohibitive
we just called the nextera hotline to report that the noise level is high (~55 dba) from the turbines. there is icing conditions out right now and the sound is at a 6 [loudest]. we can hear it from the inside of our home. we hear the repetitive aggressive chopping sound and low droning (rumbling sound).
it sounds as if a highway is just outside our front door. it is disturbing and we feel a heavy air pressure around us. nextera energy says that the sound is virtually undetectable. well, it is detectable. here is a video [ABOVE] just taken from our back porch door tonight. of course the video camera can't give you the heavy air pressure feeling, but you can get a glimpse of the sound. Source
WHY DID THE COUNTY OF TIPPICANOE AGREE TO RAISE TURBINE NOISE LIMITS WELL ABOVE THOSE RECOMMENDED BY THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION LIMITS FOR HEALTHFUL SLEEP?
“It was to accommodate the wind turbine people,”
County Commissioner John Knochel
CLICK on image above to see why Tippicanoe County residents are so upset about wind company Invenergy's victory in pushing up wind turbine noise limits. Why 2 of the 3 commissioners voted to protect the wind developers interests over the interests of the residents they represent is unknown.
WIND INDUSTRY WANTS SAFETY LAW CHANGED; GROUP SAYS IT IS TOO COSTLY TO ALTER EXISTING TOWERS
SOURCE: The Argus Leader, www.argusleader.com
By Cody Winchester
A state law designed to protect low-flying aircraft from air hazards could inadvertently hinder efforts to expand South Dakota’s wind industry, a wind-energy advocate said Monday.
“This will severely hurt wind development in South Dakota,” said Steve Wegman, director of the South Dakota Wind Energy Association.
At issue is a year-old statute that requires anemometer towers – known as met towers – to be striped in alternating colors, and to have sleeves and visibility balls mounted on their guy wires. There also are new requirements for perimeter fencing.
The law is meant to protect low-altitude aircraft, mainly crop dusters and helicopter pilots.
The problem with the law, Wegman said, is that existing towers weren’t grandfathered in. As a result, developers who own met towers are being required to take them down and retrofit them, which can cost $5,000 or more – a prohibitively expensive proposition for many.
“Towers are going to come down. They’re not going to go back up,” Wegman said.
Met towers range from 30 to 100 meters tall. They’re used to measure wind speeds before building new projects. They first started popping up in South Dakota in the early 1990s, and the 200 or so that now dot the state are crucial to future development, Wegman said.
“Without good data – collecting data takes anywhere between five to nine years – you can’t get financing,” he said.
Another problem with the law is that visibility balls add weight and collect ice, making tower failures more likely. That possibility has led some met tower manufacturers to stop providing warranties for products that require visibility balls, he said.
Rod Bowar, president of Kennebec Telephone Co., which installs met towers, said he understands the need for the rules but worries it could keep the smaller players out of the wind business.
“And I don’t think that’s probably healthy, long term,” he said.
Add it all up, Wegman said, and it’s one more reason to develop wind projects elsewhere.
But pilots and aviation regulators say the marking rules are necessary to keep pilots safe.
“We think they’re a good thing,” said Bruce Lindholm, program manager for the South Dakota Office of Aeronautics. “They’re helpful for aviation safety.”
John Barney, president of the South Dakota Pilots Association, said his organization isn’t opposed to the towers, but making them more visible “is just common sense.”
“We have lobbied the FAA about making it mandatory that these towers are marked or lit in a way that would not pose a hazard,” he said. “Unfortunately, up to the present, anything under 200 feet in altitude doesn’t fall under current regulations.”
He’s optimistic the FAA will change its policy, pointing to the case of a crop sprayer in California who was killed last month when he clipped a met tower and his plane went down. This is why grandfathering in existing towers simply won’t do, Barney said.
“Quite frankly, those are the towers that are going to kill somebody,” he said.
At the national level, the Federal Aviation Administration has opened a docket to examine the issue.
“When you have a crop duster out there flying in the fields, making steep descents and abrupt turns, seeing one of these pop up out of the middle of nowhere can be a challenge,” FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said. “We’re very concerned about them,” she added.
Lobbyists for the state wind industry, meanwhile, are pushing House Bill 1128, which would grandfather in existing towers. The original bill was defeated, but lawmakers stripped out the language and created a new bill – a process known as hog housing. The new version passed out of committee Thursday.
NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: Just a month ago...
Pilot might not have seen met tower before fatal Delta crash
January 19, 2011
OAKLEY -- A crop duster pilot killed last week may not have seen the weather tower that his plane clipped, causing him to crash on a remote island in the Delta, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Stephen Allen, 58, died in the crash reported about 11 a.m. Jan. 10 on Webb Tract Island, located about two miles north of Bethel Island. Allen was a resident of Courtland, a town about 20 miles south of Sacramento. Continue reading.....
FILE UNDER OTHER THINGS THAT WOULD BE TOO COSTLY TO THE WIND INDUSTRY TO CONSIDER:
WIND INDUSTRY GROUP OPPOSES FEDERAL GUIDELINES TO PROTECT BIRDS
The American Wind Energy Association Industry said it will oppose plans by a federal agency to adopt voluntary regulations on wind developers to protect birds and other wildlife.
AWEA said in a release that more than 34,000 MW of potential wind power development, $68 billion in investment and 27,000 jobs are at risk due to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policies on golden eagles.
Allowing moratoriums to give local government time to create ordinances....
HEARING HELD ON WIND TOWERS
"Christopher Phelps, the executive director of environmental advocacy group Environment Connecticut, said the moratorium would send the wrong message to companies like BNE. Along with the Connecticut Fund for the Environment and Environment Northeast, who also spoke at the hearing last Thursday, Mr. Phelps said that his group was opposed to the moratorium.
“One of the core reasons we oppose a moratorium is it would send a chilling message to the wind industry, that Connecticut is not open for business,” he said.
Increasing setbacks to protect property rights....
"It's a death sentence.
This has everything to do with eliminating wind power. That's why the proposal is so high.
It's a hit job."
- Michael Vickerman on increasing setbacks to 1800 feet from property lines
Vickerman is a registered lobbyist for RENEW Wisconsin: "Our modus operandi is to identify barriers to renewable energy development, and come up with strategies for overcoming those problems, whether they be low buyback rates, permitting challenges, or regulatory roadblocks."
RENEW'S clients include whose clients include Alliant Energy, ATC, We Energies, MG&E, North American Hydro, WPPI, Invenergy, Emerging Energies, Michels and many wind developers with projects pending in our state. [SOURCE]
Adopting the World Health Organizations recommendation of 40dbA as top noise limit for healthy sleep...
COUNTY SIGNS OFF ON NOISIER TURBINES:
Accompanied by his two young children, Tippecanoe County resident Robert Brooks issued an emotional plea to the commissioners to protect his family from loud nuisance noise that he worries will disrupt their sleep. After the commissioners voted, Brooks asked them, “How can I sell my house right now? … I don’t know why the ordinance had to change. You’ve given (the developers) a free ticket.”
During the debate at the commissioners meeting, the majority of those in attendance spoke against the changes. As it is now amended, the ordinance allows for large wind turbines to generate an average sound output of 50 decibels per hour.
"....Greg Leuchtmann, development manager for Invenergy’s project, said Monday that the changes to the county’s ordinance are balancing protections for residents with the needs of the developers. (It’s about) what will allow a development and what will cancel a development,” he said.
READ ENTIRE ARTICLE: Journal and Courier, www.jconline.com
MANY UPSET BY TURBINE DECIBEL LIMIT
“My question is, why has this one company so much allowance to come back and ask for changes to a regulation?” Sarah Tyler asked the commissioners.
Commissioner John Knochel voted against the change in decibels.
“It was to accommodate the wind turbine people,” he said.
Invenergy representative Greg Leuchtmann spoke to the commissioners during the meeting.
“We are trying to get to something that is very objective and measurable that will protect residents as well as allow for this project to happen,” he said.
The commissioners got a sound consultant firm’s opinion on the county’s noise amendments.
“Feedback we got from the consultant was mainly negative on the amendments that were being proposed,” Knochel explained. “In other words, he thought they were a little too high.”
READ ENTIRE ARTICLE:WLFI, www.wlfi.com