Entries in wind farm noise (219)

5/28/2012 One Turbine = So Much Misery


by Jon Chesto | blogs.wickedlocal.com 26 May 2012 ~~

The white windmill stands silent over Route 28, a nearly 400-foot tall sentry looming over the main drag into town. The turbine, along with its newer partner, will be seen by thousands of people this summer as they trek to Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard. And few, if any, will know that this windmill is cursed.

Maybe there isn’t a supernatural reason. But how else can you explain all of the windmill’s misadventures?

It’s safe to say Falmouth officials didn’t factor on any curse before deciding to buy the turbine in 2009. And it’s also safe to say that they didn’t predict that Wind 1, as it’s known now, would put their town in the center of a statewide debate over where these kinds of windmills should be located. The problems that have ensued since Wind 1 started spinning in 2010 will certainly weigh on state environmental regulators as they consider whether to adopt new turbine rules.

Wind 1’s cursed history dates all the way back to December 2005, when the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative ordered the Vestas-manufactured turbine and one other for $5.2 million. The purpose was to expedite a municipal wind project in Orleans, with the help of funds collected from Massachusetts ratepayers. The Orleans project eventually fell through in 2007, and the turbines were then slotted for delivery to Fairhaven. But that Fairhaven project didn’t come to fruition, either – at least not with those two Vestas turbines.

And so MTC, whose renewable energy responsibilities are currently handled by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, faced a dilemma. The agency was blowing through thousands of dollars a month in storage fees for the windmill parts, stored separately in Texas and Canada.

MTC was having problems finding a buyer – or at least a buyer with a location that could be endorsed by the turbines’ manufacturer. Vestas ruled out possible sites in Princeton and Gloucester. The agency considered looking for out-of-state buyers in 2009, even though Massachusetts ratepayers were paying the bills.

MTC didn’t need to take that extreme step. Falmouth acquired Wind 1, installing it next to the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The other Vestas turbine ended up in a nearby industrial park, to be run by Notus Clean Energy LLC. A MassCEC spokeswoman says about $146,000 was spent to warehouse the Wind 1 components for three years.

The bad news should have ended there. But that’s not the way curses work. Almost immediately, neighbors of Wind 1 started reporting symptoms such as tinnitus and sleeplessness. They said they expected a much smaller, less powerful turbine than the 1.65-megawatt beast erected by the town. And they began complaining – loudly.

At first, their complaints were primarily limited to Falmouth’s borders. At one point last spring, in an effort to broker a peace, Falmouth officials agreed to turn Wind 1 off during days with high winds. This was a nice gesture, but it almost defeated the purpose of owning one of these windmills. It would be like agreeing to unplug solar panels on sunny days.

The complaints attracted more attention after a state-appointed task force assembled to study wind turbines’ health impacts released its report in January. The report largely exonerated wind turbines of their sins, but there was an admission that noise from these turbines could cause sleep disruption. The Department of Environmental Protection received hundreds of comments from the public about the report. Of those, DEP spokesman Ed Coletta says, Falmouth was the only significant source of local complaints.

While all this was going on, Falmouth finally got Wind 2, a newer turbine at the wastewater plant, plugged in and spinning. That unsurprisingly rankled Wind 1’s opponents, and prompted even more complaints.

The DEP conducted some nighttime sound tests in March on neighboring properties, and found that the sound from Wind 1 surpassed state limits. Town officials agreed to turn off Wind 1 at night, but then this month decided to take it offline completely until mid-June for more sound tests.

The controversy hasn’t shown any sign of dying. Dozens of residents packed a town meeting room in Falmouth on Thursday night, many of them airing their complaints about the turbines for yet another time.

Coletta says the DEP hasn’t finalized what to do with the task force report. The agency is deciding whether to put new regulations in place, he says, and the numerous concerns raised about Wind 1 in Falmouth will certainly play a role in the outcome.

The public comment period for the report ended before turbines in Kingston and Fairhaven went online this spring, turbines that have also caused concerns among neighbors, Coletta says.

Sue Reid, the Conservation Law Foundation’s Massachusetts director, likes to point to the success stories. Nearly all of the 50-plus utility-grade turbines that have gone up in recent years don’t generate many complaints, she says. And she says supporters outnumbered critics 2-1 in a hearing in Hyannis the other night on the controversial offshore Cape Wind project, which seeks state approval to buy power from NStar. Reid says the backlash from Wind 1 and a few others could put the fate of future turbine projects at risk, projects that would help reduce our need for fossil fuels to keep the lights on.

Wind 1 might seem like it’s just a curse that Falmouth has to bear alone. In reality, though, the fate of that tall, white windmill underscores a broader problem that needs to be addressed – a problem that affects all of us.

2/18/12 Not willing to let it go to a jury trial, Big Wind settles resident's lawsuit out of court. Terms of settlement? What else? Confidential.

From Michigan:


By Kate Hessling, Assistant News Editor,

Source Huron Daily Tribune, www.michigansthumb.com

February 18, 2012 

The count claimed the intrusions included:

• Low frequency and impulse noise created by the wind turbines, which range between 1,100 and 1,700 feet away from each plaintiff’s home.

• Sustained and highly disturbing audible noise created by the wind turbines.

• A flicker/strobe light effect that covers the plaintiffs’ properties when sunlight passes through the rotating turbine blades.

“The intrusions caused by the turbines in the wind farm cause plaintiffs actual physical discomforts and would cause such physical discomfort to a person of ordinary sensibilities,” the lawsuit stated.

Adverse health effects listed in the lawsuit included: the inability to sleep and repeated awakening during sleep, headaches, dizziness, stress and tension, extreme fatigue, diminished ability to concentrate, nausea and other physiological cognitive effects.

BAD AXE — The 20 Huron County residents who filed a lawsuit claiming the Ubly-area Michigan Wind I development has harmed their quality of life and lowered their property values have agreed to settle with the wind companies.

As a result, the jury trial that was set to get under way next week in circuit court has been canceled.

The plaintiffs were seeking in excess of $25,000 and an injunctive relief ordering the companies to cease and desist their activities in the lawsuit filed May 11, 2010, in Huron County Circuit Court. The defendants were John Deere Renewables, Deere & Co., Noble Environmental Power LLC, Michigan Wind 1 LLC and RMT Inc.

Messages seeking additional information about the settlement were left with attorneys from Dykema Gosset PLLC, a Detroit-area firm representing the defendants, and Braun Kendrick Finkbeiner PLC, which represents the plaintiffs. No messages were returned as of late Friday. It’s expected the terms of the settlement will be confidential.

The thrust of the lawsuit was that construction and operation of the wind farm caused the plaintiffs to suffer adverse health effects, emotional distress and economic damages, according to court documents from the Huron County Clerk’s office. It consisted of four counts: Private nuisance, public nuisance, negligent design of a wind farm and negligent misrepresentation. RMT Inc. was named only in the negligent design claim.

Some of the counts — for negligent design and misrepresentation — were dismissed by Judge M. Richard Knoblock in Huron County Circuit Court in August 2010.

RMT Inc. constructed the wind farm, which was developed by Noble Environmental Power. Noble sold the development to John Deere, which later sold it to Exelon Wind.

The plaintiffs in the case are Ubly area residents David Peplinski, Marilyn Peplinski, Frank Peplinski, Georgia Peplinski, Terry Peplinski, Christine Peplinski, Curtis Watchowski, Lynda Watchowski, James Czewski, Delphine Czewski, Dennis Mausolf, Darcy Mausolf, Dale Laming, Elaine Laming, Lynn Sweeney, Pam Sweeney, Alger Nowak, Mary Nowak, Randy Weber and Angela Weber.

Agreements were reached between the plaintiffs and two of the defendants, which resulted in Noble being dismissed from the case Sept. 19, 2011, and RMT being dismissed Oct. 24, 2011.

Court records show both the plaintiffs and John Deere Renewables, Deere & Co. and Michigan Wind 1 agreed to dismiss the count for public nuisance.

The only count left unresolved prior to this week was a claim of private nuisance, which alleged the wind companies interfered with the plaintiffs’ rights, including their property rights, by creating and operating the wind farm.

The count claimed the intrusions included:

• Low frequency and impulse noise created by the wind turbines, which range between 1,100 and 1,700 feet away from each plaintiff’s home.

• Sustained and highly disturbing audible noise created by the wind turbines.

• A flicker/strobe light effect that covers the plaintiffs’ properties when sunlight passes through the rotating turbine blades.

“The intrusions caused by the turbines in the wind farm cause plaintiffs actual physical discomforts and would cause such physical discomfort to a person of ordinary sensibilities,” the lawsuit stated.

Adverse health effects listed in the lawsuit included: the inability to sleep and repeated awakening during sleep, headaches, dizziness, stress and tension, extreme fatigue, diminished ability to concentrate, nausea and other physiological cognitive effects.

Earlier this month, Deere and Michigan Wind I filed a motion asking the court to dismiss claims regarding adverse health effects because the plaintiffs failed to provide a witness other than themselves to support an injury claim. Because the plaintiffs did not provide a single expert or medical record, the health claims were based on conjecture and speculation, according to court documents.

In January, the defendants filed motions seeking to have a number of items excluded as evidence in the trial, including evidence about shadow flicker, sound studies provided by the plaintiffs, easements and lease agreements with landowners not party to the lawsuit; and allegations and claims or nuisance actions concerning wind farms other than Michigan Wind 1.

The wind companies previously attempted to exclude opinions and testimony of the plaintiffs’ property valuation expert, L. Mark St. Clair, who inspected the residences and outbuildings at the plaintiffs’ properties and said there was a $829,545 combined loss in property value since Jan. 1, 2009.

“In terms of damages as they may relate to the subject property, it appears that there have been damages that have resulted from this project,” St. Clair wrote in a retrospective value loss opinion.

The wind companies sought to excluded St. Clair’s opinions and testimony, challenging St. Clair’s methodology and data relied upon in rendering his opinion that Michigan Wind 1 has negatively impacted the plaintiffs’’ property values.

Because Knoblock denied the motion to exclude St. Clair’s opinions and testimony on Dec. 23, the above information could have been included in the jury trial.

Even though the lawsuit was whittled down to just about one count, court documents indicate the matter could have resulted in a lengthy trial, as the witness list for the defense had more than 100 names alone. A decision on the other items (noise studies, shadow flicker, etc.) that the defense sought to exclude as evidence was not made before the settlement was confirmed. So it’s not known whether those matters would have been considered by a jury.

The settlement was confirmed this week in a letter the plaintiffs’ attorney, Craig Horn, faxed to the circuit court.

2/1/12 Wind developer to sleepless residents: I can't snap my fingers and make the noise go away

From West Virgina


Elaine Blaisdell,

Via Cumberland Times-News, times-news.com

January 31, 2012 

“When the wind comes from the west, you get the real low-frequency noise. You can feel the pressure waves in my ears. You can’t sleep with it.

KEYSER, W.Va. — A majority of those in attendance at the Community Advisory Panel meeting on Monday night agreed — there is an issue with noise emitting from the wind turbines at the Pinnacle Wind Farm on Green Mountain.

Green Mountain residents described a variety of noises from a hammer, to a whoosh, to a low-pitched, consistent vibration.

“I don’t like it better anymore than you do,” said Brad Christopher, Edison Mission Energy project manager. “I’ve stayed up there; I know what you are talking about. I wish I could snap my fingers and it would go away, but I can’t.”

Richard Braithwaite, a Green Mountain resident, said he has been hearing the noise since November.

“Nobody has mentioned the other noise that (Christopher) has heard himself — the prop turning. It sounds like a train or hammer,” said Braithwaite. “When the wind comes from the west, you get the real low-frequency noise. You can feel the pressure waves in my ears. You can’t sleep with it. The low-pressure noise can hurt you according to medical journals.”

A whoosh is emitted from the cooling fan and the blade when the turbines turn from the other direction, according to Braithwaite.

“I don’t know of anything that can be done for blade noise,” said Christopher. “As far as the fan noise, that we can approach from the louver system.”

A test louver system is being ordered from Mitsubishi but it is not expected until March, according to Christopher.

“The louver system will go on the back of the nacelle on the head of the cooling-fan air intake on one of the wind turbines,” said Christopher. “We will do a noise study.”

A nacelle is a cover for all the generating components in a wind turbine.

If the louver system reduces the noise, more will be ordered for the 22 remaining wind turbines, according to Christopher, who said the system would most likely redirect air noise.

“You don’t know how much I hope this will work,” said Christopher. “I don’t like sites with issues. We are trying to get it quick as we can and get it resolved.”

If it doesn’t work, other options have to be researched such as changing the motor speed, according to Christopher.

“Charley (Parnell, vice president of public affairs for Edison Mission Energy) said we were within code,” said Donnie Ashby, a member of CAP.

“I would like to know what the code is. What are the guidelines — the Public Service Commission doesn’t have any and the EPA doesn’t have any.”

Before the project began, a sound expert was hired to study a wind turbine model that was created to predict what sound the wind turbines would make, according to Dave Friend, vice president and director of the US Wind Force Foundation. It predicted well below what is being heard, said Friend.

“It would imply that it would be half of what you are suggesting,” said Friend, who agreed after visiting the site that the noise is annoying. “As irritating as it is, unfortunately I can’t go back and say, ‘Click, it’s gone.’ But if you could bear with us I think we could find a solution.”

Ashby questioned whether models at other sites had noise complaints.

Neither of the wind farms that have Mitsubishi turbines in Sterling, Texas, and Telugu, Okla., has had complaints about noise, according to Christopher. However, both are located on mostly flat ridge lines and Christopher isn’t aware of any other Mitsubishi wind turbines that are located on mountains.

“I’m very displeased that a representative is not here at the meeting from the corporate office,” said Ashby. “If I asked my neighbor to turn it down, they would turn it down. A lot of people are displeased. I spoke up for the project and now I look like a idiot.”

Currently there are seven Mitsubishi employees at the Pinnacle Wind Farm, two of whom are local hires, according to Christopher.

“Mitsubishi does have a permanent site manager now, which I think makes a big difference,” said Christopher.

Two-thirds of the project went online Dec. 21 and the remaining one-third went commercial Jan. 13, with power being sold to the state of Maryland and the University of Maryland, according to Christopher.

1/25/12 The noise heard 'round the world

From Australia


Graham Lloyd, Environment editor

Via The Australian, www.theaustralian.com.au

January 25, 2012

When American noise expert Robert Rand turned up to work in Maine, in the US northeast, in April to investigate the impact of wind turbines on nearby residents he was literally blown away.

Not only did Rand’s readings confirm many fears in the community, he claims to have become an unwitting victim himself.

A member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering and a technician with 30 years’ experience, Rand was working for a philanthropic donor wanting to investigate why wind turbines were causing so much concern.

Rand told The Australian yesterday his experience had been unexpected. He had measured the noise from wind turbines on many previous occasions without difficulty but, in testimony to the State of Maine Board of Environmental Protection in July, Rand said the turbines had delivered “a miserable and unnerving experience”.

When indoors, Rand and long-time colleague Stephen Ambrose, also a Member of INCE, experienced “nausea, loss of appetite, headache, vertigo, dizziness, inability to concentrate, an overwhelming desire to get outside and anxiety, over a two-night period from Sunday, April 17 to Tuesday, April 19″.

“I know personally and viscerally what people have been complaining about,” he says. “Adverse health effects from wind turbines are real and can be debilitating.

“The fieldwork points directly to wind turbine low-frequency noise pulsations, especially indoors, as a causative factor.”

Anti-wind farm campaigners across the world have jumped on Rand’s testimony and his report as confirmation of a series of key issues of concern. They are:

• That infrasound and low frequency noise from wind turbines is being measured inside the homes of affected people and correlates with wind turbine activity.

• That turbine activity and measured infrasound correlate with the onset/occurrence of symptoms.

• That decibel sound levels do not correlate with people’s symptoms and are therefore useless at predicting or identifying problems.

• That infrasound energy is amplified inside the home.

Rand’s testimony shows that, when it comes to wind turbines, what you can’t hear can hurt you.

It puts the spotlight on whether governments and the wind industry are hiding behind the reality that you won’t find what you don’t look for.

It is difficult to reconcile Rand’s experience with confidential briefings reportedly given by NSW Health to politicians who claim health impacts from wind turbines are “not scientifically valid”.

The Clean Energy Council, an industry body representing wind companies, also rejects claims of health impacts.

“This whole infrasound stuff is completely out of the park,” says CEC spokesman Mark Bretherton. “I don’t think there is any sort of issues with infrasound whatsoever. I think they are barking up the wrong tree completely.

“If anything it boils down to standards and audible noise.

“It is a case of if you can hear something and it is disturbing your sleep then you will not be sleeping so well, which will lead to stress and pretty much all the reported symptoms,” Bretherton says.

Danish wind industry heavyweight Vestas is certainly aware of the infrasound generated by its wind turbines and keen to ensure that any restrictions are minimal.

Last year, the company successfully lobbied the Danish government to weaken proposed infrasound restrictions, fearing they would hurt the company’s business globally.

In a letter dated June 11, Vestas chief executive officer Ditlev Engel wrote to Danish environment minister Karen Ellemann claiming the proposed infrasound regulations would hit the company’s three-megawatt turbines hardest.

Engel said it was “not technically possible” to meet the proposed infrasound limits of 20 decibels 24 hours a day.

What is missing is rigorous analysis of what impact, if any, infrasound from wind turbines has on human health. In the absence of proper research, testimony such as Rand’s is dismissed by wind industry supporters and proponents as anecdotal.

The lack of evidence works in the wind industry’s favour. A position paper issued by a national coalition of healthcare groups, the Climate and Health Alliance, yesterday rejected the claims of anti-wind groups that wind power poses a threat to health.

“There is no credible peer-reviewed scientific evidence that demonstrates a link between wind turbines and direct adverse health impacts in people living in proximity to them,” CAHA convenor Fiona Armstrong said.

The alliance is made up of a range of organisations, including the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, the Australian Council of Social Service, the Royal Australian College of Physicians, the Women’s Health Network and World Vision.

To assess health impacts, most people have relied on a “rapid review” statement issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council published in 2010 that says “there is no published scientific evidence to support adverse effects of wind turbines on health”. But in evidence to a federal senate inquiry into the impacts of wind farm developments on rural communities in March last year, NHMRC chief executive officer Warwick Anderson said: “We certainly do not believe that this question has been settled.

“The absence of evidence does not mean that there might not be evidence in the future; it is just that, at the stage when the review was done, it was not there,” he said.

At a conference last June, the NHMRC agreed to “undertake a systematic approach to reviewing the literature and use the results to inform any update of the public statement”.

Anderson said the review would focus on possible health impacts of audible noise and infrasound. “Depending on the result of this review, a targeted call for research in this area (would) be considered,” he said.

For anti-wind campaigners the question is whether that review will come soon enough.

High-profile campaigner Sarah Laurie says the NHMRC’s progress has been “glacial at best”.

“They seem to have no concept of a public health disaster which is about to exponentially increase, and which they could help to prevent,” she says.

“Professor Anderson clearly understands there is a problem from his comments in his oral evidence to the Senate inquiry, but has done little since to expedite either a better review of the literature or to actively encourage medical researchers.”

Equally slow has been any practical response to the Senate inquiry recommendation that the commonwealth government initiate as a matter of priority “thorough, adequately resourced epidemiological and laboratory studies of the possible effects of wind farms on human health”.

In stark contrast, there has been a steady stream of reports from industry and social groups rejecting concerns about wind turbines.

A CSIRO report released this month said there was stronger community support for developing wind farms than might be assumed from media coverage.

Another report, from wind developer Pacific Hydro, said 83 per cent of people support wind, with only 14 per cent opposed.

The onslaught of pro-wind surveys and literature is a happy coincidence for the wind industry, which considers itself to be one push away from rolling out billions of dollars of new wind farm investment to meet the government’s 2020 renewable energy target.

Australia has 1188 wind turbines and 57 operating wind farms, including one located in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

The wind industry is expected to triple by 2020, with an additional 6.9GW of wind power and between 2000 and 2500 turbines.

The industry has faced a backlash from some state governments responding to community concerns about how close wind turbines are built to houses.

Victoria’s Baillieu government last year gave landholders an effective right of veto over any wind turbine within 2km of their houses.

Proposed new laws for NSW, now out for public comment, are less strict. Under the proposed guidelines, if a wind farm developer is unable to get written permission from all landholders within 2km, it can apply for a site compatibility certificate.

The application should focus on visual amenity issues and noise, including low-frequency noise, at any houses within 2km.

Bretherton says the wind industry hopes the NSW proposals will be better than those in Victoria. “The gateway process could go either way,” he says. “It could work well or it could be unworkable.”

He says wind farm protests present a unique challenge for the industry. “The history of the protest movement is a typically left-wing thing with people agitating for change. Now you have got older people agitating for the status quo,” Bretherton says.

But for former ABC chairman, Maurice Newman, it is a simple issue of individual rights and government arrogance.

“The harmful health effects, despite peer-reviewed and anecdotal evidence, are dismissed as being unconfirmed, psychosomatic or the politics of envy.

“It’s true not everyone who lives near wind turbines experiences adverse health effects,” Newman says. “But then, not everyone who smokes contracts lung cancer.”

There is, he says, an imbalance when cash-poor residents face governments and corporations.

“Politicians are lending their support to oligopolistic insiders and, in so doing, are destroying the property rights of the very people they have pledged to protect.”

Renewables hit headwind

THE ill wind blowing in renewable energy has also cast a cloud over the global solar industry.

The price of solar panel companies has plummeted in recent days after Germany announced plans to accelerate the wind-back of feed-in tariff subsidies.

High subsidies have made Germany the world’s largest solar energy market but at an estimated cost to energy users and taxpayers of E100 billion. The cost blow-out is considered to be a threat to the German economy.

Despite the International Energy Agency’s positive outlook for renewable energy, assuming the continuation of subsidies, the German decision was enough to crash the global solar market.

German manufacturers have already been struggling in the face of low-cost solar manufacturing in China. Chinese imports have prompted a bitter trade war initiated by German solar makers in the US. In a unanimous decision in November, the International Trade Commission ruled Chinese solar panel and cell imports were harming the US solar manufacturing industry. The US Department of Commerce will soon rule on preliminary tariffs and “critical circumstances” that may mean importers will have to pay retrospective duties on these products.

And in Britain, a new cross-party campaign group is demanding the government drop its support for thousands more wind farms.

1/24/12 Straight from the guy who is (having trouble) living with the turbine


Neil Andersen, Blacksmith Shop Rd., Falmouth. 

January 20, 2012

Picture a 747 jumbo jet spinning around, 200’ in the air. Add in high, gusty winds. The 747 wants to spin as fast as a pinwheel. Instead, by tilting and twisting the wings, the 747 is forced to spin slower. Similarly, this is how wind turbines capture the energy in the wind.

The forces involved in this transfer of energy (besides the electrical energy), are very dynamic. High, gusty winds verses 23 ton turbine blades!

Experiencing these tremendous forces is frightening. And, yes, it can get jet engine loud.

What makes a person who has been in the alternative energy business for over thirty years, shut down his home building business (Energy Star certified), spend most of his time, as well as his savings, while racking up mileage traveling to different communities, feel compelled to “bad mouth” certain alternative energy projects?

The answer is an improperly sited wind turbine.

I live in Falmouth where there are 3 wind turbines. All are 1.65MW, 400’ tall with 135’ blades that weigh 7-1/2 tons. One of the turbines is 1320’ from my house.

The problem is not wind power. The problem has to do with size and distance. Any structure of this size, especially with massive moving parts, does not belong 1320’ from anyone’s house. Nevertheless, it is there. All that I can do is tell my experiences, while at the same time hope to educate the public.

Picture a 747 jumbo jet spinning around, 200’ in the air. Add in high, gusty winds. The 747 wants to spin as fast as a pinwheel. Instead, by tilting and twisting the wings, the 747 is forced to spin slower. Similarly, this is how wind turbines capture the energy in the wind.

The forces involved in this transfer of energy (besides the electrical energy), are very dynamic. High, gusty winds verses 23 ton turbine blades!

Experiencing these tremendous forces is frightening. And, yes, it can get jet engine loud.

But the most distressing and harmful thing about the turbine is the constant and repetitive low frequency pressure pulses that are generated during the downswing motion of each blade (every 1-1/2 seconds). This action forces out a pressure wave, which in turn creates a wake in the air, much like that in the water behind a boat with a motor. It is when in this wake that the effects from the turbine are the worst.

Try this: Hold your arm out the car window as you travel down the road. Every 1-1/2 seconds, alternate your palm from vertical to horizontal. Feel, hear and sense what happens. Next close all the windows, except leave one in the back open 3”. See how long you can stand that repetitive pulsing sensation. Regarding the low frequency part, I’m sure all of us have experienced the very low base tones blasting from an approaching car, most times unaware of where the car is. All you hear is the sound. It is piercing.

It seems to be coming from everywhere.

Hopefully the similarities mentioned above will give the reader a slight indication of what a turbine produces.

Over and over and over. Pound….Pound…..Pound. It never stops. Windows, nor walls, earplugs nor noise machines can stop it. This pulse has a unique ability to travel very far, as it bounces off of everything. It has recently been proven that the intensity of the pulse is higher inside a home.

Pound…Pound….Pound. Soon you can’t sleep. Frequent headaches appear. Heart palpitations. And what is that strange pressure in my head and ears? Heart rate and blood pressure increase (The pulse actually mimics the heart beat-this is a terrible feeling!) You begin to have problems with balance, and irregularities with hearing.

Pound…Pound…Pound. It never goes away. Not only is it unhealthy, it is like torture.

All these symptoms and others were experienced by the members of my family, as well as numerous other families in the neighborhood. Some experienced these symptoms within days of the start of the turbines. Others more slowly. For me it took almost 2 months. But the results have been devastating-physically, mentally and financially.

After nearly 1 year of turbine abuse that resulted in a visit to the emergency room (insomnia, dehydration and chronic bronchitis), and in a desperate and passionate outburst before our Select Board, the turbine was ordered to be shut off when wind speeds reached 23 mph That was last March, 2011.

The turbine has been off now since early November, (due to a vote of support from town meeting members), while we wait on “mitigation options”. Except for the ringing in my ears and sensitivity to loud or sudden noises, all the symptoms have gone away.

One certain thing that we have learned is that the only possible and successful mitigation option is separation. It is very simple. These industrial size wind turbines do not belong anywhere near residential areas. There can be no compromise.

Please consider this first hand personal experience when planning and regulating alternative energy projects for your community. 400’ wind turbines in residential neighborhoods is not the way to do it, believe me, please, especially when there are better options.

Energy conservation leads a long list of non-invasive methods that must be pursued in this fight for self-sustainability, and against the problems of global warming.

I will be in Shelburne Falls this Saturday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m., (along with my neighbor Annie Hart) and Dr. Nina Pierpont (via skype) to talk about the realities of living under wind turbines, and to answer questions. This event is free. Please attend. For more information: www.shelburnewind.info.

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