Don’t throw turbine neighbours under the bus

thrown_under_the_busHuron Daily Tribune

Wednesday April 5, 2017

To the editor:

You’ve heard that wind turbines are no louder than refrigerators at 40 decibels? That measurement is taken a foot or two away from the bottom of the refrigerator.

If 40 decibels is acceptable to you, then maybe refrigerators should be installed on your night stand next to your bed. Please make sure the refrigerator is set to turn on and off, on and off every two seconds to simulate the wind turbine blade’s movement. Do you really think that two-second intermittent noise all night long will lull you to sleep?

The scientific studies referred to by wind energy companies are often wind energy-funded studies. And when recent studies from many independent researchers are published that comment on audible noise, pulsation/vibration, and shadow flicker affecting nearby residents, the wind faction is quick to dismiss, trivialize, debunk, and simply ignore that information.

Michigan State University has been promoting sample zoning for wind energy systems that was highly permissive toward wind development and darn near hostile to neighbors of wind turbines. The animosity created in communities with unsafe wind development favoring wind developers may take years to disappear.

It’s a brand new ball game because, on March 6, MSU released its new wind energy sample zoning regulations. MSU researchers don’t condone prohibiting turbines. They condone safe setbacks.

The study informs the uninformed about wind development and reasonable land use regulations. These new recommendations are extremely important and confirm all of the things so many people in Michigan have worked so hard for.

Here are some highlights of the MSU recommendations:

Sound Level — On-site use wind energy systems shall not exceed 40 dB(A) at the property line closest to the wind energy system. This sound pressure level may be briefly exceeded during short term events such as utility outages and/or severe wind storms.

One MSU recommendation is a turbine setback of 2,500 feet from the property line of any parcel which is not receiving compensation for the Utility Grid Wind Energy System.

And, to show how wind energy is losing its grip in Michigan, here is a recent straw poll: In Ingersoll Township, Michigan (just south of Midland), board officials took a poll of 88 people at their March 22 board meeting. Results?

• 75 against wind development in township

• 3 for wind development in township

• 10 undecided

The money a community can make and the money a large landholder can make certainly is important. But, it’s the only bullet the pro wind faction has. However, to allow so many large landholders a financial gain is to throw the neighbors of wind turbines under the bus.

Norm Stephens

Caro

WindTurbinesComparision_BySchindler

New wind energy resource for planning commissions; Michigan State University

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