Category Archives: Noise

Kingston Independence turbine exceeds state’s noise threshold during study

The Kingston Independence wind turbine violated the state’s noise policy two of the nights sound samples were taken as part of an acoustical monitoring study, according to an interim report.

Page 2 of 2 – According to Fine’s letter, “MassDEP’s determination of exceedences is based on a comparison of the L90 background sound including the sound of traffic from Route 3 compared to the LMax sound levels excluding any source of interference sound (traffic).”
The consulting firm Harris, Miller, Miller, and Hanson Inc. (HMMH) performed the study for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and DEP.

Doreen and Sean Reilly live close to the Independence turbine, and their property was a sampling site. They are not only interested in the results released to date. They are interested in seeing the full report.
Sean Reilly said they don’t understand how the turbine can be out of compliance 100 feet away on Schofield Road and not at their property.

With the turbine out of compliance, they are calling for the town and the state to do something to fix it and help their and other families.
“The Independence wind turbine was permitted and constructed with no flicker study and inadequate sound studies,” Doreen Reilly said. “It is becoming clear that this was a mistake from the beginning that the town of Kingston and the state of Massachusetts is allowing to continue to diminish the quality of our lives at our home and on our property.”

Fine said the final report will be released to the public once it has been received by DEP and undergone quality assurance and review in the coming weeks. He said the interim report was released because there were times when the regulation was exceeded. He said HMMH and Mass CEC have assured the state that the regulation was not exceeded during the other sampling dates.

According to the Fine letter, DEP does not plan to request additional sound sampling. The interim report was based on monitoring events October through April before the study was suspended.

“As you know, the full study has taken longer to complete than anticipated due to persistent weather challenges, turbine operational issues and problems with background noise contamination,” Fine wrote. “Now that the winter sampling season has ended, the time identified in the scope as appropriate for monitoring worst case scenario sound impacts has also ended.”

To view the interim report, go to  https://mothersagainstturbines.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/kwicvletinterimreport0714.pdf

Kathryn Gallerani, Kingston Reporter

Ontario’s Power Trip: Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Facts

Wind power generates noise at levels that Ontario says must meet enforceable standards—but it has no enforceable standards. The long shabby story of wind noise from the province’s wind energy regime: Misguided Direction or Failure to Communicate?

The issue of noise from Ontario’s wind farms deserves a full public review. Instead, people are getting a run around from bureaucrats and politicians. Standards don’t exist, yet approvals are being issued without regard to consequences or the impact on people of noise levels.

Donna Cansfield, in November 2005, as Ontario Minister of Energy issued a “Direction” to the Ontario Power Authority instructing it to enter into contracts for up to 1000 MW of new electricity supply from renewable energy. Most were wind turbines. The health and other effects of wind turbines wasn’t actively studied before the contracts were signed. Noise, building codes, environmental standards etc. existed and were adapted tofit. No real review was undertaken.

To cite an example, the Amaranth wind contract used Stantec Consulting Ltd. of Guelph, Ontario to complete an Environmental Screening Report in February. They used Helimax Energie Inc. for the “noise” sector portion of that report. Three and a half years later Helimax presented a paper at the June 2008, World Wind Energy Conference which stated: “no recognized standard exists for measuring the noise impact of an operational wind farm.”

So the “noise” information used for Amaranth in the Environmental Screening Report in 2005 to secure the licence from the Environment Ministry was done without a “recognized standard”.

A leaked paper from the Guelph district office of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment stated the local authority “knowingly issued a series of Certificates of Approval (AIR) that are unenforceable.”

Sound measurement reports from the Ministry of the Environment exceeded the approved 40 decibel limit by almost 30%. The Ministry notes that allowances are related to wind speed and will allow 51 decibels based on higher wind speeds. This is almost 30% greater than those “experienced in a quiet office”. Research indicates a “clearly notable change” occurs with only a 5dB change and a 10dB increase is roughly equivalent to being a doubling in the perceived sound level as noise is measured on a logarithmic scale similar to earthquakes.

Noise produced by wind turbines is defined as “tonal” (eg: sirens, saws, etc.) and intrusive. Normally a 5dB penalty is applied for tonal noise, including that emanating from wind turbines. It is not clear that this penalty is applied by the Ontario regulators.

Dr. Arlene King, Ontario’s Chief Medical Health Officer, has accepted the findings of others in the May 2010 review endorsing setbacks established by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment so that noise levels that do not exceed 40 decibels at the nearest residence. However, health complaints by residents are generally ignored and end up tangled in provincial bureaucracy. A recent story indicates the MOE received 750 complaints in two years.

Most complaints about how people have suffered wind turbine related health effects remain unresolved, but over 25 families (five in Amaranth alone) have publicly disclosed their problems. Families have abandoned their homes and others have had their homes purchased by the developers and signed “gag” orders. Despite all of this, the various Ministries have not altered or changed their outright denial that there are any health effects.

We don’t really know what the health and quality of life issues are related to wind farms, but the evidence so far seems at odds with the basic premise that politicians are elected to execute the “will of the people.” We clearly need a full open factual review of the wind/noise issue. We have the noise, what we don’t is sold review of the facts on the impact on citizens who have to live with it.

to read a more complete version of my comments and report on this subject. click here

Financial Post, Parker Gallant, July 8 2011

 

 

Schmalz: turbine fight is a ‘worldwide movement’

Shoreline Beacon Friday, May 16, 2014

Buergerinitiative Windstill, Germany

A town hall style meeting was held at Maple Hall in Port Elgin Thursday night on the subject of wind turbines.

The meeting falls shortly after the one year anniversary the Unifor turbine blades started spinning it was fourth in a series of open meetings for continued education. The turbine meeting, which was hosted by Saugeen Shores Turbine Operation Policy (S.T.O.P) brought in two speakers with new theories and histories in the fight against wind power.

Organizer Greg Schmaltz quipped “people are probably tired of hearing from him,” so he brought in some featured speakers from Toronto.

First to speak was Sherri Lange, the co-founder of Toronto Wind Action “whose claim to fame is that they beat the turbines on the Scarborough Bluffs down in Toronto,” said Schmalz.

Lange is also CEO of NAPAW (North American Platform Against Wind).

The second speaker Thursday evening was Kevin Dooley “who likes to be called an inventor and he truly is, with over one hundred US patents’ to his name,” Schamlz added. “He is a retired jet engine turbine specialist; his life’s mission is all about vibration which of course noise is a vibration.”

The S.T.O.P spokesperson said Dooley has interesting theories about how people suffering adverse effects from industrial turbines are in fact identical to motion sickness that you would experience on a boat caused by atmospheric pressure changes “which is a pretty cutting edge scientific data.”

Dooley’s presentation showcased The McMauley Hypothsis about infrasound and how it causes tempera illness. He displayed acoustic data captured from Port Elgin homes showing the rate of the blade passing the tower in a pulse spectra analysis.

“These frequencies of thumping are specific to each wind turbine”, said Dooley. Read rest of article here.

MPAC study on property values and wind turbines self-serving

WIND CONCERNS ONTARIO News release

The year-late report from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) on the effect of wind turbines on Ontario property values is nothing more than a self-serving exercise by bureaucrats to serve their government masters, says Wind Concerns Ontario.

President Jane Wilson, who consulted with real estate appraisers and finance professionals, commented that “the reality is, as anyone knows, no one wants to live near a wind turbine.  But the government doesn’t want the voting public to know more about the negative effects of what they’ve done with their wind power program. So, the bureaucrat assessors at MPAC took their time, and came up with the answer the government wants—no impact on value.”

Instead of using comparison to actual sales as real estate appraisers do, the assessment staff at MPAC used a mathematical methodology called multiple regression analysis. “Unlike actual comparisons to sales, this type of analysis can be manipulated to get the ‘right’ answer,” Wilson explains. “They left out sales before 2008, they only studied turbines of a certain size, and they completely excluded homes that have been abandoned and purchased by the wind power developers.”

The MPAC study also does not include properties that are listed for sale but never sell. “You can’t measure what didn’t happen,” Wilson adds.

The purpose of the study was to justify MPAC’s refusal to add wind power developments as a factor in assessing property value, although the corporation does factor in other less desirable features such as quarries, garbage dumps and other industrial facilities.

“Taxpayers paid for this study which will now doubtless be used by their own government against them, as they seek re-assessment of their properties, or even go to court for lost property value,” Wilson said.

Read more from WCO.

Bylaw sought for Noisy Turbines

NORFOLK – A movement is afoot that could ultimately force wind turbine companies to shut down some units after dark.

North Perth Coun. Warren Howard is touring Ontario building support for a common bylaw that would silence turbines after dark if they produce noise that is audible to residents nearby.

“The legal advice we have is we can enforce a `quiet night’ provision,” Howard told Norfolk council Tuesday. “Yes, we’ll be challenged. But the legal advice we have is we can win.”

The Liberals’ Green Energy Act stripped municipalities of planning authority in the area of renewable energy projects several years ago.

In a recent ruling, a court said that Wainfleet Township had over-stepped its authority by trying to establish a large setback for wind turbines. However, the judge also said municipalities have the right to pass bylaws on nuisance issues that affect residents’ quality of life.  Read rest of article here.

Enercon E-101 Turbines – Higher Sound Power Levels – Proof to MOE

Incomplete Response – EBR #012-0613
By Bonnie Tuson
 (documents following the letter)
Ms. Garcia-Wright,
Regrettably, I find myself in the position of having to write back yet again.  That is because most of the questions I asked in my email of January 8, 2013 were not addressed in your response to me (attached).  I have my also attached my email to you for you to re-read and consider as I am still expecting a response to those questions.
Specifically, I ask for an explanation regarding your earlier correspondence in which you indicated that the MOE would not be considering the documents sent to you regarding other wind developments that show a higher sound power level than what has been reported by the Niagara Region Wind Corporation (NRWC).  You stated that there are differences and I asked for an explanation as to what those differences are.  Neither of those questions was answered.  I also asked whether the MOE would also be dismissing the additional documents showing evidence of the higher sound power level as well but that was not answered either.
In your most recent letter (also attached), you indicate that the MOE requires the sound power levels be guaranteed by the manufacturer and that they be included in the Noise Study Report.  There is no such guarantee in this application yet the MOE saw fit to deem it complete.  Why is that?   We have provided you with a variety of documentation from other wind developments using this particular wind turbine as well as a document from Enercon itself demonstrating the higher sound power level. That Enercon documentation is not included in the NRWC application so I question how you can state that the MOE requires that it be included.  Clearly you did not require that.  Please provide an explanation for this oversight.  It seems very odd that the Enercon documentation that you claim you require is provided to you by residents of this community rather than the company making the application.
The only documentation in the NRWC report is for a 99m wind turbine which as you know, is much smaller than the wind turbine that is actually proposed for use.  In countless instances throughout the reports, the NRWC references wind turbines of 124m and 135m reports so I fail to understand why the height is not confirmed until the technical review.  Clearly, this presents a significant gap and I require an explanation as to why the MOE would choose to accept the application as complete.
You are already in receipt of 16 documents indicating that the sound power level of the Enercon E-101 is 106 dBA.  Recently, a resident of our community obtained the attached 4 documents directly from Enercon.  These documents once again raise the question of why the NRWC reports only a sound power level of 104.8.  The test report completed by Kotter Engineering Consultants does not represent the worst case scenario that is required by your ministry.   Regulations require that the 104.8 rating be rounded to 105.0 which is the nearest whole number and then the variance of +/-1 must be applied. Enercon’s own documents support that conclusion.  As mentioned in previous correspondence, research by residents of this community showed that only the NRWC claims that the sound power level is lower.   We found absolutely no data to support that claim.  NRWC reports show that even at 104.8, there are at least 10 non-participating receptors that will be subjected to a noise level of 40 dBA.  At the true sound power level of 106.0, there will be many receptors in excess of the permissible limits.  I would also like to point out that in a letter to a resident of this community, Mr. Steve Klose advised that the sound power level is an inherent property of a wind turbine.  It does not change.
Suspiciously, the NRWC application did not include the conversion sheet for wind turbines of the height that they propose to use nor did they include the attached Enercon data sheet for the E101.  The conversion sheet provided by Enercon shows that the 104.8 sound power level is achieved at only 2,859kw which of course, begs the question of what the power level is at 3 MW.  Also missing was the data sheet provided by Enercon that shows the reduced rated power modes for the E-101.  It clearly shows that at reduced power levels, the company cannot meet the 230 MW contract.  These documents are readily available from Enercon and MOE must explore the reasons that the NRWC did not include them.
You also failed to address my questions regarding the 3dBA variance.  Please review my earlier questions and supply an explanation.
My question regarding the claim of a 104.8 sound power level and the regulations requiring that it be rounded to the closest number was also not addressed.  Please provide an answer to that as well.
I appreciate that you have forwarded the German court case to Mr. Klose.  I will be expecting a reply from him.  As you may or may not know, Enercon is in the process of determining how to adapt their turbines based on this decision.
I am appalled and frightened at your statement that REA applications are “usually” conditional to an acoustic audit after the facility is constructed.  You indicate that the sound power levels will be checked post-construction to determine if they were suitable.  Is that not akin to “closing the barn door after the horse has bolted?”  Your comments in this regard do not support the MOE’s claims that applications are diligently reviewed to ensure that the health of Ontarian citizens is protected.   The MOE’s rather lackadaisical approach to approving is evidenced by testimony at several recent Environmental Review Tribunal(ERT) hearings.  At the recent ERT hearing for Armow Wind, one of your own supervisors (Heather Pollard) confirmed that the MOE has no expertise with health effects, that hundreds of noise complaints for wind developments in the area have been received and that the MOE does not shut down wind turbines in excess of the permissible limits following the acoustic audits you speak of.  At the ERT hearing for Wainfleet Wind Energy yesterday, another of your supervisors (Vic Shroeter) confirmed that in the absence of expertise regarding parachuting, he chose to approve the application. I’m sure you can understand why the public has no faith in the MOE’s claims of diligence or in the acoustic audits that you may or may not conduct post-construction.  Once again, I will remind you that Ontario has no experience with 3MW wind turbines and it is incumbent upon you to take any and all precautions with this application prior to approval.  That includes careful consideration of the documents supplied to you in respect of the other wind developments that utilize this size and type of wind turbine.
Please get back to me on both the questions that have not been answered as well as on the new questions and concerns raised.
Thank you.
Bonnie Tuson

 

Letter Response_Ms. Bonnie Tuson_Dated January 23, 2014 (2)

E-101 OM I KCE 213121-02.01_english_Extract (6)

E-101 OM I KCE 213121-02-02_english 135m

SIAS-04-SPL E-101 OM I 3050 kW Rev1_3-eng-eng (2)

SIAS-04-SPL E-101 Red Rev1_2-eng-eng (4)

Jan8MOE

Committed Citizens Can Change The World

people unitedTurbines Not As Benign As Promised            Susan Smith  Niagara This Week    January 14, 2014

It was recently found in the German Supreme Court that the Enercon Wind Turbines are performing much louder and with potentially greater harm to people than previously determined. The Enercon turbines, E82, height 124 meters and E101 height 135 meters (with blades 183.5 meters or 602 feet in height) are proposed for the 77 Industrial Wind Turbines in the Niagara Regional Wind Corporation Project in West Lincoln. These turbines are among the tallest in the world.

The World Health Organization guarantees that we should be able to live without the negative effects of noise which can interfere with communication, annoy our psychophysiological systems, effect our productivity and social behaviour and cause noise induced hearing impairment. Are we going to have such guarantees with the planned project in West Lincoln?

Children living and attending schools within the proposed wind turbine project will be exposed to low frequency noise, acoustic noise, mechanical noise and infrasound. Children with asthma, Asberger’s syndrome, epilepsy, bronchitis, autism, ADD, ADHD, CAP are more greatly affected by extraneous noise. These children may have more sleeplessness, headaches and jaw issues. It may be more difficult for them to comprehend in reading and process mathematics if turbine noise interferes with their learning.

Many of the children at non-participating homes will be close to the minimum 550 meters from a turbine. Host farmer children, according to information from the NRWC project, may be living much closer than 550 meters from an IWT. This will mean that host children may live in homes much closer to wind turbines than the current Ontario guidelines allow.

Read the rest of this excellent article here.

Bavarian Prime Minister Seehofer imposing 10 x h regulation for windturbines

Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer has put a halt to any further construction of “monster windmills”, as he calls them, in the German State of Bavaria. A new rule is to be imposed that all turbines must not be within a distance of 10 times the height of the turbine to an inhabited structure.  Two hundred metre model turbines will now have to be built at least 2km away. There are currently 600 wind turbines in Bavaria with plans to have 1500 built.  He has noted that in their new concept there will be significantly less built.  With this 10-H regulation, wind power in Bavaria will be dead, as was noted by Green leader Ludwig Hartmann.  And not a moment too soon.  Lucky Bavarians.  Maybe Prime Minister Seehofers’ counterpart here in Ontario, Premier Wynne, should see these articles and get inspired!

Sorry some of  these articles are in German, you will have to use Google translate.  Enjoy!

Prime Minister Seehofer slows the development of wind turbines after violent civil protests in Franconia.  http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/bayern/Windkraft-Zwangspause-veraergert-Teile-der-CSU-id28074622.html

Wind turbines should not come too close to houses.  http://www.br.de/nachrichten/windkraft-windraeder-seehofer-100.html

Adios Energiewende.  http://www.merkur-online.de/aktuelles/politik/seehofer-erlass-gegen-windkraft-3217052.html

Windpower blocked in Bavaria: Opponents feel vindicated. http://www.mainpost.de/regional/bayern/mosaik;art16683,7872996

CSU Stops expansion: Wind power in Bavaria on the brink: http://www.augsburger-allgemeine.de/bayern/CSU-stoppt-Ausbau-Windkraft-in-Bayern-auf-der-Kippe-id28313722.html

Seehofer wants to tighten spacing requirements.  http://translate.google.com/translate?depth=1&hl=en&prev=/search%3Fq%3DStromversorgung%2Bin%2BGefahr:%2BCSU%2Bwill%2Bschnellen%2BBau%2Bvon%2BErsatzkraftwerken%26nord%3D1%26biw%3D1680%26bih%3D904&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=de&u=http://www.zeit.de/wirtschaft/2014-01/energiewende-Bayern

Seehofer sabotages the Energiewende. http://www.newscron.com/render/1253798/72690177#.Us2xeCuEi70

By the end of the month Ilse Aigner wants to deliver a presentation as the new distance regulations for wind turbines are to be applied in practice.  This time they will probably coordinate closely with Seehoferhttp://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/energiestreit-in-der-csu-seehofers-schwierigste-mission-a-942515.html

Compensation is sought from blocked windturbines in Bavaria.  http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.mainpost.de/regional/bayern/Blockierte-Windraeder-Aiwanger-fordert-Entschaedigung%3Bart16683,7880267&prev=/search%3Fq%3DBlockierte%2BWindr%25C3%25A4der:%2BAiwanger%2Bfordert%2BEntsch%25C3%25A4digung%26nord%3D1%26biw%3D1680%26bih%3D904