For a world-beating renewable energy company to lose its chief financial officer may be regarded as a misfortune. For the company also to lose its chairman and two other board members, not to mention the heads of its divisions for research and development, offshore operations, control systems and investor relations, looks like carelessness.
If Oscar Wilde were alive today writing boardroom rather than drawing room comedies, he would find rich material in the comings and goings at Vestas, the Danish company that is the world’s leading supplier of wind turbines. Understandably, investors nursing a 90 per cent nosedive in the company’s share price since its August 2008 peak are less amused.
Tony Barber is the FT’s Europe Editor
“Why I Turned Against ‘Green’ Windpower” <<http://www.masterresource.org/2012/01/turned-against-windpower>>.
More reports about greed energy economics:
“Electricity Costs - The Folly of Wind power” <<http://www.civitas.org.uk/economy/electricitycosts2012.pdf>>.
A superior three part series about the economic (and otherwise) foolishness of wind and solar <<http://www.aei.org/policy/energy-and-the-environment/alternative-energy/>>.
A good commentary about the foolishness of wind subsidies <<http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2012/02/05/toppling_tax_dollars_for_turbines/page/full/>>.
“We need wind subsidies like we need VHS subsidies” is on the mark <<http://blog.heritage.org/2012/02/02/we-need-wind-subsidies-like-we-need-vhs-subsidies/>>.
Taxpayers take a hit subsidizing renewables <<http://nlpc.org/stories/2012/01/26/layoffs-bankruptcies-epidemic-gov%E2%80%99t-subsidies-industry-aka-renewables>>.
A wonderful, must read article about wind energy <<http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/01/20/against-the-wind-the-pursuit-of-clean-energy-has-relegated-ordinary-people-to-the-status-of-collateral-damage/>>.
Redefining green jobs <<http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/24/opinion/contributors/time-to-redefine-green-jobs-in-community-context/>>.
Over 100 British lawmakers formally object to wind energy <<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9061997/101-Tories-revolt-over-wind-farms.html>>. Here is there letter (of course it actually applies even more to offshore, which is far more expensive) <<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9061554/Full-letter-from-MPs-to-David-Cameron-on-wind-power-subsidies.html>>.
India To End a Tax Break for Wind Energy <<http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-17/india-may-end-tax-break-for-wind-farms-this-year-official-says.html>>.
Bonneville Power agrees to pay wind developers for electricity not received <<http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/02/bonneville_power_administratio_3.html>>.
If Germany goes through with their foolish plan to phase out nuclear energy, this independent report concludes that it will cost them over Two Trillion dollars <<http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/17/us-siemens-energy-idUSTRE80G10920120117>>. Speaking of nuclear, please read this three part series (written by high school students!) <<http://www.gonuclear.net/blog/01062012-1042pm/lifting-veil-nuclear-paranoia-part-3>>.
More reports about turbine health matters:
Superior article about the origins of turbine setbacks <<http://www.masterresource.org/2012/01/wind-ordinance-offset-debate/>>.
A good film with Dr. McMurty re turbine health consequences <<http://www.windtaskforce.org/video/video/show?id=4401701%3AVideo%3A35891&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_video>>.
Misc energy reports:
A massive critique of Germany’s failing energy policies by a PhD insider <<http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Bilder_Dateien/Keil_Energiewende_gescheitert/2012_01_09_EIKE_Germa_energy_turnaround_english.pdf>>.
Vestas reports on massive layoffs <<http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-12/vestas-to-cut-2-335-jobs-worldwide-more-at-risk-in-u-s-this-year.html>>.
“Could Nuclear Power Solve Global Warming: the Affirmative Case” is an interesting technical paper in a peer-reviewed journal <<http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/01/14/nuclear-solve-greenhouse/>>.
This was written to supplement another good paper (different author) “Could Renewables Solve Global Warming: the Negative Case” <<http://www.notechmagazine.com/2011/05/can-renewables-power-consumer-societies.html>>
“Charles Manson Energy Butchery” (about turbine wildlife kills) <<http://www.masterresource.org/2012/01/killer-energy-wind/>>.
“Environmental Radicals: Go Home” <<http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kathryn-marshall/joe-oliver-letter_b_1195805.html>>. This is an interesting dustup where a government official is taking on environmentalists <<http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/news-release/2012/1/3520>>.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture speaks out againts wind energy <<http://www.ofa.on.ca/uploads/userfiles/files/ofa%20position%20statement%20on%20industrial%20wind%20turbines.pdf>>.
A fine article about an Australian wind project <<http://papundits.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/wind-power-australia-the-musselroe-wind-farm-travesty-in-tasmania/>>.
“EPA’s Sustainability Gambit “ <<http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/epas-sustainability-gambit/>>.
Three good new reviews about WindFall, including one by Roger Ebert <<http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20120201/REVIEWS/120209994>>, <<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/j-michael-welton/windfall-documentary-laura-israel_b_1246824.html>> and <<http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-02-01/film/windfall-film-review/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+articles%2Ffilm+%28Village+Voice+Film%29>>.
A good article about ABC’s position on turbine bird kills <<http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/110202.html>>.
America is getting close to energy independence, and it has nothing to do with wind energy <<http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-07/americans-gaining-energy-independence-with-u-s-as-top-producer.html>>.
“Offshore turbines ‘will pose a threat to nuclear subs fleet’” <<http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/offshore_turbines_will_pose_a_threat_to_nuclear_subs_fleet_1_2099457>>
Some recent global warming articles of interest —
“How Green Zealots Are Destroying the Planet” <<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096277/Global-warming-James-Delingpole-claims-green-zealots-destroying-planet.html>>.
Germany’s top environmentalist turns skeptic is a significant development. See <<http://thegwpf.org/best-of-blogs/4867-germanys-top-environmentalist-turns-climate-sceptic.html>> and <<http://tinyurl.com/76nc5wn>>.
“Global Warming? No Natural Predictable Change” <<http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/01/10/global-warming-no-natural-predictable-climate-change/>>.
“How To Think Seriously About The Planet “ <<http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/green-philosophy-how-to-think-seriously-about-the-planet-by-roger-scruton-6288591.html?printService=print>>.
Some superior testimony from experts about AGW <<http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=612>>.
Global Warming — here is the take by 16 scientists <<http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop>>.
Please pass this information on to other open-minded, science-oriented people. If anyone would like to be added to or removed from the email list, please let me know.
Thank you for your support.
john droz, jr.
physicist & environmental advocate
Fellow: American Tradition Institute (<<http://www.atinstitute.org/>>)
Mr. Richard Sullivan, Jr.
Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
State of Massachusetts
Mr. Mark Sylvia
Department of Energy Resources
Mr. Kenneth Kimmell
Department of Environmental Protection
February 8, 2012
Evaluation of Probable Detriments to "Community Morale" from Wind Turbine Noise from the New Generation Wind Project in Bourne
Conclusion: Wind Turbines Improve Morale Among Developers: Residents and Communities Sue
State of Massachussetts Officials to Residents Living in Close Proximity to Wind Turbines (including Bourne): "The beatings will continue until morale improves!"
Dear Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Sylvia and Mr. Kimmell,
As you know, the three of you are all signatories -- in your official capacities -- to a letter to the Cape Cod Commission in which you insist that there is no basis for concern about any "Probable Detriments" from the project, including any detrimental impact to "Community Morale."
As you are also aware, it is your official position that there is "no evidence" of harm from wind turbine noise, notwithstanding the recent halt in operations for two wind turbines (smaller models than those contemplated by NGW) in Falmouth, MA, the Town that Does Not Exist.
But I wondered if you were aware that there are various lawsuits raging around the country -- and around the world -- in which residents in locations too numerous to count -- the plaintiffs -- have expressed their extreme distress over the installation of industrial wind turbines in their own communities.
As proof, I invite you to perform the same internet search that I just conducted to investigate this phenomenon. Open your browser and type in the words "wind turbine lawsuit." This simple exercise returned 1,530,000 results when I performed it.
Let me spell that out for you: ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY THOUSAND results to the query: "wind turbine lawsuits."
Here are just a few entries for your consideration, appended to this letter, which you may wish to add to your file marked "Not Evidence of Harm from Wind Turbine Noise."
I apologize, in advance, for not having provided you with all one million five hundred thousand examples of the soaring "community morale" of residents worldwide when the wind turbines were installed in their home towns. I was afraid of overwhelming your prodigious file of "Not Evidence of Harm" -- even though it seems to have an infinite capacity for "not evidence."
This site may harm your computer.
Oct 25, 2010 – Big “Wind Turbine Syndrome” lawsuit (Michigan). “In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege . . . physical harm and adverse health effects, including the ...
Nov 24, 2011 – A mid-December court date in a lawsuit that aims to stop the construction of a massive wind farm in Osage County will be for a trial on the merits ...
3 posts - Nov 15, 2011
FAIRHAVEN — Neighbors opposed to the siting of two 262-foot wind turbines off Arsene Street vowed Monday to file suit to stop the project.
Jun 26, 2010 – Environmental groups filed suit Friday in federal district court arguing that the nation's first offshore wind energy project violates the Endangered ...
Sep 21, 2011 – TORONTO - A southwestern Ontario family is suing over a wind farm they claim is damaging their health.The Michaud family of Thamesville ...
Dec 18, 2011 – A large number of eagles are active around the footprint of a controversial wind farm under development in Goodhue County, according to a ...
Jan 11, 2012 – CEDAR RAPIDS - A man injured in a 60-foot fall while working on a wind turbine in November 2009 in.
|www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtdNxlOiawcSep 17, 2010 - 9 min - Uploaded by windactionontario
Ian Hanna explains his legal challenge against the Ontario Government to a large group in Clinton, Ontario ...
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|www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCDBgQLqSVkSep 17, 2010 - 13 min - Uploaded by windactionontario
Ian Hanna explains his legal challenge against the Ontario Government to a large group in Clinton, Ontario ...
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(Smallwood, 2010,. Fatality Rates in the. Altamont Pass Wind. Turbine Resource continued on page 3. Settlement of Altamont Pass. Wind Turbines Lawsuit. P h ...
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by BT Brown - Cited by 24 - Related articles
Several environmental groups have filed lawsuits throughout the country criticizing the aesthetic and environmental impact of wind turbines. In addition to ...
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|www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN41hEb4uxEApr 27, 2011 - 2 min - Uploaded by kccitv
Lawsuits Filed Against Wind Energy Companies ... Ontario Ian Hanna Wind Turbine Lawsuit: Part 1by ...
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|www.youtube.com/watch?v=573egElJsmkOct 24, 2008 - 3 min - Uploaded by zifflawfirm
Add to. Ontario Ian Hanna Wind Turbine Lawsuit: Part 1by windactionontario691 views; Thumbnail 16:55. Add ...
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|www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCDBgQLqSVkSep 17, 2010 - 13 min - Uploaded by windactionontario
Ian Hanna explains his legal challenge against the Ontario Government to a large group in Clinton, Ontario ...
► 2:11► 2:11
|www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAujHlUfiqAAug 12, 2010 - 2 min - Uploaded by ABCActionNews
A New Port Richey man's efforts to go green have some seeing red.
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for Biological Diversity had sued the wind farm operators and not the state officials who permitted the project, the court affirmed the suit's dismissal. Id. 4.
By Stephen E Ambrose
Stephen Ambrose is a Board Certified Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineers (INCE) with over 35 years’ experience investigating man-made problems in environmental sound and industrial noise control.
I am respectfully writing in response to the letter by Gordon L. Deane; “Misinformation has undue influence in turbine debate” of February 2, 2012 for the SouthCoastToday.com. I have a question; how did he get himself in such an awkward position? His engineers should have foreseen and advised that there would be an adverse public response to wind turbine noise. There are published documents that would have clearly shown neighbors’ seeking relief with appeals for legal action.
My profession as INCE member requires that I honor and obey “Canons of Ethics”. 1) Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. 2) Provide services only in areas of competence. 3) Issue public statements in an objective and truthful manner. And there are more. These Canons of Ethics are identical to those required by states for licensed professional engineers.
So many public complaints about wind turbines caused me to wonder why my fellow professionals were not following the principal of the first Canon. This apparent omission prompted me to take an active interest in wind turbine noise. Why are so many neighbors complaining about living near industrial wind turbines? Why are government agencies not doing more to protect the public? There should be more professionals seeking answers.
The second Canon requires that I become competent in wind turbine noise. I now have more than two years’ experience investigating wind turbines with another acoustic professional; Robert W. Rand, also an INCE Member. We each have more than 30 years’ experience working in our areas of expertise, and many of those years working in the Boston office for Stone & Webster Engineering. What we learned there working on large power station projects, was to first determine the sensitivity of nearby neighbors to changes to their acoustic environment using published US EPA methods. Then a noise level criterion was developed for the proposed facility and feasibility determined based on cost-effective noise controls. Sometimes the costs were too great or there were no cost-effective solutions.
The third Canon prompted this letter to inform the public with this brief statement. Why have many wind turbine sites produced such visceral noise complaints? Why have my fellow professionals deferred investigating first-hand for themselves: that is to live as or with a neighbor as we have?
We all should view wind turbine neighbors as representatives of the proverbial canary in the mine. Instead, the neighbor is accused of not being truthful, should be ignored and thereby isolated from consideration. However this is not working, complaints are constantly increasing, including the abandonment of homes. People near large wind turbines are so debilitated that they have taken extreme measures to save their well-being.
Why have only a few environmental noise and public health professionals recognized there is a serious noise problem? The wind turbine industry has enlisted like-minded experts from academia and government agencies to support their goals. Their research is confined to only peer-reviewed documents and panel discussions. They have dismissed the obvious. The neighbors continue to ask that their destroyed lives be peer-reviewed. This leads back to the first Canon: Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public. --
Stephen E. Ambrose, INCE, Bd.Cert.
Acoustics, Environmental Sound and Industrial Noise
SE Ambrose '& Associates
February 02, 2012'February 02, 2012 11:11 AM
Editor's note: Louise Barteau is a gardening correspondent for the Advocate, specializing in native plants. This column reflects her views and is not meant to represent the opinion of the Advocate.
By Louise Batreau
This past Saturday I took myself on a turbine tour. The first stop was Gardner where turbines are located at the local prison and on the grounds of Mt. Wachusett Community College. The first thing I noticed at the North Central Correction Facility was that the turbines were not spinning. The second thing I noticed was how close the turbines are to the prison yard and the parking lot. The turbines dominated the parking lot, but it wasn't until I took a photo of someone standing at the base of the turbine, that I really understood how big they are.
When change of shift started, I had the chance to ask why they weren't operating. I was told that they had originally intended that the energy from the turbines would power the prison itself but due to the aging electrical infrastructure of the prison, it was determined that if they hooked them up "the prison would burn to the ground."
A new $1.7 million transfer station was going to have to be built in order for the two turbines to become operational. I asked whether they were worried about ice fling into the prison yard. They told me that the turbines had to be 500 feet apart to prevent ice fling from one turbine to the other, but that there was no concern about ice fling in the parking lot or in the yard. One guard commented that "they don't care about our safety."
The two turbines at Mt. Wachusett Community College were spinning in light winds. As I approached the two turbines, the noise was fairly quiet, but the strobing "flicker" shadows were very intense. I had to turn my head away from the effect. The turning blades made the sound often described as a swooshing noise.
There are signs around the base of the turbine warning of ice and snow danger but being a Saturday, there was very little traffic either at the college or the courthouse, which is the nearest building to the turbines.
I stayed for about 15 minutes and realized that if you visit a turbine in light winds, they don't sound very loud. I also noticed that the sound really changes as you walk around. Some places the sound almost disappears and in other places it seems much more noticeable. Directly under the turbines is actually quieter than standing in a spot about 25 feet away from the base. As I left, I noticed I had a slight headache that disappeared in about 10 minutes.
The 1.5 megawatt turbine on the school grounds at Templeton was spinning. Here is a link to photos of its construction. This turbine seemed noisier to me. It produced a high tone, more grinding gear noises, the swooshing noises of the turning blades, and another sound I couldn't quite describe. This turbine was placed on the athletic fields behind the school. It was Saturday, and there was no one on the school grounds to talk to.
I knocked on the door of one of the homes in a neighborhood nearby. I introduced myself as being from a town that was about to erect two similar turbines and asked what it was like living so close to the turbine. The homeowner was very willing to share that they were "not big fans" of the turbine. They were told by the town and their consultants that they wouldn't be bothered by the turbine, but they were experiencing noise, flicker, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and concern about the loss of the value of their home.
Some of their neighbors had also expressed similar concerns. While we talked in the driveway, the wind came up, and for the first time I heard the noise that is described as a jet engine that never takes off. It was really, really loud and I began to get some sense of what it might be like to live there. The homeowner shared that they felt pretty isolated and that they did not know what to do or who to turn to.
The last stop of the night was an informational forum in Shelburne Falls. Annie Hart Cool from Falmouth shared her experiences living in close proximity to turbines with a powerpoint presentation and Neil Anderson, also from Falmouth, made himself available for questions.
The main presentation came from Dr. Nina Pierpont, author of the book Wind Turbine Syndrome, who presented her work and answered questions via Skype. I had read her book, but this was the first time I had heard her speak. She spent some time addressing her concerns with the recent Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection/Department of Public Health report and then made herself available for questions.
Shelburne Falls, like many towns in Massachusetts, is struggling with the questions of adverse health effects and environmental concerns that are swirling around industrial wind turbines. Truly open forums such as these are one way for citizens to hear information that helps them to make appropriate decisions as a community.
I took this tour because I wanted to see and hear turbines in operation. And I wanted to ask someone who lives within 1,000 feet from a turbine what they were experiencing. I learned that if you visit a turbine on a day with light winds you might come away with the impression that they are not that loud. If I had stopped my tour at Mt. Wachusett Community College, I myself might have felt that the noise was tolerable. But a 15-minute visit is very different from living near turbines 24/7. The audible noise changes dramatically with wind speed and direction, as well as the size of the turbines and the noise of the surroundings. The flicker effect was instantly oppressive and even 10 minutes of it was difficult to tolerate. But it was the conversation I had with the young homeowner in Templeton that convinced me that we should continue to be concerned about residences and town workers being in such close proximity to the imminent Little Bay wind turbines in Fairhaven.
I'll admit I have a bias. I tend to believe the experiences of people actually living near wind turbines rather than the "model" projections of the wind developers wishing to construct them. I give more weight to Dr. Pierpont's testimony because she has interviewed and studied families who have experienced a troubling constellation of symptoms that appeared after turbines went up near their homes. I admit to being troubled by the opinion of Dr. McCunney, who, by his own admission at the Fairhaven forum, has never interviewed or examined anyone who suffers these adverse health effects, preferring to draw all of his conclusions through the review of literature. And I admit to being impressed by a town like Shelburne Falls, which is proactively trying to hear all sides of the wind turbine story, instead of trying to limit the information that its citizens hear.
Recently I heard the Little Bay project described as a project for the public good. But the more homework I do, the more I question who this project is benefiting beside the developers. There are difficult and legitimate questions being asked all over the world about the true costs of wind energy. These questions are powerfully stated in an interview posted with Dave Umling, currently the city planner for Cumberland, MD, and author of the book Lifestyle Lost, in which he describes how his own research into wind power has left him with more questions than answers.
He asks, as we all should be asking, "Is this form of wind energy cost-effective? Do we fully understand the environmental impacts of wind, including reduced forest cover on sensitive ridgelines, rare earth mineral mining, and migratory bird and bat kills?"
The full interview with Mr. Umling is available at: http://alleghenytreasures.com/ in the entries for Jan. 30, 2012.
I don't claim to know the answers to all of his questions, but I am committed to discovering the whole story, not just the one Fairhaven Wind LLC wants me to hear.
Louise Barteau is an occasional writer, artist, and papermaker who lives in Fairhaven. Her studio is located at the Fairhaven Business Bays at Arsene Street. which, along with the Fairhaven Department of Public Works, is located about 500 feet from the closest turbine site in Little Bay.
"Windfall" left me disheartened. I thought wind energy was something I could believe in. This film suggests it's just another corporate flim-flam game. Of course, the documentary could be mistaken, and there are no doubt platoons of lawyers, lobbyists and publicists to say so. How many of them live on wind farms?---Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert (review "windfall" a movie about a wind farm near houses)
Windfall movie review
BY ROGER EBERT / February 1, 2012
Driving from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, you pass through a desert terrain in which a new species has taken hold. Wind turbines grow row upon row, their blades turning busily as they generate electricity and pump it into the veins of the national grid. This wind farm is a good thing, yes? I've always assumed so, and driven on without much thought.
A documentary named "Windfall" has taken the wind out of my sails. Assuming it can be trusted (and many of its claims seem self-evident), wind turbines are a blight upon the land and yet another device by which energy corporations and Wall Street, led by the always reliable Goldman Sachs, are picking the pockets of those who can least afford it. There is even some question whether wind energy uses more power than it generates.
Director Laura Israel's film is set almost entirely in Meredith, N.Y., a farming area of some 2,000 people in a beautiful Catskills landscape. A few dairy and beef farms still survive, but many of the residents are now retired people who have come here with their dreams. Most of them were once "of course" in favor of wind power, which offered the hope of clean, cheap energy. When an Irish corporation named Airtricity came around offering land owners $5,000, neighbors $500 apiece and the town a 2 percent cut of the revenue, that was a win-win, right?
So it appeared. But some residents, including a former editor for an encyclopedia and the final photo editor of Life magazine, began doing some research. The town board set up an energy advisory panel, and after a year of study, it recommended the town refuse the Airtricity offer. The town board rejected the panel's finding. One of them recused himself because of his personal holdings in energy. The others saw no conflict.
This generated a furor in Meredith, and we meet people who were best friends for years and now were no longer on speaking terms. We watch board meetings and meet lots of locals; the film bypasses the usual expert talking heads and relies on the personal experiences of these individuals.
I learned that wind turbines are unimaginably larger than I thought. It's not a matter of having a cute little windmill in your backyard. A turbine is 400 feet tall, weighs 600,000 pounds, and is rooted in tons and tons of poured concrete. If one is nearby (and given the necessary density, one is always nearby), it generates a relentless low-frequency thrum-thrum-thrum that seems to emanate from the very walls of your home. The dark revolving shadows of its blades are cast for miles, and cause a rhythmic light-and-shade pulsing inside and outside your house. Living in an area with all that going, many people have developed headaches, nausea, depression and hypertension.
The effect on property values is devastating. The owner of a lovely restored 19th century farmhouse asks — who will buy it now? People don't come to the Catskills to undergo nonstop mental torture. Nor do other living things like wind turbines. Their blades, revolving at 150 miles an hour, slice birds into pieces and create low-pressure areas that cause the lungs of bats to explode.
For the loss of its peace of mind, a community's cut of the profits may be enough to pay for a pickup truck. Tax revenue drops because many of those (who can afford to) flee. Turbines sometimes topple over or catch fire (all firemen can do is stand and watch). And of course the local taxing agencies have been required to take advantage of sweetheart state and federal tax cuts, promoted by the industry's lobbyists.
"Windfall" left me disheartened. I thought wind energy was something I could believe in. This film suggests it's just another corporate flim-flam game. Of course, the documentary could be mistaken, and there are no doubt platoons of lawyers, lobbyists and publicists to say so. How many of them live on wind farms?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [corrected]
January 31, 2012
In An Appearance Today with Mindy Todd on WCAI's The Point the Senator also Commented on the WESRA Bill
Contact: Malcolm Donald 508.566.5830 or MD@Zefarus.com
Woods Hole, MA - Senate President Therese Murray said "Falmouth's industrial wind turbines are too close [to residents]".
Senator Murray also explained her turn-around on WESRA [Wind Energy Siting Reform Act] which died on Beacon Hill.
"The Point: Senate President Therese Murray"
Listen at 14:04 WESRA and 15:00 WESRA Siting and 15:20 Falmouth 16:00
WCAI can be found at: http://www.wgbh.org/wcai 508.548.9600
I have wasted a perfectly good day reading the Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel January 2012, prepared for the state departments of Environmental Protection and Public Health.
I have to start by questioning the very title. Only two of the members have any experience with wind turbines. The two (Manwell and Mills) that have wind experience are both pre-disposed to find against adverse health effects. Mills has already testified in 2009 that according to previous literature searches she performed while employed as a public health official of Maine, she found no link to adverse health affects with turbines. So we know she didn't have an open mind.
Manwell runs the UMass Amherst Wind Energy Center, which studies and promotes the use of wind turbines. So he is also pre-disposed to find no problems with wind turbines. His academic reputation and funding depend on the wind industry and funding from the state. Hmm.
We all know what this is called: Stacking the deck.
I did notice with interest that the panel included in the bibliography the Philips article from the August 2011 Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society. I know they must not have had too much time to read it, because the Philips article argues convincingly that the omission of thousands upon thousands of adverse event reports from citizens affected by proximity to wind turbines is not only indefensible scientifically but dishonest and immoral to boot.
Adverse event reporting is how new diseases become identified. So ruling out first-hand self-reported health, social and economic events that occur after the arrival of wind turbines in communities across the world, basically prevents any true investigation from taking place.
You notice I use the term "true" investigation. That's the next problem. No one in most local governments and certainly not the wind developers have created and carried out such a study, despite problems being reported by ordinary citizens all over the world.
So if I understand this whole situation correctly, the report from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts did not look at or include adverse citizen reports of symptoms from Falmouth, and then found no evidence of adverse health effects because they didn't include the data that would form the basis of any claim to the contrary.
That doesn't seem right to me.
What if we had collected the evidence from Falmouth residents? Why didn't the panel gather the event reports, interview and perform tests such as EKG's and EEG's from Falmouth residents while they were experiencing symptoms in their homes. Those results could have been correlated with the results of turbine and wind speeds, noise levels and infrasound data. That's what the citizens of Falmouth asked for from the town, the developers and the state.
Instead, the state picked a secret panel that met a total of three times. They only reviewed literature and further seem to have been pretty selective about what they reviewed. The Philips article is just one of the articles in the August 2011 Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, yet the entire issue is devoted to the problems with wind turbines, noise (including infrasound), public health and social justice. But for some reason they only looked at the Philips article. Why not also look at the articles written by Bronzaft, Krogh, Shain or Thorne?
Not once was the suggestion ever made that perhaps the evidence of adverse health effects could and should be looked at in a cumulative way. Yes, perhaps one study has its limitations, but put that study in context of other studies and, well, just think if the "study" had included adverse health events and testimony from the good citizens of Falmouth; it might have been hard for the panel to come to the conclusions it did.
I think we should be clear that we are asking a small part of the Fairhaven community to bear the potential health, economic and social costs for the presumed, although as yet also unproven, good of the greater Fairhaven community. I don't think that's fair. Shouldn't the state and wind industry be required to prove that wind turbines are not harmful to neighbors, not demanding that neighbors prove to DEP and DPH that they are being harmed, as in the case in Falmouth? They should also be required to indemnify neighbors to turbines from health harm, property value loss, safety concerns, etc., and guarantee to compensate neighbors should anything adverse happen to them from the turbines.
And I certainly don't think this report proves anything. All this report has done has insulted the intelligence of anyone who has done their homework, and the integrity of anyone who has reported health symptoms from proximity to wind turbines. I guess that's why citizens from Falmouth went to the Statehouse this week to complain about the so-called "study". I wish I had gone with them.
Ascousticians Confirm performed a rigorous study of the low frequency noise produced by a wind turbine in Falmouht, MA
By Jim Cummings, Acoustic Ecology Institute | February 22, 2011
The wind industry needs to be more proactive about addressing community noise standards.
In recent years, we've seen a surge of noise complaints, troubling annoyance-level surveys, and widespread fear of new wind development.
Though sound levels of 45-50dB have been taken in stride by many, even most, places where early industrial wind development took place, it’s becoming apparent that for some types of communities, sound levels of even 40dB are triggering high levels of community push-back.
The industry’s first responses to this emerging problem have been counterproductive: discounting the prevalence of complaints, vilifying acousticians seeking to understand the shift, and most fundamentally, insisting to county commissions nationwide that “widely accepted” community noise standards that have worked elsewhere are applicable everywhere.
It’s high time that forward-looking industry insiders take the lead in forging a more flexible, collaborative relationship with communities, acknowledging that the noise tolerance we are used to is not universal: some rural regions are far less amenable to moderate, yet easily audible, turbine noise. Companies that accept this fact — rather than ignoring or fighting it — will build corporate reputations that could make them the go-to developers across much of rural America.
A few tidbits highlight just how counterproductive the current entrenched “everything is fine” stance has become. In many places, developers have been reduced to spending time and money arguing about whether sound levels monitored at 1-3db above regulatory limits (imperceptible to barely perceptible differences) are caused by turbine noise or ambient noise. We can’t accept or imagine that the problems are rooted in a regulatory limit that may be 10dB too high for local tolerance.
The exceedingly unusual situation in Mars Hill, Maine — where a low ridge shelters many homes within 1200-3000 feet, combined with an exemption allowing noise to 50dB — has become a public-relations disaster. It’s the Altamont of noise issues: a real outlier with its high proportion of nearby residents complaining of noise intrusions and health effects, yet fueling the perception and fear that this is how all wind farms are. Even in “wind-friendly” Europe, the EWEA says that 40% of projects end up in court, with another 30% slowed by local opposition.
If our current approach to siting is supposedly fine, why the widespread resistance?
Many still insist that noise issues are not widespread, a simple case of vocal malcontents. But the few solid surveys that have tracked community response to wind farm noise paint a more troubling picture.
Even the widely-cited Pederson-Waye-van den Berg work from Scandinavia, when vetted to tease out the rural responses from mixed rural-suburban studies, suggests rural annoyance rates of 25% as noise passes 40dB, and 40% at 45dB. (For an overview of the analysis, you can watch this webinar I did last summer, or take a look at this presentation).
Chris Bajdek, in a 2007 paper aimed at helping the industry alleviate noise fears, suggests that 44% of those within about 1900 feet of a typical wind farm would be “highly annoyed,” and that only as sound drops below 40db (at around a half mile), will annoyance drop substantially. He cites a survey from Wisconsin that found similar results, with about 50% of respondents living with in a half mile saying noise is a problem; over a third of those between a quarter and half mile had been awakened by turbines.
While community noise standards never aim to eliminate negative impacts, few would suggest that disrupting a third to half of the nearby population is an acceptable goal. It’s become clear, in both experience and the literature, that modern turbines trigger adverse reactions at lower sound levels than other community noise sources.
A growing number of acoustics professionals have been proactively seeking answers to why this may be, some looking at characteristics of turbine noise for clues, and others at psychoacoustics and rural “place identity.” These researchers appear to be coalescing around recommended wind farm noise standards of 30-35dB, which do in fact come closer to the familiar goal of keeping new noise intrusions to within 5-10dB of existing ambient conditions (rural night ambient is often around 25dB, even when winds aloft trigger turbines into action).
Unfortunately, this work has been relentlessly attacked by many in the industry, despite the fact that these more cautionary acousticians aren’t activist yahoos, but longtime industrial and military consultants with decades in the field of noise control. It’s time to step back from stubborn “lines in the sand” and really assess what they’re finding.
Though some noise issues had cropped up by 2000, and were increasingly a topic of concern by the middle of the decade, George Kamperman and Rick James brought these early observations together and put their reputations on the line with their 2008 “How-to Guide” for wind siting.
Paul Schomer, Director of noise standards for the Acoustical Society of America and Chair of several US and ISO noise committees, has been on the forefront of identifying more effective protocols for assessing pre-existing ambient noise in rural areas. Malcolm Swinbanks, an international figure in infrasound and low-frequency noise, has detailed the ways that turbine sound spectrums, which are heavily weighted with complex low frequency and infrasonic components, will often be perceptible well below the levels suggested by pure-tone perception curves.
Robert Thorne, in New Zealand, has focused his research on the effects of moderate noise, stressing that dB levels are not the only (or even the primary) driver of negative community responses.
Rob Rand has recently pointed out that the EPA's 1974 "Normalized Ldn" method of community response prediction (which adds adjustments for very rural areas and new noise sources) suggest the likelihood of “Widespread Complaints” in rural areas experiencing turbine noise at 35dBA; at 45 dBA, the predicted community reaction is "Vigorous Community Action."
And everyone’s favorite lightning rod (for both praise and vilification), Rick James, has done extensive field work at locations where noise complaints have arisen, finding complex and highly modulated infrasound components (often 30-40dB of modulation, several times per second, peaking to 90dB in the lowest frequencies), as well as audible “blade swish” at much higher than normal levels (up to 10-13db). All this work is ongoing, offers useful tools for analysis, and deserves more than the facile brush-offs it often receives.
While there clearly are communities where 50dB has been accepted, there are just as clearly others where 40dB has been problematic. Thorne and Pederson suggest that rural “amenity” or “place identity” may offer some clues: in some rural areas (perhaps where most land is under cultivation, as in Iowa), turbine noise is considered insignificant, while in others (perhaps where there are more small woods and open fields in hay, along with more non-farming residents), any clearly audible noise intrusions, especially at night, can be problematic.
The apparent fact is that “widely accepted” community noise standards of 45-50dB are not applicable everywhere; those companies that begin working with these differences will be rewarded by community acceptance and eased permitting. Despite protestations to the contrary, it’s clear that lower noise standards (or the accompanying larger setbacks) won’t kill the US or Canadian wind industries, especially when combined with provisions for waivers when neighbors agree to closer siting. Look at Oregon, with its effective 36dB limit, which is in the midst of a wind boom.
A few years back, the Alberta oil and gas industry went through a similar transformation, when coalbed methane compressors became the first 24/7 noise source in rural areas that were well-accustomed to the industry’s presence. At first, companies were caught by surprise at the complaints. Then, most aimed to do the least noise-control necessary to meet the province’s noise standard; slightly faulty noise models led to many costly retrofits. But eventually, some companies became proactive and committed to always using state-of-the-art noise control enclosures from the start.
The added costs, though significant, paid off when concerned locals could visit nearby installations that truly did keep noise at minimal, usually inaudible, levels at homes. These companies found themselves able to move new projects forward with much less local resistance.
This is where we are with wind farm noise. It’s time to get creative, and become constructive citizens by working with, rather than against, regional differences in how communities define the local quality of life.
Author Jim Cummings can be contacted at the Acoustic Ecology Institute. He is attending the AWEA Project Siting Workshop in Kansas City next week, where he looks forward to meeting other attendees, and sharing some friendly discussions and exasperated responses to these themes.
Comment: You think Europeans with lots of experience with Wind Turbines would lov’em…Think again! And these are going to ONE MILE Away!!!!
“But if the Dutch can't learn to love wind power, what hope is there for the world to adopt it as a major energy source?”
By ARTHUR MAX
The Associated Press
Monday, February 14, 2011; 5:36 AM
URK, Netherlands -- On an outcrop near this town's lighthouse, a woman in stone perpetually scans the horizon for the fishing fleet returning home. To the dismay of townspeople, her view may soon be obscured by some of the world's tallest wind turbines.
In this eco-friendly nation where windmills are embedded in the culture, it may seem strange that a spat over wind power threatens to land in the country's highest court.
But these turbines are a far cry from the squat four-bladed mills used for centuries to drain the swamps and create new land from the sea. They are giants, with gray metallic blades that will scrape the clouds at 650 feet (about 200 meters) - and residents say they'll destroy a way of life.
"They are the highest buildings in Holland," says Leen van Loosen, Urk's undertaker who is campaigning to stop the project. "It's just crazy."
As wind turbines sprout up across Europe - and increasingly off its coastlines - tussles between energy developers and local opponents are increasingly common. In the United States, too, wind farm proposals often face determined defiance, most famously the Cape Wind project off Cape Cod that took 10 years to win approval.
But with oil prices again toying with $100 a barrel and global concerns mounting over climate change, electricity from wind, solar, biogas and other renewables is seen by many as the long-term answer to energy security, pollution and curbing greenhouse gases.
Among those emerging resources, wind is the cheapest and its technology well developed.
Last year alone nearly 10,000 megawatts of wind power capacity was installed in the European Union, lifting the EU's total to 84,000 megawatts, or nearly 10 percent of the EU's power generation, the European Wind Energy Association said in a report this month. Worldwide, wind capacity grew by nearly 36,000 megawatts last year, or 22.5 percent - nearly half of it in China, said the Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council.
But if the Dutch can't learn to love wind power, what hope is there for the world to adopt it as a major energy source?
"In Holland, there's hardly any project that doesn't get delayed," said Michiel Muller, the wind unit manager of Ecofys, a research and consultancy firm on sustainable energy, who is not connected with the Urk project.
Across Europe, each installation faces a slew of hurdles, starting from the required Environmental Impact Assessment to regulatory approvals by often more than a dozen authorities. It takes an average of 55 months to wade through the bureaucratic tangle before work can begin, the wind energy association said.
Of some 200 wind energy projects studied in 2007-8 in Europe, 40 percent were ensnared in lawsuits, and 30 percent more faced slowdowns because of local resistance or questioning from nonprofit environmental groups, the association said. It had no figures on how many projects were killed before they got started.
With 430 megawatts of capacity, the wind park near Urk, population 18,000, would provide enough electricity for 400,000 homes and rank among Europe's largest. It would help the Netherlands as it races to catch up with the stiff target set by the European Union to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The Dutch now have a capacity of 2,237 megawatts from wind - far short of its 12,000 megawatt national target for 2020.
The 86 turbines are to be erected in three rows, 38 on land and 48 off shore. The first will be one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the statue of the fisherman's wife, a 1986 monument on the north side of town that is encircled by plaques with the names of hundreds of Urk's fishermen lost at sea since 1717.
Residents cite a long litany of dangers from the wind park. Fishing and tourism will suffer, they say. The tranquil panorama of the local lake will be disrupted, the town will tremble with the constant rumbling noise of blades, birds will be traumatized, and the whole project could undermine a dike slated to host turbines.
"We are all for green energy," says Van Loosen, "but this is out of proportion."
Advocates dismiss such concerns as misinformation, saying the turbines will be far enough from the town that they will not be heard and barely will be seen. One of their leaders says the modern mills simply follow a hallowed Dutch tradition.
"Windmills belong to the Netherlands," says Janneke Wijnia-Lemstra, who represents the farmers behind the privately-financed euro1 billion project. Government subsidies will guarantee a competitive price for the energy produced.
While the focus today is turbines, they're not the only target of Dutch resistance to environmental projects. Hostility by the citizens of Barendrecht killed a proposal in 2009 to bury carbon dioxide under their town that is siphoned from a Royal Dutch Shell refinery in nearby Rotterdam.
Instead, the plan for the experimental project was shifted to the more sparsely populated north of the country, but it has now run into equally fierce protests from villagers there. The government has said it will decide in a few weeks whether to go ahead.
Economics Minister Maxime Verhagen says the wind project, set to go up 55 miles (90 kms) northeast of Amsterdam, fits with the energy mix that the Netherlands needs, and that every energy source has a down side.
"You could say 'no' to wind energy because it will spoil the view. You can say 'no' to nuclear energy because of the waste. And you can say 'no' to coal as well - leaving us with no energy at all in the Netherlands," he told Dutch television when asked about Urk's revolt.
After eliminating seven turbines from the plan, the government signed off on the wind farm last month - 12 years after it was first proposed. The town says it won't back down unless another 15 turbines are ditched, and vows to appeal to the Council of State, the country's highest court, and possibly to European courts.
The farmland where the turbines are to be built is under the authority of the municipality of Noordoostpolder, Urk's neighbor. Noordoostpolder's council decreed against more windmills being erected on individual farms, partly because the scattered turbines would be too unsightly. That's when it was decided to concentrate them in a large park along the coast.
Urk has been inhabited for some 1,000 years. Nearly all the town's revenue derives from fishing or the tourists who come to see the harbor and the old quayside cottages.
Until the 1940s it was an island, and residents are still resentful that they were not consulted before a dike was built that created the North East polder - land reclaimed from the sea - connecting the mainland to their rocky knoll. Ironically, it's just behind this dike that nearly half the turbines will rise.
"It's an island culture and history," says Urk Mayor Jaap Kroon.
To accusations of indulging a not-in-my-back-yard attitude, the mayor retorts:
"This is not our back yard. It's our front yard."
Speakers traveled from Illinois and Canada to discuss property values and health
By Billie Jo Jannen
The Alpine Sun
BOULEVARD — A standing-room-only crowd got an earful on the property and health impacts of industrial wind turbines last Wednesday, when experts flew in from Illinois and Canada to speak at an informational meeting held at the Boulevard Fire Station.
Speakers included appraisal consultant Mike McCann, of Chicago, Ill., Carmen Krogh, of Ontario, Canada, Bill Powers, of Powers Engineering, Dave Elliott, of Boulevard, and Donna Tisdale, also of Boulevard.
McCann - whose resume includes real estate zoning evaluations, property value impact studies, analysis of wind turbine generating facilities and evaluation of eminent domain real estate acquisitions - advised residents bluntly that no permits should be issued on any wind generation project without a property value guarantee for residents in the turbine area of influence.
The impact zone of a wind farm is two to five miles, he said. In addition to 20 to 40 percent value loss of homes in that area, there are increased costs of health care, costs to try to retrofit homes to block noise or the strobe light affect of the turbine shadows, and the complete losses of people who are forced to walk away from their homes.
Krogh, a retired pharmacist who networks with health professionals worldwide to track and document wind turbine health affects, said the impacts of both audible and inaudible sound cannot be mitigated: “The only mitigation is to remove the people from the environment they are in,” she said.
Mental and physical afflictions include sleep deprivation, headaches, heart palpitations, vertigo, tinnitus, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety and cognitive impairments, she said.
Matching results are documented in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Japan, Canada and the United States - every country that has industrial turbines have health complaints.
Both McCann and Krogh said that a number of turbine neighbors had walked away from their homes, because they could not live with the impacts and no one would buy their homes. Others must find someplace away from the turbines to sleep and many have had to send their children to live with relatives to clear up various illnesses.
Adequate research on the long-term affects of turbine noise on growing children has not been done, Krogh said. However, according to Arline Bronzaft, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., who spoke at the Oct. 30 International Symposium on Adverse Health Effects from Wind Turbines, many other studies have demonstrated that intrusive noises, such as passing traffic or overhead aircraft, adversely affect children's cardiovascular systems, memory, language development and ability to learn.
The title of Bronzaft's presentation was “Children: The Canaries in the Coal Mine.”
In the Boulevard planning are alone, 392 turbines are wending their way through the permitting process, according to Tisdale. Hundreds more are planned in Ocotillo and Jacume, Mexico, immediately south of Jacumba. The current San Diego County wind ordinance makes no provision for property value guarantees.
“I'm calling for a moratorium pending studies of health impacts,” said Tisdale, who recently attended an international symposium of doctors, researchers and other health professionals who have documented wind turbine health effects worldwide.
She said she will be asking that the county permitting process make provision for property value guarantees, relocation of impacted residents, evidence-supported setbacks and protections in the noise ordinance to include low-frequency and infrasound effects. Neither is currently addressed in the county's noise ordinance.
Krogh brought filmed interviews with wind turbine neighbors from Norway, Canada and Japan. The sound levels from their homes, in some cases, drowned out their voices and the nature of the sound was so distressing that audience members asked that it be turned down.
Krogh is a member of Society for Wind Vigilance, an international federation of physicians, acousticians and other professionals who seek to quantify heath risks and ensure that permitting authorities and wind turbine operators acknowledge and remedy those risks.
So far, she said, there has been great resistance from governments, who seek to provide “green” alternatives and who receive tax money from wind farm profits.
Asked what local clinics might do to mitigate health problems that could develop from proposed area wind farms, Krogh said there literally are none, though local health professionals help by gathering information: “A clinic can assist by documenting impacts to its patients.”
Industrial wind farm operators in the United States and Canada, most of whom receive taxpayer supported benefits and highly favorable permit conditions, resist revelations of adverse effects by requiring property owners from whom they lease lands to sign non-disclosure agreements, McCann said.
The few off-site residents that have received buy-out offers from wind companies are required to sign non-disclosure agreements as a condition of the buy-out.
McCann added that property value losses are not offset by local jobs or by lease payments to property owners. The leases are often predicated on the power the turbine produces and few of them actually work at maximum capacity. Hence, “They (landowners) aren't getting what they were promised,” he said.
“Always have a lawyer look at the lease document before you sign it,” he advised.
Among the small print items to be aware of is what it going to happen to the turbine when it is taken out of service. The I-10 in Nevada is littered with the carcasses of turbines that are no longer useful, but they have never been removed, he said.
Large companies further “defuse their liability” by creating smaller limited liability companies to actually own and operate the wind farms, McCann said.
Elliott, a member of the Manzanita Band of Mission Indians, monitors, and tries to mitigate, the cultural impacts of the Sunrise Powerlink and the wind projects. He said that Indian burial sites and other cultural sites in both private and public lands are being destroyed by these projects, with very little effort to protect them.
“This project is all about big business … it's about trillions of dollars,” Elliott said. “As Native Americans, we're last on the totem pole.” Elliott said he has encountered hostility from homeowners, who may be mistaking his efforts to identify cultural sites as further intrusion by SDG&E.
“I support the landowners' efforts to protect their lands,” he said. “I hope the landowners will support our efforts too.”
Several meeting attendees, one who lives as far as two miles from the existing wind farm on Campo Reservation, commented that they can hear the turbines clearly, even inside their homes. McCann said that wind turbine noise can travel up to nine miles in mountain terrain.
Property value impacts start to show up as soon as even the possibility of a project becomes known, according to McCann. The phenomenon even has a name among appraisal professionals: wind farm anticipation stigma.
In a comment paper on the Brucci MET tower on La Posta Road, he asserted that the construction of a meteorological testing tower “serves as constructive notice to existing neighboring property owners and any potential buyers” that wind turbines may come in later - and that is enough to drive homebuyers elsewhere.
According to nolo.com, a law information website, California sellers must disclose any and every natural and manmade hazard that might affect the value of the property. This includes everything from neighborhood nuisances, such as a dog that barks every night, to major hazards like floods, earthquakes, fires, environmental hazards, and other problems. Failure to make the required disclosures not only costs the seller in a lawsuit, but can also carry criminal penalties.
So what is a homeowner to do if his home is untenable and no one else wants it either? “It's really sad to talk to these people who put their life savings into their homes and then have to walk away from them,” McCann said.
The mass erection of wind turbines near people's homes is a form of taking from the property owner and giving to the wind developers, he added: “It's not OK to rob from Peter to pay Paul.”
The county's wind ordinance calls for permitting requirements to state noise limitations at the property line, but makes no provisions for property value protections or mitigation of health impacts, according to Planning Manager Joe Farace of San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use.
That's a different realm from what we do,” Farace said. State and federal environmental and planning laws don't require that these impacts be quantified or mitigated, though the county could, if it wished, explore going beyond those minimums.
“This is so new,” he said. “We'd have to work with county counsel to see what we could do.”
Farace said there are no plans, currently, to pursue such a discussion.
San Diego Neighborhood Newspaper
VICTORIANS who have endured health problems from a nearby wind farm have been gagged from talking in return for the sale of their land.
Residents who refuse to move have accused the company of trying to buy their way out of trouble.
Noel Deans moved from Waubra to Ballarat 18 months ago because he could no longer stand headaches, tinnitus and poor health he believes are caused by high-frequency vibrations from turbines.
"The word is they're buying everyone out and buying some of the other properties nearby just to hush them up," he said.
"They know that we can't fight them. We can't win.
"They make you suffer so that you just want to get out of there. They know that it gets to you emotionally and physically."
Mr Deans refuses to sell his property because he does not want future generations to suffer like his family.
He only returns to the farm when he has to - about once a fortnight - and says every time he does he gets head pain within five minutes that takes up to 10 days to go away.
Doctors' certificates seen by the Sunday Herald Sun back his claims.
"Once (the vibrations) get inside the house it bounces off the walls and makes you feel sick," Mr Dean said.
"If you're exposed to it outside it goes into your inner ear and affects your balance. It's put tinnitus in my ears which stops me sleeping."
He has met the company to discuss his concerns, but said they would only take statements, not answer his questions.
"I said 'I don't want you to buy me out. I want you to fix the problem'," he said. "It's hell on Earth living out there. That's what it is.
"And there's nothing we can do about it. It's a bloody terrible thing.
"It's knocked us around. We're in limbo. We've lost two years of our life and we don't know where it will end. I've put nearly 40 years into that place. It's prime property that I was going to pass down to my son. What am I going to do? I can't work there without being ill."
Former National Trust chairman Randall Bell, now president of Victorian Landscape Guardians, said wind farm companies had a reputation for pulling out their chequebooks to make a problem go away.
"What they do is make people sign gag agreements which dictate that they can't speak about the sales or their health," he said.
"It's a way of shutting people up."
Acciona generation director Brett Wickham said there was no proof wind farms affected people's health, and the plant, which employed about 70 people, was generally well accepted.
He said the most recent two houses bought by Acciona were purchased in September and October last year, when noise levels detected on the property were in breach of the company's planning permit.
And he said confidentiality contracts used by the company were "standard practice for the industry".
"Most of the landowners have actually sought confidentiality agreements as well," he said.
"They are what they are."
But Karl Stepnell, who moved his wife and three children out of Waubra after sleepless nights, heart palpitations, ear pressure and nausea that began when the turbines started turning, disagreed.
"They have bought a lot more houses than seven. There are empty houses all over the place," he said.
"We're all for green energy, but there have to be more conditions on what the wind companies can do."
Planning Minister Matthew Guy, who has the power to shut down the wind farm if it does not comply with its permit, said the Government was watching closely to ensure that wind farm operators played by the rules.
"If they are not complying with their planning permit, I would close it down," he said.
"Just as someone who doesn't comply with a building permit or doesn't pay a parking fine would be in trouble, so will they."
A Senate inquiry into the possible adverse impacts of wind farms will be held later this year.
VICTORIA'S WIND-TURBINE BOOM
- Codrington, near Port Fairy (Codrington Wind Farm) - 14 turbines
- Toora (Toora Wind Farm) - 12
- Ararat (Challicum Hills Wind Farm) - 35
- Waubra, near Ballarat (Waubra Wind Farm) - 128
- Yambuk, near Port Fairy (Yambuk Wind Farm) - 20
- Wonthaggi (Wonthaggi Wind Farm) - 6
- Cape Bridgewater, near Portland (Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm) - 29
From: McCann Appraisal, LLC
To: The OttawaCitizen.com
My expertise is not in health issues, but there is a direct relationship between those impacts and my proffesional studies of real estate impacts.
For example, numerous families have been forced to abandon their homes due to the factual impacts to health, sleep disturbances and the like, which the Canadian Wind Energy Associationand the American Wind Energy Association prefer to dismiss as “concerns.” Many others have been unable to sell their homes due to the presence of nearby turbines, and which a growing list of realtors and estate agents report as being the deciding factor in would-be buyer’s decisions to look elsewhere.
There is a measurable and significant loss of values within 2 to 3 miles, and noise impacts have been broadcast as far as 5 miles or more, in some instances, with 1 to 2 miles being commonplace. Value losses have been measured at 20% to 40%, with a total loss of equity in some instances.
Wind developers have been known to buy out the most vocal neighbors who refuse to roll over and play dead when they are initially ignored, and then turn around and sell those same homes for 60% to 80% below the appraised value—thus confirming value losses by their own actions.
Other developers have avoided future liability by bulldozing the purchased homes.
In fact, wind developers and the existing Canadian setback are even inadequate to protect neighbors from ice throw or from sections of turbine blades, which are documented as occurring up to half a mile from the turbines, and I have personally heard of a blade throw (piece) that went about 1 mile.
Regardless of these facts, the wind industry often tries to convince the siting decision makers that safety issues are satisfied by setbacks of 1.1 X the height of turbines (550 meters in Canada), as if preventing a toppling turbine from landing on a neighbors house is the correct standard.
It is obvious what is happening here: The wind industry is playing a numbers game, under the assumption or actuarial calculations that it is less costly for them to fight a number of lawsuits from citizens who do not have deep pockets, than it is to buy out the property they need to create huge projects.
The solution is simple, also: Mandate that all property they seek to encompass with industrial overlays be purchased outright, so people have an option as to whether they choose to live in a large, noisy industrial setting.
I am quite certain any of your staff can confirm my factual comments by simply driving to any number of projects and counting the abandned and for sale homes, talking with a few remaining neighbors, etc. Maybe start with the Clear Creek project, where a dozen homes are reported abandoned, due to proximity of about 3 dozen turbines. The list will grow as large as time devoted to research of this issue will allow.
Like most other people, I initially assumed that wind energy would be a good trend. Unlike most people, I have expended something on the order of 2,000 hours looking into it, and my findings are quite contrary to the “positions” of the wind industry and their lobbyists. However, even the wind industry’s counterpart to my profession, Mr. Ben Hoen, has now gone on record saying that Property Value Guarantees should be used for nearby homeowners, and that “if wind developers won’t guarantee that, then they really don’t have a leg to stand on.”
Your publication can do much to bring the truth to public view, and I am available to answer any questions you may have. Also, you have my permission to publish this letter as you see fit.
Incidentally, if you Google my name + Adams County, Illinois, you will find a lengthier report which provides more details of property value impacts, along with public documents on buyouts made by Canadian Hydro of turbine neighbors homes.
Michael S. McCann
McCann Appraisal, LLC
500 North Michigan Avenue, Suite # 300
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Real Estate Appraisal & Consulting
Fax: (312) 644-9244
Cell: (312) 961-1601