Skip to comments.No one satisfied with new Vermont wind power sound rules
Posted on 11/14/2017 11:29:37 AM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
An effort by Vermont utility regulators to settle the long-standing, contentious issue of how much noise neighbors of industrial wind projects should be subject to ended up upsetting both proponents of wind power and those who say the noise poses a health risk to people who live near turbines.
Proponents of using industrial wind projects as part of Vermont's long-term goal of getting 90 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2050 say the new wind rules will make achieving that goal more difficult, if not impossible.
"These rules will certainly have a chilling effect on wind energy in Vermont," said Austin Davis, a spokesman for the renewable energy trade group Renewable Energy Vermont. "However, that doesn't do away with the fact that wind energy currently is the cheapest renewable energy available to New England."
Opponents counter noise levels are still too high and even at a level that is among the lowest in the country would create an unreasonable burden for people who live near the turbines.
"The wind noise rule as... approved is not going to protect Vermonters from the harm that we have already experienced from industrial wind turbines," said Annette Smith, the head of the group Vermonters for a Clean Environment and a long-time critic of industrial wind projects. "It is a step in the right direction."
On Tuesday, Vermont's Public Utilities Commission gave final approval to the rules that set a daytime limit of 42 decibels of sound from turbines near a home and 39 decibels at night. The rules grew out of a 2016 law that directed the commission to set sound standards. The new rules only apply to new projects.
The decibel level measures sound intensity. Experts say 40 decibels is the rough equivalent of a library while a rural area is about 30 decibels.
The noise debate is something that has followed industrial wind power as it has spread throughout, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Although scientific studies have shown no link between wind turbine noise and human health, it can be annoying, especially to people who were accustomed to living in quiet areas.
Lisa Linowes, of Lyman, New Hampshire, executive director of the Windaction Group says people in urban areas might not even notice wind turbine noise. "If you take that same project and put it in a rural area, the area has been permanently altered, for the wildlife, for the birds, for the people," she said.
The wind power industry says that nationally, developers work hard to ensure projects are sited so the sound doesn't bother neighbors and thousands of people across the country live near wind farms without any issues, said Mike Speerschneider, the senior director of permitting for the American Wind Energy Association.
Ha! Just deserts for you, folks!
Besides making nonstop noise, windmills use 10X the concrete and steel of a conventional fossil power plant; periodically stop making power; you have to spend 2X the capital for your generator PLUS your backup system; they are an incredible visual blight across America; cause constant flickering light in early morning and late afternoon as the blades pass through the sunlight; are great raptor choppers; and regularly collapse and catch on fire.
Other than those few minor problems, wind is great and is the solution to all our problems! It just needs another trillion dollars of federal tax subsidies, that's all. Then it'll work.
That comment by Lisa Linowes is incredibly stupid. Go ahead, Lisa. Put all the windmills in urban centers where the noise won't bother the already-insane who live there.
Wind power supplies 0.4 percent of national electricity. Statistically, that accounts for zero percent.
Yet, if you drive around our great nation, especially to places with spectacular vistas, you will see the damned machines everywhere. Their presence is way out of portion to their contribution to our power supply.
They simply do not make any sense as a generation technology on so many levels. They should be banned as a public nuisance.
42dB is equivalent to hearing a dishwasher.
Got to say they are ugly...a power plant takes a few acres..wind mills miles of the dam things..
Drove the Colombia river gorge and they put them right on the edge so you could see them..fools could have put them back
They would never have allowed an oil rig where the windmills were
We flew from Colorado to the south last year in a small plane and I was astounded at the miles after endless miles of these damn things. Half of them were not even turning. Ugly blight.
Just to be clear. There are regulations for wind farms? And the regulations hurt the industry by driving up costs and creating more liability?
Welcome to the CLUB! They should go cry to the Coal Industry, Nuclear Power Industry or even the Auto Industry about government regulations making business hard. At least the government is paying the “greenies” industry. They should just shut up and dance while the gravy train is still on the downhill tracks.
That and the wailing of ultra-liberal, ultra=green Vermonters complaining about the noise from the very thing they have forced on the nation!
as Eve from Last Man Standing would interject to these VT’s:
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