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AEI taking new direction on wind farm noise – leaving the grey areas to compile concrete information

October 14, 2011

For the past three years, I’ve been learning what I can about the ways that wind farm noise affects nearby neighbors.  While most online information tends toward the black-and-white—the sound levels are lower than most human noise sources and current siting standards are fine; the noise is invasive and we need to totally rethink the […]

Wind farm noise, health issues continue to grow—and get jumbled—in Ontario

October 10, 2011

AEI Commentary The wild and turbulent public debate about wind farm noise issues continues to generate steady new eruptions in Ontario.  And while what’s coming out could be extremely valuable information for others struggling to support a more cautionary approach to wind farm siting, media reports are contributing to an increasingly jumbled public perception about […]

Maine lowers wind farm noise limit to 42dB at night

September 16, 2011

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection has approved new wind farm noise standards that will lower night time noise limits to 42dB at the property line of any nearby homesites, a 3dB reduction from the old standard.  The daytime limit of 55dB remains unchanged.  Community groups, which initiated the review with a formal citizens proposal, […]

Oregon county will not enforce wind farm noise violations

September 15, 2011

The Willow Creek Wind Farm has been given a reprieve from needing to address noise violations, as the Morrow County Court (the local name for county commission) decided not to enforce the state noise law.  Oregon has some of the most stringent noise standards, 10dB over night time ambient, which amounts to a noise limit […]

Wind turbine manufacturers aim to reduce noise

September 14, 2011

Two recent articles in trade magazines caught me up on efforts taking place within the wind power industry to reduce the noise levels of wind turbines. While it’s great to know it’s on everyone’s mind, it also appears that so far, noise reductions are modest. In the July 2011 issue of North American Windpower (back […]

NY windfarm latest to trigger noise issues – it’s easy to see why

September 7, 2011

A sprawling wind farm in northern New York state is the latest new installation to trigger push-back from neighbors complaining about excessive noise.  The Hardscrabble Wind Project is centered in Fairfield, just north of I-90 between Syracuse and Albany; its three-dozen turbines stretch across parts of three towns, covering an area of roughly ten miles […]

German regulators, wind industry working to reduce offshore construction noise

August 29, 2011

The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) is working with a consortium of offshore wind companies to find ways to reduce the noise created during construction of wind farms.  An article in Der Spiegel is a good introduction to the efforts: “From the standpoint of environmental protection, it’s necessary to decrease noise pollution in marine […]

Ontario enviro officer recommended lower wind farm noise limits

August 15, 2011

This is very interesting, though may get blown out of proportion: in April 2010 a District Environmental Officer submitted a memo to his Ontario Ministry of Environment superiors that offered detailed comments about the field realities he observed, in relation to the proposed Provincial wind farm siting regulations. These regulations currently guide Ontario siting, and […]

Vinalhaven neighbors file complaint; wind turbines get notched to reduce noise

August 4, 2011

The island community of Vinalhaven, Maine, remains embroiled in a contentious wind farm noise controversy nearly two years after three turbines began operating there.  The nearby Camden Herald-Gazette recently provided a good, detailed overview of the latest rounds of the back-and-forth between nearby neighbors, the local electrical coop that buys the energy, and state regulators. […]

Do wakes, worn blades add to wind turbine noise?

July 27, 2011

A couple of articles in this month’s Wind Power Engineering caught my eye.  What follows is more speculative than what you normally find on AEInews, but with that in mind, I encourage you to check the articles out yourself. Both articles address basic issues regarding wind turbines: the wakes they create downwind, and normal wear […]

UK wind farm noise nuisance court challenge begins

July 6, 2011

An unprecedented court case has begun in the UK, which could determine whether noise impacts become more widely considered to be of importance around wind farms.  Jane and Julian Davis moved out of their home in 2006 after the wind farm began operation, saying the sound was ‘unbearable’ even though they wore earplugs at night and […]

Finally: AEI’s Wind Farm Noise 2011 is out!

June 20, 2011

After long months of gestation, examination, and procrastination, this year’s Wind Farm Noise report is ready to share!  So, here it is. It’s also viewable here on SlideShare. And, you can download the 55-page report, and much of the source material, on the new AEI Wind Farm Noise Resources page. Lemme know what you think of […]

Flurry of articles, reports debunk(?) wind farm noise concerns

June 13, 2011

The past week has seen a flurry of new reports and articles that aim to debunk the idea that wind farm noise should be taken seriously as a concern when siting new wind farms.  AEI’s upcoming Wind Farm Noise 2011 report will address the issue in great depth when it’s released in about a week, […]

AEI guest column — Wind farm noise: moderate but often disruptive

June 2, 2011

This column was published recently in the Record-Patriot (Frankfort, Michigan).  It offers a pretty solid short version of AEI’s current perspective on wind farm noise issues. Windfarm noise: Moderate, but often disruptive Guest Viewpoint by Jim Cummings, Executive Director, Acoustic Ecology Institute Some local residents asked me to take a look at the recent Guest […]

Australian university seeking ways to quiet blade noise in wind turbines

June 2, 2011

A new research program at the University of Adelaide aims to learn more about the complex physical dynamics that create the primary noise in large wind turbines: the air turbulence off the trailing edges of the huge blades, which turn at speeds of up to a hundred miles per hour at their tips. As explained in […]

Oregon wind development booming with 36dB noise limit

June 2, 2011

A recent article in the New York Times focuses on the financial benefits coming into communities in eastern Oregon, where wind energy development is booming despite state noise limits of 36dB at homes. Most wind farms in the US and Canada face noise limits in the 45-50dB range, with some regs going as low as 40dB […]

Ontario wind farm buys 4 homes from residents unable to live with the noise

May 2, 2011

Suncor and Acciona Energy recently purchased four homes near the 38-turbine Ripley Wind Power Project, buying out several neighbors who had been pushing the companies to deal with noise issues at their homes. According to The Kincardine News: The Ripley-area residents had approached municipal council in 2009 about a rash of health problems, “including high […]

Victoria wind farm rules allow towns to limit noise to protect quality of life

March 16, 2011

New wind farm permitting rules adopted in the Australian state of Victoria place permitting authority in the hands of local councils, rather than the state Minister for Planning.  During  the recent campaign, the newly elected state government had called for  2km setbacks from non-consenting landowners, and shared payment plans for all residents within 1km.  While […]

Wisconsin legislature nixes wind farm noise rules

March 2, 2011

Following up on our previous coverage now-infamous Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s call for larger wind turbine setbacks, the a joint legislative committee that reviews pending new rules voted to abandon the planned implementation of new wind farm siting rules scheduled to go into effect on March 1. (See PSC site detailing the work of the […]

Vermont listens to two approaches to wind farm noise

February 25, 2011

An article from Vermont offers an unusually detailed and complete report on a Public Service Board hearing about noise at a proposed wind farm in Lowell.  I highly recommend it. The article summarizes the testimony of two noise experts, each of whom was proposing what they felt was a proper conservative noise limit; the article […]

Looking for Wind Industry Leadership in Reducing Noise Impacts

February 22, 2011

Renewable Energy World has just published a commentary I wrote, urging wind industry professionals to reassess their current one-size-fits-all approach to community noise standards.  You can read it in full, with links to sources and comments from others, on their site.  They’ll be seeding it into their email newsletters during the week, likely triggering a […]

Falmouth, Cape Cod Commission grapple with wind turbine noise

February 22, 2011

The town of Falmouth, Massachusetts continues to grapple with noise complaints from a large number of landowners living within a half mile or so of the two wind turbines erected at the town Wastewater Treatment Facility.  Acting Town Manager Heather Harper, who’s been the town’s point person on seeking solutions since the first turbine began […]

Wind Turbine Noise 2011 conference papers announced

February 15, 2011

The biannual Wind Turbine Noise conference, sponsored by the Institute for Noise Control Engineering Europe, is being held from April 11-14 in Rome.   This week, conference organizers announced the line up of papers that will be presented, and as always, it looks to be a greatly informative few days.  I can hardly wait until […]

Maine Board of Environmental Protection to consider whether typical community noise standards are applicable for wind farms

February 8, 2011

A group in Maine has petitioned the state Board of Environmental Protection to amend the noise rules in the state Site Location Law to set lower limits for wind farm noise than for other sources of community noise.  The group, the Citizen’s Task Force on Wind Power, is formally asking the state to consider a […]

Puget Sound orca population dwindles as action on boat noise lags

January 19, 2011

Seven years after the Southern resident killer whale population in Puget Sound was declared endangered, US government regulators appear poised to finally enact new regulations to protect orcas from boat noise in key foraging areas. In 2009, NOAA proposed increasing the minimum buffer that boats must give orcas, from 100 yards to 200 yards, and […]