Massachusetts officials new about win...

Massachusetts officials new about wind turbine noise in 2006

Posted in the Falmouth Forum

Bill Carson

Mattapoisett, MA

#1 Sep 30, 2011
Massachusetts officials were well aware of two distinct types of noise from commercial wind turbines in 2006. The types of noise were regulatory and human annoyance as reported in a wind study for Mattapoisett in 2006. The Vestas V 47 was given as an example.

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative was the state's economic development agency for renewable energy. They were stuck with two Vestas V 82 turbines in a warehouse since 2004 at $3500.00 per month until they were installed in Falmouth with 2009 stimulus funds. The storage fees were a political embarrassment and the installation has 50 Falmouth residents up in arms over noise issues.

Here is the introduction to the MTC report:
Wind Power in Mattapoisett, Marion & Rochester:Siting Considerations for a Met Tower
and Fatal Flaws Analysis for a Wind Turbine

This report was funded by the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust’s Community Wind Collaborative on behalf of the towns of Mattapoisett, Marion & Rochester. It was prepared by Sally Wright and Lynn Di Tullio of the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts.

Page 14
Noise considerations generally take two forms, state regulatory compliance and nuisance levels at nearby residences:

A. Regulatory compliance: Massachusetts state regulations do not allow a rise of 10 dB or greater above background levels at a property boundary (Massachusetts Air Pollution Control Regulations, Regulation 310 CMR 7.10). This sound level is very unlikely to be a reached incase at the sites we examined.

B. Human annoyance: Aside from Massachusetts regulations, residences must also be taken into consideration. Any eventual turbine would be sited such that it would be inaudible or minimally audible at the nearest residences. At this stage, to check for “fatal flaws,” a rule of thumb can be used: to minimize possible noise impacts,site wind turbines at least three times the blade tip height from residences. Distances from mixed-use areas may be somewhat shorter.

Noise will not be an issue for siting a wind turbine at the ORR High School or the Marion WWTP.

However, noise will be a primary siting constraint for the Brandt Island Road site because much of the parcel is less than 800 feet wide, and there are residences to the western side of the parcel. Consideration of the neighbors will be an important factor in siting a wind turbine on this parcel of town land. Given a specific size and make of turbine, suggested setbacks from residences can be proposed to eliminate or minimize the audibility at the neighbors. This would then inform the exact siting of a turbine. For example, a Vestas V47 on a 50-meter tower has a 241-foot blade-tip, and would need to be sited on
the far eastern side of the parcel, to be three times the blade-tip height (723 feet) from the neighbors on the western edge."
Mark Kelly

Mattapoisett, MA

#2 Oct 2, 2011
A google search of:

Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and wind turbine " human annoyance "shows the semi quasi state agency was and has been well aware of two distinct types of wind turbine noise. A. Regulatory State noise laws and B. Human annoyance from the wind turbines.
Many reports from 2005 to 2007 written by engineers from the MTC show warnings under the noise section of the studies for many towns in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has taken over much of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative previous studies on commercial wind turbines for local towns

The complaints about the, Wind 1, wind turbine in Falmouth are raising the possibility that this bad experience could jeopardize Patrick's statewide push for wind energy. The governor also wants to take control of siting commercial wind turbines in local towns with the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act. The governor has raised questions about the validity of the 50 or more Falmouth residents who have been complaining for over a year while Senate President Therese Murray is worried about the health of the residents.

The Wind Energy Siting Reform Act hearing will take place on Cape Cod October 20.2011 . The location has not been announced. The state is conducting another regulatory noise test of the Wind 1 turbine in Falmouth but refuses to address the human annoyance noise in the older Massachusetts Technology Collaborative wind reports from 2005 to 2007 .

A political showdown over the politically embarrassing wind turbines is sure to be in the making. Are over 50 Massachusetts residents pathologically lying about noise for over one year? Why is the state proposing the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act if not to take residential property rights? What is the incentive for Gov Patrick to take our residential property rights and give commercial wind turbine contractors all the open space in Massachusetts?

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