Your View: Turbines not a North/South...

Your View: Turbines not a North/South issue

There are 3 comments on the SouthCoastToday story from Dec 23, 2009, titled Your View: Turbines not a North/South issue. In it, SouthCoastToday reports that:

Edward Britto lives in Dartmouth. December 24, 2009 12:00 AM The Dartmouth wind project is not a North/South issue, nor is it a "not in my backyard" one.

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Bill Carson

Providence, RI

#1 Dec 24, 2009
Industrial wind technology is a meretricious commodity, attractive in a superficial way but without real value—seemingly plausible, even significant, but actually false and nugatory. Those who would profit from it either economically or ideologically are engaged in wholesale deception. All adults should know that if something seems too good to be true, it almost always is. Although the wind itself may be “free,” the cost of converting it to electrical energy is extremely expensive.
Mary Delaney

Mattapoisett, MA

#3 Jan 9, 2010

GUEST VIEW: Noise, debris serious issues with turbines
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William K.G. Palmer is a licensed professional engineer who presented papers in 2007 and 2009 at the International Conference on Wind Turbine Noise. He lives in Paisley, Ontario, Canada.
January 09, 2010 12:00 AM

While I am not a resident of your area, I was disappointed to read your article on SouthCoast of the unanimous decision of the Dartmouth Select Board to go ahead with the installation of two wind turbines on municipal property to be located within less than 1,000 feet from four homes, and in a neighborhood with some 50 residents.
The article ("Dartmouth Select Board OKs permit for two wind turbines," Jan. 5) notes that the next step is a vote on Jan. 26 at a special Town Meeting when a decision will be taken on the roughly $9.2 million project.
It is a sad statement on society when a decision is taken that will have such a significant impact on some citizens of your community on the basis of financial gain.
Quoting from your article, "Select Board Chairman Joseph L. Michaud said he is aware the decision won't be popular with some people, but the board had to perform 'a balancing test,' weighing the enormous financial benefits to the town against the concerns of the neighbors. He said he feels neighbors' concerns can be addressed through the conditions approved by the board and proper oversight of the turbines."
Similarly I note from your article, "Board member Lara H. Stone thanked the neighbors for their involvement in the discussion, saying the project will be better because of their involvement. She added she understands the risks, but feels the turbines can be built 'as a community' and working together, safeguards can be implemented to reduce them."
I suspect from what I read that the members of the Select Board do not have an appreciation for the risks that the citizens will be put under, nor an appreciation of how undesirable the situation will be in the citizens' homes. I would strongly advise that when Dartmouth votes on the expenditures associated with their decision, they also include the costs associated with relocating the neighbors out of the radius of up to one mile from the turbine towers.
The article notes that some homes will be within 1,000 feet of the turbines as approved. Using a sound level calculator for a Vestas V82 wind turbine, based on the International Standards Organization (ISO) code 9613-2, if the two such turbines are located within 1,000 feet of a home, the sound level at the home could be 52 dBA (A-weighted decibels).
Mary Delaney

Mattapoisett, MA

#4 Jan 9, 2010
Because of the cyclic nature of the sound from wind turbines and the predominant low frequency component that is largely not attenuated in standard building construction, the sound level inside the home could be nearly 50 dBA. The World Health Organization identifies that for restful sleep, the sound level in a bedroom should be less than 30 dBA.
This is a huge difference, as the dB scale is logarithmic, and the only justifiable solution would be to provide residents with the compensation to permit them to move. That is often an undesirable situation given that a person often has a deep emotional attachment to their home, but at least it would prevent them from being placed in an impossible situation.
At a distance of one mile, the sound level from the turbines will be about 35 dBA outside the home, still above background sound levels at night, but coming into the range that can be justified.
From a pure physical safety point of view, the Select Board should understand that even if the outer 10 percent of such a wind turbine blade becomes unattached (due to a lightning strike or whatever) they have been observed to travel up to 1,640 feet and hit the ground with the same impact as a Ford Crown Victoria dropping a distance of 289 feet. Ouch!
Do they really understand the risks? Do they really understand that there have been at least 34 such incidents with pieces of wind turbine blades hitting the ground at distances of up to 1,640 feet from the turbine tower within the last two years?
Hopefully, Dartmouth will understand that profit at the cost of community well-being is not the sign of a healthy community.
Even though perhaps only a few voters will be living within the impacted zone, hopefully the community will understand that when some are hurting in the community, the entire community suffers, and will act accordingly, either to relocate the turbines so that they are further from residents, or by giving residents the chance to move from their homes without financial penalty.

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