LETTER: No dark side to wind turbine plan
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December 07, 2009 12:00 AM
No dark side
to wind turbine plan
The "Your View" from Barrett A. Hurwitz regarding the proposed Dartmouth wind turbines makes it sound like some sinister process is going on ("Get second opinion on Dartmouth Wind," Dec. 3). It's not sinister at all, and all residents on Chase Road should feel confident that they would not be physically endangered in any way.
Hurwitz casts doubt on the competence of the engineering firm hired to analyze the shadow-flicker problem, assuming that the fact that Dartmouth is their closest customer is evidence of their lack of competence. Actually, that fact can be interpreted as meaning that they are able to get customers far from here, an indication of the confidence others have in their competence.
Atlantic Design Engineers (AD), the firm in question, used a computer program called WindPro to do the shadow-flicker analysis. WindPro is marketed by EMD, a Danish company which markets this program worldwide for such analyses. Anybody running the program again would get exactly the same results AD got.(See the EMD Web site: http://www.emd.dk/WindPRO/License%20Types%20a...
Shadow flicker can occur only, for example, when a house lies in the shadow of a wind turbine. For the houses on Chase Road, this could occur only when the sun is rising in the east, early in the morning. This condition would exist only several times a year and for only short time periods. Later, when the sun is overhead or when it is setting in the west, there would be no shadow problems.
At any rate, shadow flicker would not be a problem for any of the houses on Chase Road since the chairman of the Alternative Energy Committee has assured us that wind turbines would simply be shut down during any time periods shadow flicker would otherwise be a problem for anyone.