Jan 26, 2005 11:39 PST
Is Steve Schnell saying that the start up noise that people described to
me is caused by The Consumers Energy Peak demand gas turbine, and is not
caused by the startup of the wind turbine/s? That gas turbine has been
there for decades and seldom runs. As he said, people are accustomed to
that particular noise. Was this noise from the gas turbine? Perhaps
some of the time it was, but I wonder whether it is operated frequently
enough to cause all the startup noise incidents I heard about.
It is an undeniable fact that the Alexanders and the other families that
signed a petition are disturbed by the noise from the two Mackinaw City
wind turbines. It is a real problem. These citizens are not a group of
kooks or troublemakers. The noise problem does exist there in spite of
all the tweaks and attempts made to “tune” the machines. They have been
built too close to people. That is a real life lesson on the noise
impact. Downwind, a distance of even 1500 feet was not enough to
prevent noise from reaching these homes and even penetrating the walls.
Erect three more there, and, as I said earlier, the problem will be
compounded. Someone chose the wrong place, and I think that should be
the end of that particular project.
A person can go on line and research the noise impacts of wind turbines
on people in many areas.
I believe the best way to learn about wind turbine noise would be to
visit residents in the areas that are impacted. One does not learn this
by taking a tour bus, spending some time at the base of turbines, and
then driving off. You would have to take the time to independently
speak to many people who actually experience living with wind turbines.
Residents cannot simply drive away.
I could not say, as I have heard another community’s planning
commissioner say, “I’m comfortable with 55 Decibels.” I would have to
consider the welfare of the entire community and not just my comfort
Daniel Alberts said that the wind direction has a big influence on the
perception of noise after 300 Meters which is about 990 ft. Noise
traveling to a receptor downwind actually is perceived to increase at
about 300 Meters over a certain distance before it decreases. If the
receptor is upwind, the volume will decrease very rapidly after 300
Meters. This could help explain why visitors to a site would assume
that the machines are not noisy.