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Documents presented here are not the product of nor are they necessarily endorsed by National Wind Watch. These resource documents are provided to assist anyone wishing to research the issue of industrial wind power and the impacts of its development. The information should be evaluated by each reader to come to their own conclusions about the many areas of debate.


Date added:  December 18, 2014
NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Comparison of the noise levels measured in the vicinity of a wind farm for shutdown and operational conditions

Author:  Hansen, Kristy; Zajamšek, Branko; and Hansen, Colin

ABSTRACT
Outdoor and indoor microphone measurements have been taken in the vicinity of the Waterloo wind farm at a number of locations during periods when the nearby wind farm was operational as well as when it was shutdown. The majority of the shutdowns were of short duration and deliberate on the part of the wind farm operator, as they were associated with the recent EPA noise impact study. However, one of the shutdowns lasted for several days as it was related to a cable fault. Comparisons are made between both the third-octave spectra and narrowband spectra measured during the shutdown and operational periods. Operational times immediately adjacent to the shutdown times, as well as at other times when the wind conditions at hub height and at the residence matched the conditions recorded during a shutdown time, are considered in the analysis. It is shown that there are consistent and significant differences in noise spectra at the residence for the shutdown and operational cases, particularly for frequencies below 100 Hz. These differences can be observed at distances up to 8.7 km from the wind farm.

Kristy Hansen
Branko Zajamšek
Colin Hansen

University of Adelaide, Australia

Presented at Inter-Noise 2014: 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering, Melbourne, Australia, 16-19 November 2014

Download original document: “Comparison of the noise levels measured in the vicinity of a wind farm for shutdown and operational conditions”

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Date added:  December 18, 2014
NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Investigation of the time-dependent nature of infrasound measured near a wind farm

Author:  Zajamšek, Branko; Hansen, Kristy; and Hansen, Colin

ABSTRACT
It is well-known that wind farm noise is dominated by low-frequency energy at large distances from the wind farm, where the high frequency noise has been more attenuated than low-frequency noise. It has also been found that wind farm noise is highly variable with time due to the influence of atmospheric factors such as atmospheric turbulence, wake turbulence from upstream turbines and wind shear, as well as effects that can be attributed to blade rotation. Nevertheless, many standards that are used to determine wind farm compliance are based on overall A-weighted levels which have been averaged over a period of time. Therefore the aim of the work described in this paper is to investigate the time dependent nature of unweighted wind farm noise and its perceptibility, with a focus on infrasound. Measurements were carried out during shutdown and operational conditions and results show that wind farm infrasound could be detectable by the human ear although not perceived as sound.

Branko Zajamšek
Kristy Hansen
Colin Hansen

University of Adelaide, Australia

Presented at Inter-Noise 2014: 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering, Melbourne, Australia, 16-19 November 2014

Investigation of the time-dependent nature of infrasound measured near a wind farm

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Date added:  December 16, 2014
Ontario, Property valuesPrint storyE-mail story

Wind energy development and perceived real estate values in Ontario, Canada

Author:  Walker, Chad; Baxter, Jamie; Mason, Isaac; Luginaah, Isaac; and Ouellette, Danielle

Abstract: This paper focuses on public concerns about real estate value loss in communities in the vicinity of wind turbines. There are some conflicting results in recent academic and non-academic literature on the issue of property values in general — yet little has been studied about how residents near turbines view the value of their own properties. Using both face-to-face interviews (n = 26) and community survey results (n = 152) from two adjacent communities, this exploratory mixed-method study contextualizes perceived property value loss. Interview results suggest a potential connection between perceived property value loss and actual property value loss, whereby assumed property degradation from turbines seem to lower both asking and selling prices. This idea is reinforced by regression results which suggest that felt property value loss is predicted by health concerns, visual annoyances and community-based variables. Overall, the findings point to the need for greater attention to micro-level local, and interconnected impacts of wind energy development.

AIMS Energy, Volume 2, Issue 4, Pages 424-442, 2014
doi:10.3934/energy.2014.4.424

Chad Walker
Jamie Baxter
Sarah Mason
Isaac Luginaah

Department of Geography, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
Danielle Ouellette
Environmental Science Program, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

Download original document: “Wind energy development and perceived real estate values in Ontario, Canada”

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Date added:  December 8, 2014
Health, SwitzerlandPrint storyE-mail story

Eoliennes et santé humaine

Author:  Lachat, Nicole

[This review presents the evidence, based on the work of numerous authors, that disturbances due to wind turbines are quite real, that they have harmful effects on health and that those effects are not just auditory.]

Conclusion

Jusqu’à présent, pour la plupart des promoteurs de parcs éoliens et pour les décideurs politiques, la gêne ressentie par les riverains d’éoliennes, de même que les symptômes qu’ils mettent en avant ont principalement une origine subjective ou sont dus à une perception individuelle négative des turbines dans le paysage.

Cette vision des choses témoigne au mieux d’une méconnaissance des phénomènes complexes liés au bruit et à sa perception par les humains et au pire d’un désintérêt manifeste.

Il est légitimement très difficile pour les personnes souffrant de la proximité d’éoliennes industrielles de voir leurs plaintes minimisées ou ignorées, à la fois par les développeurs et les autorités. Sans parler des services de la santé publique qui ne se manifestent pas et ne se sentent pas concernés, alors même que leur rôle est de garantir la sécurité sanitaire des populations.

Les conséquences directes de ce manque d’écoute sont le désespoir, la colère et une augmentation des problèmes ressentis.

Dans le même sens, les craintes non prises en compte des populations confrontées à des projets de développement futurs débouchent sur un état d’esprit proche de la révolte.

Le présent dossier a permis de mettre en évidence, sur la base des travaux de nombreux auteurs, que les contrariétés dues aux éoliennes sont bien réelles, qu’elles ont des effets néfastes avérés sur la santé et que ces effets ne sont pas seulement auditifs.

Il serait souhaitable qu’il contribue à donner plus d’écoute aux riverains concernés et qu’il convainque les autorités concernées de l’urgence de mettre en route des études complémentaires.

Bien que la durée de vie d’un parc éolien ne soit estimée qu’à une vingtaine d’années, ce qui est court en termes d’infrastructures, c’est aussi l’espace de vie d’une génération, ce qui à l’échelle humaine et en présence de nuisances importantes n’est pas négligeable.

Face à l’ampleur prise par les voix qui dénoncent les nuisances dues aux éoliennes partout dans le monde, il semble que la situation doit être réévaluée dans chaque pays, en mettant l’accent sur le point de vue humain plutôt qu’économique et en ayant le courage (ou la sagesse) d’éventuellement changer de cap.

Pour ce qui est de la situation en Suisse, principalement dans l’Arc jurassien et plus spécialement dans les Franches-Montagnes où l’habitat est très dispersé, il y a une réelle nécessité à revoir la stratégie. La configuration du cadre bâti rend très difficile l’implantation d’éoliennes géantes à une distance suffisante des habitations. En effet, selon la législation sur le bruit, même une ferme isolée a droit à la protection contre les nuisances du bruit.

Dans ce sens, il sera certainement nécessaire de revoir certains projets d’implantation en admettant que les chaînes jurassiennes ne sont pas forcément propices à l’implantation de turbines à vent industrielles. Il faudra alors privilégier les installations privées, de taille plus compatibles avec la configuration des lieux et envisager de concentrer les efforts de développement vers d’autres sources d’énergies renouvelables.

Eoliennes et santé humaine: Revue de la littérature et recommandations

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