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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:  June 15, 2015
Maine, OrdinancesPrint storyE-mail story

Wind Energy Facility Ordinance for the Town of Dixfield

Author:  Dixfield, Maine

Section 11. Approval and Performance Standards

11.1 Setback

A WEFU or WEFS shall comply with the following setback requirements. If more than one (1) set back requirement applies, the greater set back distance shall be met. All measurements shall be based on horizontal distances.

11.1.1 All WEFUs shall be set back a horizontal distance of four thousand (4,000) feet from any Occupied Building in Dixfield and two thousand (2,000) feet from the boundaries of the Project Parcel unless the Applicant submits in writing: 1) a waiver of the Occupied Building setback signed by the pertinent abutting landowner and; 2) evidence such as operating protocols, safety programs, or recommendations from the manufacturer or a licensed professional engineer with appropriate expertise and experience with WEFUs, demonstrating that the reduced set back proposed by the Applicant will not cause the WEFU to violate any other approval standards of this Ordinance.

11.1.2 All WEFUs must be set back a minimum of four thousand (4,000) feet from any Scenic or Special Resource as defined in Section 4.0 of this Ordinance.

11.1.3 Each WEFU shall be equipped with an over-speed control system that: 1) includes both an aerodynamic control such as stall regulation, variable blade pitch or other similar system and a mechanical brake that operates in fail safe mode; or 2) has been designed by the manufacturer or a licensed engineer and found by the Board, based on its review of a written description of the design and function of the system, to meet the needs of public safety.

11.1.4 WEFUs shall be setback a horizontal distance equivalent to one hundred and fifty percent (150%) of the Turbine Height from Project Boundaries, Occupied Buildings, public and private rights-of-way and overhead utility lines that are not part of the proposed WEFS. No waiver of this standard is permitted. …

11.10.2 Sound Limits

No Permit shall be issued if the pre-permit information or sound study indicates that the proposed WEFU or WEFS will not comply with the following requirements, which are to apply at all Sensitive Receptors within four thousand (4,000) feet of any WEFU, except on Project Parcel(s) or on a Participating Parcel(s) which is subject to a Mitigation Waiver which specifies different sound limits than those below.

If pre-construction estimates of the post-construction sound levels exceed the limits below, then the WEFU or WEFS Application shall be denied; if these limits are exceeded after the WEFU or WEFS has been built, then the WEFU or WEFS will be in violation of this Ordinance:

A. The sound limits below are stated in terms of LeqA (post). Prior to construction of the WEFU or WEFS, the “pre” values are as measured and the “post” values are as calculated. After the WEFU or WEFS has been constructed, the “pre” values are the WEF-OFF values and the “post” values are the WEF-ON values.

B. Audible Sound Limit

1) No WEFU or WEFS shall be located so as to generate post-construction sound levels that exceed thirty-five (35) dBA at night (7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.) or forty-five (45) dBA during the day (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) anywhere in the Town beyond the boundaries of the Project Parcel and all Participating Parcels whose owners have waived noise restrictions.

2) No WEFU shall be allowed to operate if it exceeds fifty (50) dBC anywhere in the Town beyond the boundaries of the Project Parcel and all Participating Parcels whose owners have waived noise restrictions. …

D. Post-Construction Sound Measurements. Starting within twelve (12) months after the date when the WEFU or WEFS has begun operating, a post-construction sound study shall be performed for all WEFUs or WEFSs that are operating. Post-construction sound studies shall be conducted by a Qualified Independent Acoustical Consultant. The Permittee shall also pay for a Qualified Independent Acoustical Consultant chosen by the Planning Board to review the Permittee’s study. The Permittee shall deposit the estimated cost of such review upon notification by the Board. The Town’s consultant may observe the Permittee’s consultant’s monitoring. The Permittee shall provide all technical information required by the Board or Independent Qualified Acoustical Consultant before, during, and/or after any acoustical studies required by this document and for local area acoustical measurements. The Post-construction sound measurements shall be repeated every three (3) years throughout the life of the facility and submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer. The applicant may seek a waiver from the Code Enforcement Officer of all but the first post-construction measurements if no valid noise complaints are received during the previous three (3) year period.

E. Pre-construction and post-construction monitoring shall report sound levels in terms of LeqA, L90A, LeqC, and L90C for each hour of the monitoring period.

Download original document: “Wind Energy Facility Ordinance for the Town of Dixfield”

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Date added:  June 13, 2015
Australia, ContractsPrint storyE-mail story

Collgar Compensation Deed

Author:  Collgar Wind Farm

Collgar plans to construct one or more Wind Turbine Generators on land which is adjacent to the Affected Land. Collgar agrees to pay the Owner the Sum subject to the terms and conditions set out in this Document.

2(b) The Termination Date is the later of:
(1) 30 years from the Supply Date; and
(2) 50 years from the Supply Date, if Collgar provides notice in writing to the Owner prior to the date specified in clause 2(b)(1) that it is extending the Termination Date under this clause 2(b)(2).

3.1 The Owner must not object to:
(a) the Local Planning Scheme Amendments;
(b) any application by Collgar to any Consent Authority in relation to the Project; and
(c) the ongoing operation of the Project.

3.2 The Owner must provide or sign any consents in support of the Project if and when requested by Collgar, including to the Shire of Merredin and the Environmental Protection Authority.

3.3(a)(4) The Owner must … do all things reasonably necessary to facilitate the Project and to enable the registration of the Restrictive Covenant over the Affected Land at the cost and expense of Collgar.

3.4 The Owner must: …
(b) not apply for planning approval to construct a Noise-Sensitive Premises within the Restricted Area, without the prior written approval of Collgar which Collgar may withhold in its absolute discretion;
(c) not construct or permit to be constructe·d a Noise-Sensitive Premises within the Restricted Area, without the prior written approval of Collgar which Collgar may withhold in its absolute discretion;
(d) not construct or install or permit to be constructed or installed any building or structure of a height of more than 5 metres within 200 metres of a Wind Turbine Generator or Wind Monitoring Equipment without the prior written approval of Collgar, which cannot be unreasonably withheld; and
(e) not construct or install or permit to be constructed or Installed any building or structure of a height of more than 1 O metres within 500 metres of a Wind Turbine Generator or Wind Monitoring Equipment without the prior written approval of Collgar, which cannot be unreasonably withheld.

3.6 The Owner must not:
(a) grant or permit to be granted any lease or licence of or deal with any part or the whole of the Affected Land, unless:
(1) Collgar provides its prior written consent, which cannot be unreasonably withheld. For the avoidance of doubt, where the potential lessee or licensee is proposing to use the Affected Land for a purpose which is likely to interfere with the operation of the Wind Energy Facility, then Collgar is entitled to withhold its consent; and
(2) the potential lessee or licensee enters into a deed of covenant with Collgar whereby it agrees to be bound by and observe and perform the Owner’s Covenants in favour of Collgar as if the lessee or licensee was named as the Owner in this Document; or
(b) sell, assign, transfer, mortgage or charge any part or the whole of the Affected Land without obtaining a deed of covenant signed by the Buyer, mortgagee or chargee by which the Buyer, mortgagee or chargee of part or the whole of the Affected Land, as applicable, agrees to be bound by and observe and perform the Owner’s Covenants in favour of Collgar as if the Buyer, mortgagee or chargee was named as the Owner in this Document.

6(b) If the Owner breaches an essential term, Collgar may withhold any payments which are otherwise payable under this Document and/or terminate this Document by giving the Owner 2 Business Days’ notice in writing.

8(a) The Owner must not disclose to any third party without the prior written consent of Collgar:
(1) this Document or any of its provisions; or
(2) any report or other information obtained by the Owner in the course of or as a result of the Owner’s negotiations with Collgar …

Collgar Compensation Deed

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Date added:  May 27, 2015
NoisePrint storyE-mail story

Wind Turbines – A Changed Environment

Author:  Palmer, William

This paper gives examples of the sound from wind turbines in the outdoor environment, and in the indoor environment. These are compared to other sounds occurring in the environment, such as road traffic or overhead aircraft, and to the sounds produced in a typical municipal library and by a typical refrigerator. In summary, the paper shows that wind turbines do alter the acoustic environment, both outside homes and inside homes presenting a greater difference at low frequencies than other sound sources normally met.

Presented at the 6th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise, Glasgow, 20-23 April 2015

Download original document: “Wind Turbines – A Changed Environment”

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Date added:  May 25, 2015
Noise, WildlifePrint storyE-mail story

Sound exposure in harbour seals during the installation of an offshore wind farm: predictions of auditory damage

Author:  Hastie, Gordon; Russell, Deborah; McConnell, Bernie; et al.

Summary

1. With ambitious renewable energy targets, pile driving associated with offshore wind farm construction will become widespread in the marine environment. Many proposed wind farms overlap with the distribution of seals, and sound from pile driving has the potential to cause auditory damage.

2. We report on a behavioural study during the construction of a wind farm using data from GPS/GSM tags on 24 harbour seals Phoca vitulina L. Pile driving data and acoustic propagation models, together with seal movement and dive data, allowed the prediction of auditory damage in each seal.

3. Growth and recovery functions for auditory damage were combined to predict temporary auditory threshold shifts in each seal. Further, M-weighted cumulative sound exposure levels [cSELs(Mpw)] were calculated and compared to permanent auditory threshold shift exposure criteria for pinnipeds in water exposed to pulsed sounds.

4. The closest distance of each seal to pile driving varied from 4.7 to 40.5 km, and predicted maximum cSELs(Mpw) ranged from 170.7 to 195.3 dB re 1μPa²-s for individual seals. Comparison to exposure criteria suggests that half of the seals exceeded estimated permanent auditory damage thresholds.

5. Prediction of auditory damage in marine mammals is a rapidly evolving field and has a number of key uncertainties associated with it. These include how sound propagates in shallow water environments and the effects of pulsed sounds on seal hearing; as such, our predictions should be viewed in this context.

6. Policy implications. We predicted that half of the tagged seals received sound levels from pile driving that exceeded auditory damage thresholds for pinnipeds. These results have implications for offshore industry and will be important for policymakers developing guidance for pile driving. Developing engineering solutions to reduce sound levels at source or methods to deter animals from damage risk zones, or changing temporal patterns of piling could potentially reduce auditory damage risk. Future work should focus on validating these predictions by collecting auditory threshold information pre- and post-exposure to pile driving. Ultimately, information on population-level impacts of exposure to pile driving is required to ensure that offshore industry is developed in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Gordon D. Hastie, Deborah J. F. Russell, Bernie McConnell, Simon Moss, Dave Thompson, and Vincent M. Janik
Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Journal of Applied Ecology 2015, 52, 631–640
doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12403

Download original document: “Sound exposure in harbour seals during the installation of an offshore wind farm: predictions of auditory damage”

Download supporting information: “Appendix S1: Estimation of acoustic exposure in seals”

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