Resource Documents: Siting (93 items)
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.
Author: Rosenquist, Kristi
A Report for the Legislative Energy Commission, 10/19/2017 —
Many Minnesotans report sleep deprivation, migraine headache, vertigo and ringing in the ears after large wind turbines are installed near their homes. Some have left their homes.
MN Department of Health identified low-frequency noise as the most likely cause and confirms that the health of some Minnesotans is being harmed by wind turbines.
Setback distance between a turbine and a home is based on wind turbine noise. State agencies concur that they understand so little about wind turbine noise they cannot even enter into rulemaking on wind turbine noise.
Minnesotans who are harmed have no recourse.
European countries more experienced with wind turbines than Minnesota have setbacks that are 10 times the height of the turbine to the blade tip at its highest point (5000 feet for large modern wind turbines).
- Site permit setback distance from homes is based on “noise” even though the State knows so little about turbine noise they cannot enter into rulemaking on the topic.
- Minnesotans’ homes are inside the turbine Safety Evacuation Zone.
- What studies does the PUC have in front of it and how did they respond?
- Citizens whose health and peaceful enjoyment of their private property are harmed by wind turbines have no recourse.
- PUC approved research of LFN by the University of Minnesota that fails to study LFN in homes and the health of people living next to turbines.
- Audible Noise – agreement that 40 dB(A) should be the limit, but no good measurement protocol to determine if it is met.
- Low-Frequency Noise is the problem. Measurable – but no standards.
- What should the Minnesota Legislature adopt for a siting standard?
- Appendix: Partial list of wind turbine LFN and health studies in PUC Docket 09-845
Download original document: “Wind Turbine Siting in Minnesota: A Report for the Legislative Energy Commission”
Download presentation (view below): “Presentation to the Legislative Energy Commission, October 19, 2017”
On the predominance of unstable atmospheric conditions in the marine boundary layer offshore of the U.S. northeastern coast
Author: Archer, Cristina; et al.
Abstract: The marine boundary layer of the northeastern U.S. is studied with focus on wind speed,
atmospheric stability, and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), the three most relevant properties in the context
of offshore wind power development. Two long-term observational data sets are analyzed. The first one consists
of multilevel meteorological variables measured up to 60m during 2003–2011 at the offshore Cape Wind tower,
located near the center of the Nantucket Sound. The second data set comes from the 2013–2014 IMPOWR
campaign (Improving the Modeling and Prediction of Offshore Wind Resources), in which wind and wave data
were collected with new instruments on the Cape Wind platform, in addition to meteorological data measured
during 19 flight missions offshore of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. It is found that,
in this region: (1) the offshore wind resource is remarkable, with monthly average wind speeds at 60m
exceeding 7m/s all year round, highest winds in winter (10.1m/s) and lowest in summer (7.1m/s), and a
distinct diurnal modulation, especially in summer; (2) the marine boundary layer is predominantly unstable
(61% unstable vs. 21% neutral vs. 18% stable), meaning that mixing is strong, heat fluxes are positive, and the
wind speed profile is often nonlogarithmic (~40% of the time); and (3) the shape of the wind speed profile
(log versus nonlog) is an effective qualitative proxy for atmospheric stability, whereas TKE alone is not.
Cristina L. Archer, Dana L. Veron, Fabrice Veron, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
Brian A. Colle, Matthew J. Sienkiewicz, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, USA
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 121. doi: 10.1002/2016JD024896
Author: National Institute of Hygiene, National Institute of Public Health, Poland
The National Institute of Public Health–National Institute of Hygiene is of the opinion that wind farms situated too close to buildings intended for permanent human occupation may have a negative impact on the comfort of living and health of the people living in their proximity.
The human health risk factors that the Institute has taken into consideration in its position are as follows:
- the emitted noise level and its dependence on the technical specifications of turbines, wind speed as well as the landform and land use around the wind farm,
- aerodynamic noise level including infrasound emissions and low-frequency noise components,
- the nature of the noise emitted, taking into account its modulation/impulsive/tonal characteristics and the possibility of interference of waves emitted from multiple turbines,
- the risk of ice being flung from rotors,
- the risk of turbine failure with a rotor blade or its part falling,
- the shadow flicker effect,
- the electromagnetic radiation level (in the immediate vicinity of turbines),
- the probability of sleep disruptions and noise propagation at night,
- the level of nuisance and probability of stress and depression symptoms occurring (in consequence of long exposure), related both to noise emissions and to non-acceptance of the noise source.
In the Institute’s opinion, the laws and regulations currently in force in Poland (regarding risk factors which, in practice, include only the noise level) are not only inadequate to facilities such as wind turbines, but they also fail to guarantee a sufficient degree of public health protection. The methodology currently used for environmental impact assessment of wind farms (including human health) is not applicable to wind speeds exceeding 5 m/s. In addition, it does not take into account the full frequency range (in particular, low frequency) and the nuisance level.
In the Institute’s view , owing to the current lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework governing the assessment of health risks related to the operation of wind farms in Poland, an urgent need arises to develop and implement a comprehensive methodology according to which the sufficient distance of wind turbines from human habitation would be determined. The methodology should take into account all the above-mentioned potential risk factors, and its result should reflect the least favourable situation. In addition to landform and land use characteristics, the methodology should also take into consideration the category, type, height and number of turbines at a specific farm, and the location of other wind farms in the vicinity. Similar legislative arrangements aimed to provide for multi-criteria assessment, based on complex numerical algorithms, are currently used in the world.
The Institute is aware of the fact that owing to the diversity of factors and the complicated nature of such an algorithm, its development within a short time period may prove very difficult. Therefore, what seems to be an effective and simpler solution is the prescription of a minimum distance of wind turbines from buildings intended for permanent human occupation. Distance criteria are also a common standard-setting arrangement. Having regard to the above, until a comprehensive methodology is developed for the assessment of the impact of industrial wind farms on human health, the Institute recommends 2 km as the minimum distance of wind farms from buildings. The recommended value results from a critical assessment of research results published in reviewed scientific periodicals with regard to all potential risk factors for average distance usually specified within the fo0llowing limits:
- 0.5-0.7 km, often obtained as a result of calculations, where the noise level (dBA) meets the currently acceptable values (without taking into account adjustments for the impulse/tonal/modulation features of the nose emitted),
- 0.5-3.0 km, resulting from the noise level, taking into account modulation, low frequencies and infrasound levels,
- 0.5-1.4 km, related to the risk of turbine failure with a broken rotor blade or its part falling (depending on the size of the piece and its flight profile, rotor speed and turbine type),
- 0.5-0.8 km, where there is a risk of ice being flung from rotors (depending on the shape and mass of ice, rotor speed and turbine type),
- 1.0-1.6 km, taking into account the noise nuisance level (between 4% and 35% of the population at 30-45 dBA) for people living in the vicinity of wind farms,
- the distance of 1.4-2.5 km, related to the probability of sleep disruptions (on average, between 4% and 5% of the population at 30-45 dBA),
- 2.0 km, related to the occurrence of potential psychological effects resulting from substantial landscape changes (based on the case where the wind turbine is a dominant landscape feature and the rotor movement is clearly visible and noticeable to people from any location),
- 1.2-2.1 km, for the shadow flicker effect (for the average wind turbine height in Poland, including the rotor, of 120 to 210 m).
In its opinions, the Institute has also taken into account the recommended distances of wind farms from buildings, as specified by experts, scientists, as well as central and local government bodies around the world (usually 1.0-5.0 km).
Author: Balotari-Chiebao, Fabio; et al.
Abstract. As a clean and renewable energy source, wind power is expected to play a major role in climate change mitigation. Despite its benefits, the construction of large-scale wind farms in many parts of the world is a cause of concern for wildlife, including the often vulnerable raptor populations. Here, we examined the influence of distance to wind-power plants on the white-tailed eagle Haliaeetus albicilla in terms of (1) breeding success; (2) post-fledging survival; and (3) territory occupancy and turbine avoidance (via nest site changes). Our results show that the probability of a pair breeding successfully is lower when the territory is located closer to turbines, potentially because of collision mortality (to which adults are particularly vulnerable). A capture-mark-recapture analysis showed no evidence for the effect of distance on post-fledging survival, suggesting that collision risk may not have been greater for juveniles that fledged closer to a power plant. The levels of disturbance experienced by birds in the study areas were not great enough to prevent breeding at closer distances to the turbines. Our findings on breeding success underline the importance of building appropriately sited wind farms as a way to reduce or avoid undesirable effects on avian populations.
F. Balotari-Chiebao, J.E. Brommer, T. Laaksonen
Section of Ecology, Department of Biology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
WWF Finland, Helsinki, Finland
Animal Conservation. Published online before print, October 19, 2015.
Download original document: “Proximity to wind-power plants reduces the breeding success of the white-tailed eagle”