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Resource Documents: U.S. (143 items)

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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:  January 26, 2019
Economics, Environment, Health, TexasPrint storyE-mail story

Local Tax Abatements and the Texas Wind Industry: How Chapters 312 and 313 Are Scarring Rural Texas

Author:  Greer, Stanley

KEY POINTS:

Stanley T. Greer, Texas Public Policy Foundation
January 2019

Download original document: “Tax Abatements and the Texas Wind Energy Industry

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Date added:  January 18, 2019
New Mexico, NoisePrint storyE-mail story

On infrasound generated by wind farms and its propagation in low-altitude tropospheric waveguides

Author:  Marcillo, Omar; et al.

[Abstract]
Infrasound from a 60‐turbine wind farm was found to propagate to distances up to 90 km under nighttime atmospheric conditions. Four infrasound sensor arrays were deployed in central New Mexico in February 2014; three of these arrays captured infrasound from a large wind farm. The arrays were in a linear configuration oriented southeast with 13, 54, 90, and 126 km radial distances and azimuths of 166°, 119°, 113°, and 111° from the 60 1.6 MW turbine Red Mesa Wind Farm, Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, USA. Peaks at a fundamental frequency slightly below 0.9 Hz and its harmonics characterize the spectrum of the detected infrasound. The generation of this signal is linked to the interaction of the blades, flow gradients, and the supporting tower. The production of wind‐farm sound, its propagation, and detection at long distances can be related to the characteristics of the atmospheric boundary layer. First, under stable conditions, mostly occurring at night, winds are highly stratified, which enhances the production of thickness sound and the modulation of other higher‐frequency wind turbine sounds. Second, nocturnal atmospheric conditions can create low‐altitude waveguides (with altitudes on the order of hundreds of meters) allowing long‐distance propagation. Third, night and early morning hours are characterized by reduced background atmospheric noise that enhances signal detectability. This work describes the characteristics of the infrasound from a quasi‐continuous source with the potential for long‐range propagation that could be used to monitor the lower part of the atmospheric boundary layer.

Omar Marcillo, Philip Blom, Earth and Environmental Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico
Stephen Arrowsmith, Kyle Jones, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmosphere, 120, 9855–9868, doi:10.1002/2014JD022821.

On infrasound generated by wind farms and its propagation in low‐altitude tropospheric waveguides

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Date added:  November 20, 2018
New York, OrdinancesPrint storyE-mail story

Wind Energy Facilities Law, Town of Richland, New York

Author:  Town Board, Richland, N.Y.

The Town Board of the Town of Richland finds and declares that:

5-1 The New York State Constitution’s “Bill of Rights for Local Governments” (Article IX, §2-10) obligates local legislators to protect the health, safety and well-being of their community.

5-2 While wind energy is a semi-renewable energy resource of electricity generation, and under some circumstances it may reduce the use of nonrenewable energy sources, the possible benefits must be balanced against potential negative impacts to local citizens, local economy, local ecosystems and regional military facilities.

5-3 Regulation of the siting and installation of wind turbines is necessary for protecting the health, safety and well-being of neighboring property owners, the general public, the local economy and local ecosystems.

5-4 Several independent legal and economic experts have concluded that there can be serious legal and economic detriments for landowners entering into the secretive, complicated and one-sided lease/easement contracts written by industrial wind energy developers.

5-5 Large-scale multiple-turbine industrial wind energy facilities present significant potential negative aesthetic impacts because of their enormous size, lighting, dissimilarity from the natural environment, and possible shadow flicker effects.

5-6 Installation of large-scale multiple-turbine industrial wind energy facilities can create and/or exacerbate drainage problems through erosion and lack of sediment control of facility and access road sites, and harm farmlands and agriculture through construction methods utilized and arable land conversion to industrial purposes.

5-7 Construction of industrial wind energy facilities can create traffic problems, dangerous road conditions for local and other travelers and damage local roads

5-8 There is significant evidence from independent appraisers that industrial wind energy facilities will likely reduce property values of nearby property owners. Said property value reductions will reduce the Town’s tax base, resulting in a tax rate increase on all Town property owners.

5-9 A large-scale industrial wind energy facility may be a significant source of noise and vibration, These can have negative health impacts on residents in neighboring properties, particularly in areas with low ambient noise levels. According to various medical experts (by way of limited example, the World Health Organization), the infrasound component of such noise can be the most problematic.

5-10 In certain circumstances, industrial wind energy facilities can cause electromagnetic interference with some types of communications.

5-11 Independent experts have concluded that bats killed by industrial wind energy turbines can result in an appreciable reduction in regional agricultural yields. Estimates have been done for every county in the United States, and these experts have projected that this could adversely affect our local community’s economy.

5-12 Independent experts have concluded that turbines kill large quantities of birds. Especially troublesome are the raptors that are destroyed. The Town of Richland is located on a major migration route for many species of birds, and is habitat for many species, both year-round and seasonal.

5-13 Independent experts have concluded that industrial turbines can have a variety of adverse health effects on other wildlife, livestock and domestic animals.

5-14 Independent experts have also concluded that industrial turbines can have a variety of adverse effects on hunting and fishing.

5-15 The Town of Richland has many scenic viewsheds, and some of these would be negatively affected by industrial wind energy facilities.

5-16 The Town of Richland is considering adopting a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan which will include the establishment of a Scenic Overlay District in recognition of the importance of the scenic assets of the community.

5-17 Public and private dollars have been invested in infrastructure within the Town to enhance and promote tourism, an important regional industry. Several studies by independent experts have concluded that nearby industrial wind energy facilities can have a major negative economic impact on tourism-sensitive communities.

5-18 The Town and its citizens desire to maintain the pastoral, rural nature of this region. An industrial wind energy facility is in conflict with the culture and character of this community.

5-19 Due to the unusually broad array of potentially problematic findings (and lack of scientifically proven net benefits), the precautionary principle dictates that the Town be particularly conservative and cautionary in its regulation of industrial wind energy.

5-20 In formulation of this Local Law, many studies have been reviewed – and those written by independent experts were given the greatest consideration. (See WiseEnergy.org for good examples of such reports.) Many wind energy ordinances through the United States have been analyzed. Experiences of other communities with industrial wind energy have been studied. An ad hoc Committee was appointed to make recommendations regarding industrial wind energy regulation. Some of the Committee’s conclusions were incorporated into this Local Law.

Noise Impacts:

Applicant will provide a post-construction noise monitoring plan which shall, at a minimum, provide verification from a qualified party that at the WEF [Wind Energy Facility] boundaries and at proximate residences, WEF noise does not exceed 35 dBA for more than five (5) consecutive minutes during a representative range of operating and atmospheric conditions. Instrumentation to verify this shall meet ANSI or IEC Type 1 standards, and measurement procedures shall comply with relevant portions of ANSI 812.9, Part 3. Each report will include the SCADA/Power output data at the time of the testing.

WEF Dimensional Requirements:

To provide for at least minimal operational safety for persons and property located outside of a WEF, all WEFs shall comply with the minimums and maximums contained in the following table:

Type of Wind Energy Facility

Minimum Wind Turbine Setback* from any Property Line, Public or Private Right of Way, and/or Access Easement

Maximum Wind Turbine Height†

Small (≤100 kW)

1.5 feet for each foot of height from any property line and any vacant or occupied dwelling unit on the same property

75 feet

Large (>100 kW)

One (1( mile from facility property lines

500 feet

* Such minimum setbacks for a WEF shall be measured from its outermost extension (whether blade tip, nacelle/turbine housing, or tower/pole edge) that is nearest the WEF property line, public or private right-of- way, and access easement.

† Height is measured from the lowest adjacent grade to the highest point of the structure, including any attachments (such as a lightening protection device or a turbine rotor or tip of the turbine blade when it reaches its highest elevation). No portion of any wind turbine blade shall be closer than 25 feet to any portion of the ground that surrounds any WEF. No LWEF wind turbine shall be permitted to be within five (5) miles of any operating or proposed radar facility (NEXRAD, military, commercial etc.).

Download original document: “Wind Energy Facilities Law, Town of Richland, New York

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Date added:  November 5, 2018
Massachusetts, Noise, SitingPrint storyE-mail story

Re: Falmouth Wind II Turbine Relocation Study

Author:  Rand, Robert

This letter (PDF attached) is respectfully submitted to the Town of Falmouth to provide a qualified professional opinion about the proposed relocation of Wind II. This is submitted independently as a courtesy to the Town free of compensation from any party.

The original permittings for Wind I and Wind II (and NOTUS) resulted in neighbor complaints soon after start-up and were confirmed to exceed Falmouth’s 40-dBA noise limit (turbines sited too close). Weston & Sampson’s relocation recommendation for Wind II appears to be inconsistent with the Town 40 dBA noise limit and the 2017 Barnstable Superior Court Decision.

1. The distance to meet 40 dBA for Wind II, a Vestas V82 with sound power level of 110 dBA, is approximately 891 meters or 2923 feet. This is greater than the setback distances provided by the proposed new location. The proposed new location is still too close.

2. At 2147 and 2244 feet listed in the subject report, the expected sound level is 43 dBA.

3. Use of the proposed new location appears certain to result in the relocated wind turbine’s maximum noise levels exceeding the Falmouth noise limit of 40 dBA.

4. Use of the proposed new location appears certain to result in the relocated wind turbine’s maximum noise levels exceeding established background sound levels of 27-28 dBA by over 10 dB, breaching State 10-dB noise limits.

Supporting detail is provided in the attached PDF. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Respectfully Submitted,
Robert W. Rand, ASA, INCE

October 26, 2018


Robert W. Rand, Member ASA, INCE
Rand Acoustics
Tel: 207-632-1215
Fax: 206-339-3441
Web: http://randacoustics.com

TO:
Mr. Julian M. Suso, Town Manager
Mr. Rod Palmer, Building Commissioner
Town of Falmouth
59 Town Hall Square
Falmouth, MA 02540

Re: Wind Turbine Relocation Study, Weston & Sampson Report, October 12, 2018

Download original document: “Re: Wind Turbine Relocation Study

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