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Industrial Wind Energy Facility Ordinance  

Author:  | Maine, Noise, Ordinances, Siting

Setback Requirements

An IWEF shall comply with the following setback requirements, which shall apply in addition to the construction requirements found elsewhere in this ordinance. If more than one (1) setback requirement applies, the greater setback distance shall be met. …

A Minimal Fixed Distance of one (1) mile (5,280 ft.) is required from the outer edge of the base of each IWT to the closest point on any property line of any non-participating property in Sumner. …

Sound Restriction Requirements

All acoustical instrumentation and sound measurement protocol conducted under the ordinance shall meet all the requirements of the following ANSI and IEC Standards cited in the Appendix.

1. Audible Sound Restrictions

No IWEF shall be allowed to operate if, it exceeds (35) dBA day or night, anywhere in the Town, or the pre-construction L90A+5dB whichever is more restrictive. Background Sound Level L90 results are valid when L10 results are no more than 15 dBA above L90 for the same time period. Pre-construction background noise studies for audible noise shall be conducted by a qualified independent acoustical consultant selected by the Board for all properties any part of whose property lines are located within two (2) miles of an IWT. Such background noise studies shall also be conducted before a new Owner/Operator’s application is approved by the Board and every three years during the operational life of the IWEF, unless such a study has already been conducted during the previous twelve (12) months.

2. Low Frequency Sound Restrictions

a. Sumner baseline background noise levels (separate dBA numbers measured for day and night) plus fifteen (15) equals the maximum dBC levels allowed, but never exceeding 50 dBC anywhere in the Town. If the day or night dBC levels are lower than 50 dBC, the most restrictive of these noise levels shall control.

b. No IWEF or individual IWT shall be approved if pre-construction sound modeling and studies indicate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that to do so would cause any of the above noise restrictions to be exceeded.

c. Pre-construction background noise studies for infra and low frequency sound shall be conducted by a qualified independent acoustical consultant selected by the Board for all properties any part of whose property lines are located within two (2) miles of any IWT. Such background noise studies shall also be conducted before a new owner/operators application for an operational license is approved by the Board and every three years during the operational life of the IWEF, unless such a study has already been conducted during the previous twelve (12) Months.

3. Post-Construction Sound Measurements/Testing

a. The Owner/Operator shall continually collect sound level and MET data at several key locations on the turbines and around the perimeter of the IWEF as determined by the Board with consultation from an acoustical engineer of their choice. Such data collection, to continue throughout the full life time of the IWEF, will be transmitted in a form, frequency, format and distribution acceptable to the Board.

b. Summary reports of any and all exceedances or complaints, with explanations as to what they were, why they happened and what action occurred to correct the problem(s) must be sent to the Board on a monthly basis. All sound/Met data, in a format acceptable to the Board, must be sent to the Board quarterly and when requested for complaint resolution(s).

c. Sound measurement studies conducted by an independent acoustical consultant selected by the Board will determine sound levels immediately after construction of the IWEF, first with all IWTs operating and then with all IWTs shut down. Such tests will be repeated on multiple days and during different weather conditions until the consultant is satisfied that sufficient and representative data has been obtained. The results of these studies shall be compared with those conducted prior to construction of the IWEF and reported in writing to the Board for its consideration of noise compliance. These studies shall be conducted for each application for a Permit/Operational License.

d. The IWEF Applicant and/or Owner/Operator shall provide all technical information required by the Board or acoustical consultant before, during, and/or after any acoustical studies required by this document. …

Shadow Flicker

IWEFs may not cause an unreasonable adverse shadow flicker effect at any occupied structure on a Non-Participating Landowner’s property. For the purpose of this section, “unreasonable adverse shadow flicker” means shadow flicker occurring for three (3) days or more in any one (1) month that, if annualized, would total more than twelve (12) hours of flicker per year. The application will not be approved if the study estimates that the duration of the flicker will be such that there are more than twelve (12) hours of flicker per year at any occupied structure located on a Non-Participating Parcel. …

Stray Voltage Assessment and Requirements

1. Following construction of the IWEF and within one (1) year after commencing operation, the Applicant shall conduct a post-construction stray voltage test on all buildings located within a one (1) mile radius of the Project Parcels. An investigator, approved by the Board, using a testing protocol which is approved by the Board, shall perform the tests. A report of the tests shall be provided to the Board and to the owners of all property included in the study area. The Applicant shall seek written permission from property owners prior to conducting testing on private property. The Applicant shall not be required to perform testing on property where the owners have refused to grant permission to conduct the testing.

2. The Owner/Operator shall provide neutral isolation devices to property owners where testing reveals neutral-to-earth voltages in excess of zero point five (0.5) volts caused by the IWEF.

3. The Owner/Operator shall be responsible for all costs incurred with the pre- and post-construction test. …

Re-commissioning & Decommissioning

1. The Owner/Operator shall at its own expense either re-commission or decommission the IWEF at the end of its useful life. The “end of useful life” is defined as: thirty (30) days after the Owner/Operator decides to cease generating electricity or one-hundred eighty (180) days after the IWEF has stopped generating electricity for any reason. The Board may consider alternative timelines based on a written request from the Owner/Operator.

2. Decommissioning shall include removal of IWTs and foundations to a depth of twenty-four (24) inches. All buildings, cabling, electrical components, roads, and any other associated facilities shall be removed unless, at the end of the IWT or IWEF’s useful life, as determined in accordance within this ordinance, the Applicant provides written evidence of plans for continued beneficial use of these components of the IWEF, and this evidence is approved by the Planning Board.

3. Except as otherwise provided elsewhere within this ordinance, disturbed earth shall be graded and re-seeded, unless the Participating Landowner of the affected land requests otherwise in writing.

Download original document: “Sumner, Me.: Industrial Wind Energy Facility Ordinance

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send queries to query/wind-watch.org.

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