Resource Documents — latest additions
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.
Effects of Different Spectral Shapes and Amplitude Modulation of Broadband Noise on Annoyance Reactions in a Controlled Listening Experiment
Author: Schäffer, Beat; et al.
Abstract: Environmental noise from transportation or industrial infrastructure typically has a broad frequency range. Different sources may have disparate acoustical characteristics, which may in turn affect noise annoyance. However, knowledge of the relative contribution of the different acoustical characteristics of broadband noise to annoyance is still scarce. In this study, the subjectively perceived short-term (acute) annoyance reactions to different broadband sounds (namely, realistic outdoor wind turbine and artificial, generic sounds) at 40 dBA were investigated in a controlled laboratory listening experiment. Combined with the factorial design of the experiment, the sounds allowed for separation of the effects of three acoustical characteristics on annoyance, namely, spectral shape, depth of periodic amplitude modulation (AM), and occurrence (or absence) of random AM. Fifty-two participants rated their annoyance with the sounds. Annoyance increased with increasing energy content in the low-frequency range as well as with depth of periodic AM, and was higher in situations with random AM than without. Similar annoyance changes would be evoked by sound pressure level changes of up to 8 dB. The results suggest that besides standard sound pressure level metrics, other acoustical characteristics of (broadband) noise should also be considered in environmental impact assessments, e.g., in the context of wind turbine installations.
Beat Schäffer, Reto Pieren, Empa, Laboratory for Acoustics/Noise Control, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dübendorf
Sabine J. Schlittmeie, HSD Hochschule Döpfer—University of Applied Sciences, Köln, and TU Kaiserslautern, Germany
Mark Brink, Federal Office for the Environment, Bern, Switzerland
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2018, 15, 1029
Author: Newman, David; and Fisher, Brian
Abstract: Atlantic Wind, LLC, a subsidiary of the renewable energy company Avangrid Renewables of Portland Oregon, is proposing to construct a state-of-the-art large-scale wind turbine energy farm (LSWF) of approximately 88 Gamesa G-132 wind turbines in the heart of the rural Tug Hill region at the intersection of Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego counties in upstate New York. The proposal, entitled the “Mad River Wind Farm,” would have a nameplate capacity generate [electricity at a rate of] up to 350 MW (megawatts, or million watts), enough to provide power for 60,000 typical households over the course of the 20-30 year life span of the project (however, the actual power produced may be substantially less). The project is to be sited under a new, unified review and approval process for electrical facilities generating in excess of 25 MW, according to provisions of Art. 10 of the NYS Public Service Law. Traditionally, forested landscapes were considered as “no-go” locations for siting LSWFs, [owing] to their inaccessibility and problems with airflow turbulence in potentially uneven forested canopies. However, as technology has improved and turbines have increased in height (400 to 600+ feet), forests are receiving new attention as large-scale landscapes to site wind farms. Only a handful of LSWFs have been constructed in forested landscapes in the US. While wind farms are often considered as beneficial, renewable forms of “green energy” and are increasingly favored by the environmental community for their important contributions to sustainable energy development and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, they may not always have benign impacts to the environment where they are sited. This white paper, prepared for the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, examines the potential ecological and environmental impacts from the proposed Mad River project, and focuses on direct and indirect impacts from both the construction and operational phases of the project.
The bio-physical ecological impacts addressed include:
- micro-climate and air quality;
- noise and visual impacts;
- riparian water quality and palustrine wetlands;
- timber stand dynamics and the potential for forest fragmentation;
- invasive species;
- bat and bird mortality;
- recreational impacts;
- transportation, road building, and ancillary energy facilities construction;
- the potential impact on DOD radar and electronic facilities;
- safety and security issues; and
- connectivity issues related to the existing structure and assimilative capacity of the electric grid network of the region,
Prepared for Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust by Dr. David H. Newman (Principal Investigator), and Prof. Brian L. Fisher, M.S. (PhD Student; Primary Author), Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, April 2018
Download original document: “Mad River Wind Farm Impact Assessment Study in the Tug Hill Region of New York State”
Using residential proximity to wind turbines as an alternative exposure measure to investigate the association between wind turbines and human health
Author: Barry, Rebecca; Sulsky, Sandra; and Kreiger, Nancy
[Abstract] This analysis uses data from the Community Noise and Health Study developed by Statistics Canada to investigate the association between residential proximity to wind turbines and health-related outcomes in a dataset that also provides objective measures of wind turbine noise. The findings indicate that residential proximity to wind turbines is correlated with annoyance and health-related quality of life measures. These associations differ in some respects from associations with noise measurements. Results can be used to support discussions between communities and wind-turbine developers regarding potential health effects of wind turbines.
[Results] Results suggest that proximity to wind turbines is inversely associated with the environment domain quality of life score (β = 1.23, SE = 0.145, p = 0.046). This association suggests that every kilometre a person lives further away from a wind turbine is associated with a 1.23 point increase in score on the environmental health quality of life scale. A higher score is indicative of a higher environmental quality of life. … Distance to wind turbines was also found to be strongly associated with increased annoyance (OR = 0.19; 95% CI = 0.07, 0.53, p = 0.001). This suggests that the odds of reporting being annoyed by a turbine are reduced by about 20% for every kilometer a person lives further away from a wind turbine. …
[Discussion] These results show that living closer in proximity to wind turbines is negatively correlated with self-rated environmental quality of life and physical health quality of life. These findings suggest that the mechanism of effect may not be noise, or not noise alone, and may include visual sight, vibrations, shadow flicker, sub-audible low frequency sound, or mechanisms that include individual subjective experiences and attitudes towards wind turbines. … Our findings strengthen the argument that wind turbines are associated with annoyance, as this association is now found with both modelled A-weighted sound pressure levels and with residential distance to wind turbines. Other research has found that individuals reporting annoyance due to environmental noise also report health conditions including ischemic heart disease, depression, and migraines.
Rebecca Barry and Nancy Kreiger, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sandra I. Sulsky, Ramboll Environ US, Amherst, Massachusetts
J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 143 (6), June 2018, 3278–3282
Author: EDF Renewables Development
‘This Tenant Subordination Agreement states that you, as the tenant, agree to subordinate your priority under your lease with the landowner to the Wind Farm Lease and provide your consent for EDF Renewables Development, Inc. and their affiliates to develop and use of the property, as indicated under the terms of the Wind Farm Lease.’
Download original document: “Tenant Subordination Agreement”