Visual and Noise Effects Reported by Residents Living Close to Manawatu Wind Farms: Preliminary Survey Results
Since 1996, when Tararua Wind Power Limited commenced the construction of 48 wind turbines, the number of existing wind turbines on the Ruahine and Tararua ranges has risen dramatically, to 158 in 2006, with more to come from unimplemented, approved resource consents. The companies behind the applications have won plaudits for the development of sustainable energy generation. However, the effects of wind energy can be controversial. In particular, it is reported in other countries that those who live near the wind turbines may suffer from undesirable visual and noise effects, and the national benefits and local costs may not be in balance. Assessing the precise impact of future wind farm development is important, since the number of proposed wind farms is likely to grow in the coming years. The objective of this study was to investigate the noise and visual effects on local residents from the existing wind turbines in the Manawatu and Tararua region. A total of 1100 urban and rural residents, the majority living within a 3km radius of the wind farms in the Tararua and Manawatu districts were administered a self-reporting survey. The survey asked residents to assess the visual and noise effects of the closest wind farm. This paper presents preliminary results from this study. It demonstrates that 45 percent of respondents living within 2km heard noise from the turbines, and 80 percent thought that the turbines were visually intrusive.
Dr Robyn Phipps (1), Dr Marco Amati (2), Dr Sue McCoard (3), Dr Richard Fisher (4)
1. Institute of Technology and Engineering, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand – firstname.lastname@example.org
2. School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
3. Palmerston North, New Zealand
4. Faculty of International Studies, International Pacific College, Palmerston North New Zealand
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