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Wind Turbine Siting in Minnesota

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).

Contents:

  • Background
  • 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 [1]

Download presentation (view below): “Presentation to the Legislative Energy Commission, October 19, 2017 [2]

(Bill creating a process to address certain noise complaints resulting from wind energy siting: HF2170 [3], SF1906 [4])