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Councilors listen to the wind talk

HIGGINS MOUNTAIN – Through thick fog, heavy winds and ice, members of Cumberland County council braved the cold weather to take a tour of Higgins Mountain where three wind turbines are operational. The tour was to provide more information to the councilors before today’s meeting where a bylaw proposal is on the table.

John Reid, district 9 councilor, commented that the noise coming from the turbine was similar to the tide.

“Just like John said, it reminds me of the ocean with that rhythmic, dull sound,” said Nelson Bezanson, bylaw and policy officer for the county.

Participants of the tour parked in front of the second turbine on the hill and were greeted by Paul Pynn, project manager for the Higgins Mountain site. Asset property manager 3G Energy’s vice president of operations, Graham Findlay, was also on site, but had taken earlier arrivals to do some noise testing.

Taking a GPS system, visitors to the area walked back 170 metres from the wind turbine, over a field, to listen to the noise. Straining through the wind, the turbine was barely audible. Once back at the turbine, visitors walked 250 metres along the road, further onto Higgins Mountain, where again, the turbine was barely audible.

“The only downside (to wind turbines) is a little bit of noise,” said councilor Gerald Read. “There’s more noise going through the trees and leaves.”

Warden Keith Hunter joined the councilors as they climbed into one of the turbines where the power was turned off and back on again. Even the machines inside the turbine weren’t as audible as the fifteen or so people inside voices were.

Before he left the site, Hunter said it was trips like this to the turbines that give council information they’re looking for.

Although Hunter didn’t walk down the road from the turbines, he says he didn’t need to to know there wasn’t much noise.

“I visited the turbine in Rodney on a beautiful day and you couldn’t hear a thing.”

By Raissa Tetanish
The Amherst Daily News


17 April 2007