PORTAGE – A noisy rotor problem on some turbines in the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm was described Tuesday as “minor,” and localized to just some of the 40 turbines at the Cambria-Blair county farm.
“We have been working with Babcock & Brown and we have a schedule set up for repair,” said Ellen Lutz, Gamesa Inc.’s director of development for the Atlantic Region.
Correcting the problem may ease some concerns by residents living in the heart of the wind farm in the Blue Knob area, where Portage, Greenfield and Juniata townships meet.
But residents – including Myrle Baum – are not optimistic. Baum said at times the operating windmills sound like a jet going over his house,
The wind farm was developed by Gamesa and sold earlier this year to Babcock & Brown, which operates the energy generating facility.
Babcock & Brown spokesman Matt Dallas said Monday the company is aware of residents’ complaints and is working with Gamesa to correct the rotor problem.
Lutz said a “small cluster” of windmills are creating what she termed as a “whistling blade,” and the problem can be fixed within days.
Plans are to conduct a sound analysis the first week of December to help Gamesa pinpoint the troublesome rotors, followed by corrective action.
“It’s a localized problem. It’s a pretty minor problem,” she said.
Monday, the Juniata Township supervisors said they would hire a Mechanicsburg sound expert to conduct tests.
The three townships have ordinances in place limiting the noise from the turbines to 45 decibels, about the sound level of a refrigerator.
A sound study done by the residents shows times when the turbines were producing levels topping 70 decibels.
A similar request is expected for Portage Township.
By Kathy Mellott
13 November 2007
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