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Residents complain of noise generated by turbines on Green Mountain

KEYSER, W.Va. — Wind turbines at the Pinnacle Wind Farm on Green Mountain are being tested and already residents are expressing concern about noise, according to Wayne Spiggle, who is a member of the Allegheny Highlands Alliance.

Richard Braithwaite and his brother Gary Braithwaite, who live near the Pinnacle Wind Farm, have been experiencing noise from the wind turbines. If you are standing directly under the turbines, you can’t hear them, according to Spiggle.

“The noise from the windmills is so unbelievable. It is so loud that I cannot sleep,” wrote Richard Braithwaite in an email to Spiggle. Braithwaite lives three-quarters of a mile from the turbines. “I have complained to Dave Friend (chairman and CEO of US Windforce LLC) and the company from California who purchased them, but all they say is they are working on the noise problem. They said these windmills were made by Mitsubishi and they have never used them around homes. They said they didn’t know they made this much noise.”

Spiggle also noted that some people who live near the turbines can experience light flicker, which can lead to vertigo. The flicker is caused when the sun hits the wind turbines at a certain angle and creates a constant moving shadow. Charley Parnell, vice president of public affairs for Edison Mission Energy of Irvine, Calif., which purchased the Pinnacle Wind Farm in April, noted that he is aware of complaints regarding noise and light flicker at other projects.

“We believe that we have designed a project that will have little, if any, negative impact on our neighbors. We are committed to being a good corporate citizen and would address any concerns with our neighbors directly,” said Parnell in an email to the Times-News.

“With regards to the concerns about Mitsubishi turbines, I must tell you that I’m not aware of any specific concerns regarding these turbines. They have been placed throughout the country and to my knowledge don’t come with any operational issues. The state permitting process addressed all of these issues.”

Spiggle suggested that Braithwaite and his neighbors join forces with the Allegheny Front Alliance to prevent further turbine installation in the county and possibly get Edison Mission Energy to turn off the turbines at night.

“They (Edison) said they are shutting them down at night, but I can still see and hear them turning,” said Braithwaite in the email.

“I find it interesting but very troubling that the turbines are not even online yet and the noise they are making is already disrupting your right and the right of your neighbors to your constitutional rights,” Spiggle wrote in an email response to Braithwaite.