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Turbulent times for wind farms

Wind farms can alter the climate, according to new research.

A study by the University of Illinois found turbines could cause daytime temperatures downward of a wind farm to fall by up to 4C.

But at night the turbines are believed to have a warming effect.

University of Illinois scientist Somnath Roy said the effects were caused by turbines reducing wind speed and creating turbulence.

It comes as angry Victorians living near wind farms call for a moratorium on building new farms until further research is conducted on their health implications.

Frustrated land owners also urged the Federal Government at a forum in Buninyong last week to implement the seven recommendations made after last year’s Senate inquiry into wind farms.

Dozens of people spoke at the forum about the health impacts of living near wind turbines.

Leonards Hill resident Jan Perry lives 600-700m from the Hepburn Wind Farm and said her life had changed dramatically since the turbines were turned on.

“The noise is unbearable,” Ms Perry said. “I’ve had it tested and the noise is 70 decibels inside my home. I suffer from earache every night. It’s like living in a pressurised aeroplane.”

Another speaker said the Government had dropped the ball.

“They say scientifically health problems (caused by wind farms) are not substantiated,” he said.

“I remember a number of years ago AC sheeting with asbestos was very good for building. The scientists said it was good. Tell that to the people who are suffering now.”

A Federal Government spokeswoman said: “Issues associated with the health impacts of wind farm developments are being actively considered and monitored by the National Health and Medical Research Council.”