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Keyser wind turbines will be muffled

KEYSER, W.Va. – Edison Mission Group will install noise abatement equipment at its Pinnacle Wind Farm at NewPage located on Green Mountain, according to a news release.

The acoustic louver has been installed on one wind turbine at the site and will now be installed on the remaining 22 wind turbines. Working with turbine manufacturer Mitsubishi, the company conducted a field test of the new equipment on a turbine at the Pinnacle project, which resulted in significant noise reduction, Edison officials said. The company will invest approximately $500,000 to install the noise mitigation equipment on all turbines at the site and expects that the work will be completed by the end of June.

“Based on concerns expressed by some area residents, we performed extensive analysis of the noise from these turbines,” said Charley Parnell, vice president of public affairs for EMG. “We believe Pinnacle is operating in a manner that meets the requirements of our permits, but taking additional steps to mitigate noise is an important part of our commitment to be a responsible corporate citizen of the communities in which we operate. We look forward to many years of providing clean energy generated by Pinnacle, and we intend to work in good faith to address local concerns.”

“After hearing concerns from area residents about the noise levels of the wind turbines, I contacted Edison Mission on their behalf,” said Delegate Gary Howell in the news release. “Edison Mission from the beginning said they were not just going to be a company in Mineral County, but they would be active members of our community. I’m pleased that the company has been good to their word and found a solution to this issue.”

Richard Brathwaite, a resident of Green Mountain, filed a formal complaint with the West Virginia Public Service Commission on Feb. 22, citing that the noise inside his home exceeds 60 decibels and exceeds 80 decibels outside, according to a March 28 memorandum.

The PSC responded that its staff should take another look at noise from the Pinnacle Wind Farm.

“I’ve worked with the company for the past few months and appreciate that they are committed to being an active member of this community,” said Mineral County Commission President Cindy Pyles in the news release. “Actions speak louder than words and this proves to me that Edison Mission wants to be a good neighbor to the folks in Mineral County.”

In addition to installing the noise mitigation equipment, EMG said that it will resurface portions of two roads adjacent to the site. The Pinnacle wind farm has a maximum generating capacity of 55 megawatts, enough electricity to meet the average needs of approximately 14,000 homes. EMG announced in January that the project had been commissioned for operation.

EMG is one of the largest developers of wind energy projects in the U.S. with a current portfolio of 31 projects in operation or under construction in 11 states with a total generating capacity of nearly 2,000 megawatts.