December 6, 2012

Selectmen presented with wind turbine sound study

By Ken Briggs | Advertiser Democrat | Dec 06, 2012 |

WOODSTOCK – The results of a sound monitoring test of the Spruce Mountain wind turbines was presented to the Woodstock Board of Selectmen December 4.

Reacting to a series of noise complaints by a small group of people on Concord Pond, Patriot Renewables hired Resource Systems Group (RSG) to monitor turbine sound from August 15 to September 6, 2012.

The monitoring station and a meterological station were put in on the north shore of Concord Pond – 1.6 miles from the nearest turbine.

Ken Kaliski, of RSG, explained that there are many variables in how we hear sounds and that many environmental factors can affect it.

Kaliski played several sound clips from the monitoring at the meeting, but little sound could be heard.

He suspects the turbine noise was heard at Concord Pond during times when ambient noise levels were low, for example, when bird and insect noises died out.

He found that the turbine noise was never greater than 32 decibels at the monitoring station, well inside the permitted levels.

Bob Elliot, of the Woodstock Ad Hoc Wind Power Committee, stated his group’s website had received “around 30 noise complaints,” but could not tell how many were from the Concord Pond community.

Todd Presson, from Patriot Renewables, said when they receive complaints from the hotline, they “get the data from the monitor for that time and forward it to DEP.”

There is a permanent sound monitoring station on the east side of Spruce Mountain. Selectman Steve Bies reminded Presson that “that station is a condition of your permit and it must stay there.”

Presson agreed and apologized for his company’s earlier request to the Department of Environmental Protection to remove the station “due to technical difficulties.”

The board approved a warrant for a special town meeting on December 18 to cover shortfalls in various line items. The money would come from the existing overlay account and require no additional tax revenue.

The town has found itself short $24,894 in winter roads, paving and municipal utilities.

In addition, Andre Construction was the sole bidder for a three-year contract to plow and sand Billings Hill Road. The bid is $3,200 a year, and requires “timely daily access for the residents.”

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