BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. – “At night, at 3 a.m., 4 a.m. in the morning, it sounds like it’s worse. It sounds like helicopters idling in the woods,” said Mark Lavariere, a resident of Florida.
He is complaining about the Hoosac Wind Project. The project, 19 turbines in Florida and Monroe, is operated by Iberdrola Renewables. It’s the largest wind farm in the state and it went active at the end of last year. A few months ago, Governor Deval Patrick touted the success of the project.
“When you think about what they are doing for tens of thousands of homes in terms of clean, renewable and reliable sources of electricity and what that does for our environment, it adds to the beauty,” said Governor Patrick.
But not everyone that lives near the project is convinced. Take George Berne. He took us to his home, a few thousand feet from the turbines, so we could get a look and listen to the machines.
“They sound very much like planes,” said Berne.
A spokesperson for Iberdrola says they’re working within the letter of the law and that they have an obligation to operate in accordance with regulations. Residents are hoping to gather enough complaints so the Department of Environmental Protection can conduct a sound study for the turbines. Their ultimate goal? To go back to a lifestyle they sought in the Berkshires.
“Unless something changes in the near future, my family’s dream of this quiet place to live for myself and my kids and grandkids is going to be altered and has been altered forever,” said Mike Fairneny, a Florida resident.
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