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FAIRHAVEN – Linda Kellish always thought wind energy was a good idea, but living close to two industrial-sized turbines has changed her feelings.
For one thing, she says, the town’s wind turbines have made it impossible to sleep.
Based on her experience, Ms. Kellish said communities should be very careful about where wind turbines are placed.
“I don’t think anyone realized it was going to be right here,” she said of the turbines that loom over her backyard. “You’ve got people all over saying they’re good,” of the turbines. “Well come over to my house and try to sleep.”
Ms. Kellish lives next to Nasketucket Cemetery on Huttleston Avenue, or Route 6. She said she doesn’t mind the traffic noise because it’s just during the day.
Ms. Kellish said having a good night’s sleep is important to her in her profession.
“I’m awake at 3 a.m. and still haven’t fallen asleep yet and my alarm goes off at 5 a.m.,” she said. She said her work requires concentration. “I cannot go to work tired,” she said. An employee at Lockheed Martin in Marion, she said she works on government contracts in electronics “that protect us.”
Ms. Kellish said she used to enjoy listening to birds chirping in the morning and frogs croaking at night. Although Route 6 is noisy during the daytime during the week, that’s when she’s at work.
Some measure of peace and quiet has been ensured by the fact that the back of her house faces woods that go to the bike path. And the west side of her house abuts the cemetery.
“I had a beautiful breeze from the water,” she said, but last summer the turbines were so loud, “I’ve actually had to close the windows. All you hear is whoop, whoop, whoop on certain days.”
With the windows closed, she has to find other ways to keep her house cool on summer nights, like an air conditioner. “I’ve lived here over 20 years and I’ve never even owned an air conditioner,” she said.
Ms. Kellish said it irks her to come home like she did last Thursday and see the turbines shut down, then hear them making noises that keep her up at night. It also bothers her that they are not on sometimes on windy days, but then are turned on again at night.
Ms. Kellish said especially when blades are facing Mattapoisett, “You can just hear them chomping through.”
She said a compromise could be shutting them down from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. or 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
“I would love it if they could shut them down from June to October when everyone has their windows open at night time,” she said.
Another consideration said Ms. Kellish, who lives in a former Quaker Meetinghouse, is how the turbines have affected her property value.
“I’m not going to be able to sell my house,” she said.
She said she wanted to do work on the exterior, but “any money I put into it, I’m not going to get out of it.”
Of the turbines, she said, “It’s just brought up so many things.” For example, if she does put her house up for sale, does she have to tell potential buyers about the turbines’ noise at night making it impossible to sleep?
“Is that disclosure?” she asked.
She said other locations, like an area with just businesses nearby and no residences, make more sense for locating wind turbines. She asked, “Couldn’t you put them over by AT&T?”
Ms. Kellish would like the town to hold a public meeting where residents can air their complaints. Since filling out the complaint form, she hasn’t heard back from anyone at the Board of Health.
She said getting no response from town officials to her complaint has left her with a helpless feeling of not knowing where to turn.
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