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A stormy forum on wind turbine placement  

Credit:  Feb 14, 2014 | www.wickedlocal.com ~~

Turbines have been out the headlines for a couple of years now but there still on the minds of state officials and the Department of Public Utilities has been inquiring into the best practices for land based wind turbines since Oct. 31. They held a hearing at Cape Cod Community College last Thursday (Feb. 4), to seek input on the guidance they hope to provide local officials.

They say practice makes perfect but a lot of people seemed to feel the “best practice” was no practice at all.

Turbines have been out the headlines for a couple of years now but there still on the minds of state officials and the Department of Public Utilities has been inquiring into the best practices for land based wind turbines since Oct. 31. They held a hearing at Cape Cod Community College last Thursday (Feb. 4), to seek input on the guidance they hope to provide local officials.

The DPU representatives heard first-hand reports, pro and con, scientific and anecdotal evidence and some that was a combination of both, were told they’d never listen and were thanked for being there. Some speakers were weary of the years of hearings and forums others testified for the first time.

“What you’re doing is short of criminal,” Neil Anderson of Falmouth who lives 1,320 feet from Wind 1 in Falmouth told the board. “The worst thing is we’re being ignored. Infrasound, low frequency noise amplitude modulation, put together it’s hell. It’s used for torture. There is no mitigation.”

But Carl Borchert of Nantucket cited successful turbines in Buzzards Bay, Princeton and Hull.

“Wind turbines can be sited in a responsible manner on land,” he said. “Direct drives reduce noise because the gearbox is gone. Pitch regulated blades rotate the blade out of the winds when it gets too high. When the turbine is sweeping around there is a slight thump when the blade passes – insulation would come down from the top and reduce the thump.”

He suggested a minimum distance of twice the turbines’ height to the nearest residence.

Chris Kapsambelis of Bourne noted the state Department of Environmental Protection measured turbine noise at Anderson’s house and recorded 52 decibels. To decrease the sound by six decibels, the distance must be doubled.

“So to get to 40 decibels, which is where it’s supposed to be, you need 1600 meters (one mile),” he explained. “In best practices it talks about 37 decibels in the middle of the night. You’ve got to put them at sea, that’s the only place in Massachusetts that can accommodate wind turbines.”

The folks in Save Our Sound, who’ve been battling Cape Wind for over a decade, wouldn’t agree with that.

“The turbines in Falmouth have fractured and ruined 50-year relationships. Take this back to Governor Patrick, “If it’s wind war he wants then it’s wind war he’ll get,” declared David Moriarity of Falmouth.

“The friends we have are all in favor of the turbines and in a town vote taken last year voted two to one in favor of keeping the turbines,” countered Christina Rawley of Falmouth, who also proved his point about the fracturing of the town.

Source:  Feb 14, 2014 | www.wickedlocal.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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