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Kingston turbine: Sound study report not released by midweek

KINGSTON – The final Kingston Wind Independence turbine sound study report had not yet been released by midweek.

The draft KWI acoustical monitoring study technical report, released in April, was followed by a public meeting held June 18 to discuss the results.

After that meeting, the Consensus Building Institute, on behalf of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, was to compile a summary of oral and written comments.

MassCEC spokesman Matt Kakley said at the end of the business day Wednesday (Aug. 5) that consultants were still working on the summary.

“At this point, we’re still planning to release that comment summary document this week, and hope to release the final report, as well,” he said.

Kakley said there were about 38 comments, but the consultant has broken them down by comment topic, so it’s possible that some of those are coming from the same submission.

He said once the project team has finished going through the comments, they’ll be able to determine if any clarification is needed in the report and that will impact the release date.

The process, as explained to stakeholders in a July 13 email from MassCEC, was that the summary of comments would be released some time this week (the week starting Aug. 3).

According to the email, the process has taken longer than expected due in part to MassCEC’s commitment to include the Dec. 13, 2013, and Jan. 21, 2014, monitoring data.

“HMMH (Harris Miller Miller Hanson) has to compile that data and make the wind speed adjustments for the associated KWI turbine SCADA data for those two dates,” the email explains.

This data, demanded by residents through a Freedom of Information Act request, was originally deemed invalid.

The Board of Health has set 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, for a meeting to discuss possible changes to the abatement order for excessive noise that went into effect a year ago. That meeting was set pending release of the final report.

The abatement order presently specifies that as a form of abatement for the turbine generating noise at excessive levels, KWI may either shut the turbine down or employ a low-noise mode during specific hours and under specific conditions.

The low-noise mode hours are from midnight to 4 a.m. throughout the year when the wind is blowing from a south or south/southwest direction in excess of 8 meters per second at the turbine hub.

When it meets Aug. 17, the board may also discuss hiring its own acoustical engineer as a consultant.