- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

It’s loud and busy at the sites

For most animals, being around windmills, must seem like one is next to a highway with noisy trucks. H.N. Kumara and his team, from the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), measured the noise levels near windmills as being up to 85 decibels or the noise made by large goods trucks.

The persistent drone of a wind turbine, which operates 24×7, is consistently above 70dB.

This is more than noise levels for residential areas in major cities (55 Db) and even close to noise levels at industrial areas (75dB).

“Normally, ambient noise in forests is less than 40 dB. The continuous noise from windmills is enough to drive these animals away,” says Dr. Kumara.

During their monitoring, researchers noted that these areas remained “busy” with human movement.

Patrolling on the roads set up around turbines was done thrice a day, while anecdotally electrical wires were seen sparking or leaking oil, both of which could lead to forest fires in the bio-diverse grassland habitat. In March 2017, the Forest Department filed a case against a windmill operator after a fire gutted at least 30 acres of grassland at Kappatagudda.