Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Life Near Mars Hill, Maine

Mars Hill residents voice concerns over wind tower noise
Bangor Daily News, January 26, 2007 by Rachel Rice

Wendy and Perrin Todd knew what would happen to their view of Mars Hill Mountain when crews starting erecting wind towers near their backyard.

They braced themselves when their home, newly built on the north side of the mountain, shook because of the blasting.

But what shocked them — and what they said this week they should not be expected to live with — is the noise.

"They turned on tower Number 9, and almost immediately it made enough noise that it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that can’t be right,’" Wendy Todd said.

"It all depends on the wind speed and direction, but the best way to describe it is you step outside and look up thinking there’s an airplane. It’s like a high-range jet, high-low roar, but with the windmills, there’s a sort of on and off ‘phfoop ... phfoop ... phfoop’ noise."

That’s one "phfoop" or more every two seconds as the turbine’s three blades rotate from 10 to 22 revolutions per minute. It’s loud enough, Todd said, that she can hold her cell phone outside her home and the person on the other end of the call can clearly hear the sound.

Even though tower No. 9 has been shut down in the wake of noise complaints, several local residents who live close to the mountain said they’re worried about what they’ll hear when all 28 wind turbines start rotating sometime in mid-February. Currently 16 turbines are in operation....

"The only thing we’ve got going for us is we’re getting older and that means we’re getting deafer," he said.

The couples agreed that the noises they’ve heard so far go beyond annoyance or frustration.

"Our sleep patterns have already been interrupted," Perrin Todd said. "And that’s with only a few [turbines] running. We assume our sleep patterns would worsen once all of them are up and running."...

Mars Hill Town Manager Ray Mersereau said Thursday that he doesn’t have many answers to give about the noise issue. He confirmed that Evergreen told the town that the turbines would make hardly any noise, and that’s what he’s experienced when he’s stood directly under the towers....

"We have nothing against alternate forms of energy, but when it’s at the expense of residential living, people need to be aware of the facts," Perrin Todd said. "It has to be put in a location where it’s not so intrusive on people’s lives and dreams."

Full article: Mars Hill residents voice concerns over wind tower noise
HT: Industrial Wind Action Group.

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