Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lessons Learned: Mars Hill Town Manager

Mars Hill is Maine’s first industrial wind plant. Its 28 wind turbines have been operating about a year, making headlines about homeowners complaining of noise problems from the start.

From Portland’s Channel 6 website:

Winds Of Change: The Future Of Wind Power In Maine

“A group of about 18 homeowners in Mars Hill is angry about loud noise that is produced by the wind turbines. The neighbors say the noise is not consistent, that it can vary with weather and wind conditions. At times, it's almost inaudible. But at other thimes, they say, the noise can reach over 50 decibels in their homes, disturbing sleep and making life uncomfortable.

”The Maine DEP has been conducting sound testing for months, but still has not released the results. UPC Wind says it wants to do something to alleviate the problem, but so far there is no definite guideline for what that will be.

"And in one step along the wind power learning curve, the Town Manager of Mars Hill says he believes future wind projects should have guidelines for how close wind turbines are placed to homes. He says a turbine within 2,500 feet should have to get a noise easement from the homeowner, to avoid problems with complaints later on.” [Emphasis added.]


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