What wind farm neighbours have to tolerate is nothing short of criminal: incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound drives neighbours nuts and, where they have the option, out of their homes altogether. The most common adverse health effect caused by wind turbine noise emissions in sleep deprivation, which brings with it a grab bag of other even more serious health effects.
One of the wind industry’s hackneyed myth is that these well-known adverse health effects are all a figment of the countless victims’ febrile and readily suggestible imaginations.
The so-called ‘nocebo’ theory – cooked up by a former tobacco advertising guru – also has it that it is only those people who are not being paid who complain of ill effects from turbine noise and vibration; their runaway ‘jealousy’ being the cause.
However, that theory doesn’t seem to sit all that well with people like Clive and Trina Gare, South Australian farmers – who receive over $200,000 a year from AGL to host turbines on their property near Hallett. Clive and Trina gave evidence in June last year to the Federal Senate Inquiry into wind power that the noise from the turbines on their property is “unbearable” and continues to prevent them sleeping in their own home, even after the installation of sound-proofing and double glazed windows, paid for by AGL (see our post here).
Demonstrative of the level of contempt in which wind power outfits hold their victims, in a number of cases they have continued to operate turbines which emit ear piercing screeching noises; in addition to their usual cacophony of rumbles and thumps produced by 50 m blades with their outer tips travelling at over 300 km/h, as well as the whirrs and the grinding metallic noise produced by gears and generators.
Here’s a taste of what neighbours have to suffer, without the ear piercing shrieks and screeches:
While that might be enough to drive all but the most stoic to the edge, it’s far from the worst that wind power outfits are prepared to inflict on their thousands of unwilling victims.
Evidently, wind power outfits are quite happy to allow defective turbines producing screaming, shrieking or screeching noises to continue to operate, irrespective of the complaints raised by the neighbours.
In this post, will first go back to the archives and take a look at what went on at Cape Bridgewater.
Pacific Hydro – run by Union Heavy, Garry Weaven and funded by Union Super money handled by Members Equity Bank, controlled by his best mate Greg Combet – operates a non-compliant wind farm at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria – and has done since 2008.
The Victorian government is well aware that Pac Hydro does not and can not comply with the noise conditions of its planning consent, but does nothing to challenge it. This malign acquiescence means that Pac Hydro has been able to (unlawfully) pocket millions of RECs (at times worth up to $60 each) over the last 5 years when it should have never been accredited by the Clean Energy Regulator to receive RECs at all. But that’s just the financial aspect of a far greater crime.
By aiding and abetting Pac Hydro to breach the noise conditions of its planning consent (the ones meant to protect neighbours from excessive noise) the Victorian government is also guilty of causing untold and unnecessary human suffering.
If you were to breach the conditions of a planning permit – by say, adding an extra metre or two to a boundary wall – the Vic Planning Department would have you tear it down in a jiffy. But, when it comes to enforcing the rules that are supposed to govern the operation of wind farms, these boys run strangely silent.
STT thinks the answer lays in the cracking speech delivered by Victorian Senator, John “Marshall” Madigan before Christmas, which lambasted the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy and the wind industry’s “Mr Fix-it”, Andrew Tongue for their role in helping outfits like Pac Hydro ride roughshod over the rules – and a lot of ordinary, hard-working rural people.
As if tolerating an endless barrage of turbine generated low-frequency noise and infra-sound wasn’t bad enough, long-suffering neighbours have had to put up with an excruciating “screech” emitted by Pac Hydro’s giant fans. The “screech” has been a periodic feature of daily life at Cape Bridgewater since 2011.
Pac Hydro has made a series of hollow promises to their victims about fixing the “screech” – which have, quite evidently, come to nothing.
Cop an ear-full of this 3 minute video – recorded over the last 3 years at a home 600 metres from the nearest turbine – capturing the “gently soothing tones” (the industry’s pet acoustic consultants liken it to waves lapping on a moonlit beach) produced by Pac Hydro’s giant fans – and featuring the pure “melody” of the “screech”:
What a tremendous consolation it must be for Pac Hydro’ numerous Cape Bridgewater victims to know that it’s “sorry” about the “screech”.
With hollow promises and disingenuous apologies it’s little wonder the locals are experiencing what is euphemistically called “community outrage”.
A while back, Pac Hydro sent in the shadowy outfit “Futureye” in an effort to quell local disquiet – using its own special brand of “outrage management” (see our post here). But it seems its efforts have simply backfired – the victims are, quite rightly, angrier than ever.
No one should have to put up with treatment like this. Those that created it – and those who seek to excuse it – should hang their heads in shame.
Now, here’s a repeat of the outrageous treatment of Cape Bridgewater’s long-suffering neighbours playing out in Vermont. Just like those at Cape Bridgewater, Melodie McLane and her family have been living with turbines screaming like Banshees, and the wind farm operator couldn’t care less.
The Screamer on Georgia Mountain
7 November 2016
David Blittersdorf has provided Georgia Mountain neighbors with several weeks’ worth of eerie screaming on Georgia Mountain. The screaming has been attributed to a damaged blade on one of his turbines by various noise experts who have listened to audio recordings of the noise.
We remind David Blittersdorf of a statement that he made in a story in VTDigger regarding the recent icing violations incurred by his project:
“Looking forward, GMCW will participate with the other parties in the next phase of the PSB proceeding, and as always will look for ways that the Project can continue to be a good neighbor and to provide important benefits to Vermont,” Blittersdorf said in a statement.
We stood outside on a dark cold night and took audio recordings of the screaming turbine to submit with a complaint on Oct. 9, to the Department of Public Service. We described the noise as a high-pitched “whistling” as the blade turns. One of our boys has since more aptly described the noise as a “woman screaming on the mountain,” so we now almost affectionately (rolling our eyes) call it the “screaming turbine.”
We waited patiently for the response.
A good neighbor would have responded on the day of the complaint. A good neighbor would have stood at the end of our driveway and listened to the screaming and admitted that there is a problem. A good neighbor would have shut down the screaming turbine and fixed it.
David Blittersdorf’s spokesperson, Martha Staskus, waited the full allowed 14 days to respond. “During the period of the landowner’s concern, no operational changes or changes in software have been implemented. The Goldwind site operations team completed site inspections the week of 10-17 to ensure no issues were present with the operations of the turbines that would generate additional noise. Goldwind has determined that the turbines are operating as normal.” No mention of the possibility of a damaged blade, as questioned by the person at the Department of Public Service assigned to our case.
After living next to this project for four years we have learned a few things about noise emitting from the turbines. This screaming is not due to operational or changes in software that may have been implemented. It’s a noise that we have never heard before. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or Goldwind site operations team) to listen to the screaming and realize that something isn’t right.
David Blittersdorf allows the screaming turbine to turn, while the Department of Public Service continues to investigate. The screaming turbine continues to make him money; the state of Vermont continues to spend money, investigating our complaint.
We will stand out in the cold dark night and get more audio recordings to send to the Department of Public Service, keeping our communication polite, yet persistent, and perhaps one day David Blittersdorf will be forced to fix the screaming turbine.
David Blittersdorf will most likely respond to this as he often has in the past, that “we are just the complainers.” Admittedly, we are the complainers, because we are one of several homes that are the closest to his project, thus the most adversely affected by noise emitted from his project. We just happen to be the spokesperson for these close neighbors who do not have access to email. Guilty, bad little neighbors (rolling our eyes again).
We will patiently wait for the day when David Blittersdorf begins to treat the neighbors on Georgia Mountain like people, not collateral damage in his quest to be the hero and save the world, making millions of dollars along the way.
In the following video, a band of very disgruntled Vermonters justifiably vent spleen on a system so rotten and corrupt, it’s beyond all reasoned imagination.