Shirley Windfarm Low Frequency Noise Report

BEFORE  THE     PUBLIC  SERVICE  COMMISSION  OF  WISCONSIN  

Application  of  Highland  Wind  Farm,  LLC,  for  a   Certificate  of  Public  Convenience  and  Necessity          Docket  No.  2535-­‐CE-­‐100   To  Construct  a  102.5  Megawatt  Wind  Electric  Generation   Facility  and  Associated  Electric  Facilities,  to  be  Located   In  the  Towns  of  Forest  and  Cylon,  St.  Croix  County,     Wisconsin

Ex.-­‐Clean  Wisconsin-­‐Hessler-­‐6     

      Please  enter  the  attached  report titled

“A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin”

”  into  the  record  as  Ex.-­‐Clean   Wisconsin-­‐Hessler-­6.

Report Number 122412-1 Issued: December 24, 2012 Revised:

A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin

Prepared Cooperatively By:

Channel Islands Acoustics, Camarillo, CA

Principal: Dr. Bruce Walker

Hessler Associates, Inc., Haymarket, VA

Principals: George F. and David M. Hessler

Rand Acoustics, Brunswick, ME

Principal: Robert Rand

Schomer and Associates, Inc., Champaign, IL

Principal: Dr. Paul Schomer

Report Number 122412-1 Issued: December 24, 2012 Revised:

A Cooperative Measurement Survey and Analysis of Low Frequency and Infrasound at the Shirley Wind Farm in Brown County, Wisconsin

Prepared Cooperatively By:

Channel Islands Acoustics, Camarillo, CA

Principal: Dr. Bruce Walker

Hessler Associates, Inc., Haymarket, VA

Principals: George F. and David M. Hessler

Rand Acoustics, Brunswick, ME

Principal: Robert Rand

Schomer and Associates, Inc., Champaign, IL

Principal: Dr. Paul Schomer

1.0_Introduction

Clean Wisconsin is a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization that works to protect Wisconsin’s air and water and to promote clean energy. As such, the organization is generally supportive of wind projects. Clean Wisconsin was retained by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) to provide an independent review of a proposed wind farm called the Highlands Project to be located in St. Croix County, WI (WI PSC Docket 2535-CE-100). Clean Wisconsin in turn retained Hessler Associates, Inc. (HAI) to provide technical assistance.

During the course of the hearings, attorneys representing groups opposed to the Highlands project, presented witnesses that lived near or within the Shirley Wind project in Brown County, WI. The Shirley wind project is made up of eight Nordex100 wind turbines that is one of the turbine models being considered for the Highlands projects. These witnesses testified that they and their children have suffered severe adverse health effects to the point that they have abandoned their homes at Shirley. They attribute their problems to arrival of the wind turbines. David Hessler, while testifying for Clean Wisconsin, suggested a sound measurement survey be made at the Shirley project to investigate low frequency noise (LFN) and infrasound (0-20 Hz) in particular.

Partial funding was authorized by the PSC to conduct a survey at Shirley and permission for home entry was granted by the three homeowners. The proposed test plan called for the wind farm owner, Duke Energy, to cooperate fully in supplying operational data and by turning off the units for short intervals so the true ON/OFF impact of turbine emissions could be documented. Duke declined this request due to the cost burden of lost generation, and the homeowners withdrew their permission at the last moment because no invited experts on their behalf were available to attend the survey.

Clean Wisconsin, their consultants and attorneys for other groups all cooperated and persisted and the survey was rescheduled for December 4 thru 7, 2012. Four acoustical consulting firms would cooperate and jointly conduct and/or observe the survey. Channel Islands Acoustics (ChIA) has derived modest income while Hessler Associates has derived significant income from wind turbine development projects. Rand Acoustics is almost exclusively retained by opponents of wind projects. Schomer and Associates have worked about equally for both proponents and opponents of wind turbine projects. However, all of the firms are pro-wind if proper siting limits for noise are considered in the project design.

The measurement survey was conducted on schedule and this report is organized to include four Appendices A thru D where each firm submitted on their own letterhead a report summarizing their findings. Based on this body of work, a consensus is formed where possible to report or opine on the following:

• Measured LFN and infrasound documentation

• Observations of the five investigators on the perception of LFN and infrasound both outside and inside the three residences.

• Observations of the five investigators on any health effects suffered during and after the 3 to 4 day exposure.

• Recommendations for the existing Shirley project

To continue reading report, click here: Shirley-LFN-infrasound1

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