• Review done in Massachusetts
    November 30,2012

    Wind review done in Massachusetts

    Regarding the discussion about wind projects (“Large crowd turns out in Grafton to hear about wind issues,” Nov. 27), I write as an active member of my town’s energy committee, working to help our state meet its target of meeting 90 percent of energy needs with renewable energy sources by 2050. This is an ambitious but crucial objective — one that we must meet if we want Vermont to have the climate of Vermont, rather than West Virginia (see Union of Concerned Scientists, www.climatechoices.org/assets/documents/climatechoices/vermont_necia.pdf).

    It’s really hard to see how we get to 90 percent without wind projects, so the arguments raised by anti-wind critics need to be evaluated carefully. At the Grafton meeting, concerns about noise were raised — and usefully for Vermont’s decision-making, Massachusetts recently conducted a thorough review of this issue and released its report in January.

    The conclusions include:

    — There is no evidence for a set of health effects from exposure to wind turbines that could be characterized as a “wind turbine syndrome.”

    — The infrasound levels near wind turbines cannot impact the vestibular system.

    — No association between noise from wind turbines and measures of psychological distress or mental health problems.

    Find the whole report at www.mass.gov/dep/public/press/0112wind.htm.

    One of the Grafton speakers talked about noise at a Lempster, N.H., project. Yet New Hampshire Public Radio recently talked with Lempster residents: “Kevin Onella, who leases his land to Iberdrola in Lempster, lives just 500 feet away from one. Onella: In the house, in the summertime, if you open the windows it sounds like the ocean, it doesn’t sound like a big noisy thing.”

    Vermont has a strong permit process that ensures that projects are well-placed and carefully developed. Wind energy is part of the solution.

    Linda Gray


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