Massachusetts officials were well aware of two distinct types of noise from commercial wind turbines in 2006. The types of noise were regulatory and human annoyance as reported in a wind study for Mattapoisett in 2006. The Vestas V 47 was given as an example.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative was the state's economic development agency for renewable energy. They were stuck with two Vestas V 82 turbines in a warehouse since 2004 at $3500.00 per month until they were installed in Falmouth with 2009 stimulus funds.The turbines were installed in 2010. The storage fees were a political embarrassment and the installation has 50 Falmouth residents up in arms over noise issues.
Here is the introduction to the MTC report:
Wind Power in Mattapoisett, Marion & Rochester:Siting Considerations for a Met Tower
and Fatal Flaws Analysis for a Wind Turbine
This report was funded by the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust’s Community Wind Collaborative on behalf of the towns of Mattapoisett, Marion & Rochester. It was prepared by Sally Wright and Lynn Di Tullio of the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts.
Noise considerations generally take two forms, state regulatory compliance and nuisance levels at nearby residences:
A. Regulatory compliance: Massachusetts state regulations do not allow a rise of 10 dB or greater above background levels at a property boundary (Massachusetts Air Pollution Control Regulations, Regulation 310 CMR 7.10). This sound level is very unlikely to be a reached incase at the sites we examined.
B. Human annoyance: Aside from Massachusetts regulations, residences must also be taken into consideration. Any eventual turbine would be sited such that it would be inaudible or minimally audible at the nearest residences. At this stage, to check for “fatal flaws,” a rule of thumb can be used: to minimize possible noise impacts,site wind turbines at least three times the blade tip height from residences. Distances from mixed-use areas may be somewhat shorter.
Noise will not be an issue for siting a wind turbine at the ORR High School or the Marion WWTP.
However, noise will be a primary siting constraint for the Brandt Island Road site because much of the parcel is less than 800 feet wide, and there are residences to the western side of the parcel. Consideration of the neighbors will be an important factor in siting a wind turbine on this parcel of town land. Given a specific size and make of turbine, suggested setbacks from residences can be proposed to eliminate or minimize the audibility at the neighbors. This would then inform the exact siting of a turbine. For example, a Vestas V47 on a 50-meter tower has a 241-foot blade-tip, and would need to be sited on
the far eastern side of the parcel, to be three times the blade-tip height (723 feet) from the neighbors on the western edge."