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Mapping Fairhaven Noise Complaints

February 22, 2014

Fairhaven-complaintsNoise complaints about the wind turbines in Fairhaven continue to come in. Turbine locations are indicated with yellow pins–at the center of the image. This map is based on complaints from a year ago and indicates locations with one or more complaints (red circles). The locations where DEP testing occurred are shown with yellow circles, and the places where exceedances occurred are indicated with blue circles. Additional complaints were  lodged at locations outside the range of this map.

The new middle school, built since the turbines began operation, is the large rectangular structure in the lower left corner of the image. This is one of eight schools around the commonwealth located in close proximity to a turbine.


Turbines in this and other communities can be found in a new interactive GIS map developed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 24, 2014 8:31 am

    The feasibility study for the Fairhaven wind turbines makes use of wind shear data to calculate the annual energy production in order to justify the cost of the project. Wind shear is the weather condition where the wind up where the rotor is spinning is much stronger than on the ground. In analyzing these data I found that extreme wind shear conditions, where the wind up at the rotor is greater than 8 meters/second, while on the ground is less than 1 meter/second at night, occurs for more that 4 hours, 42 days out of the year. For 112 days a year this condition occurs for more than one hour at night.

    MassDEP noise testing found that when the wind on the ground is less than 1 meter/second, the Ambient sound level is 27.7 dB(A). By MassDEP regulations, a noise source that increases the broadband sound level by more that 10 dB(A) above ambient is a violation. Any measurement of wind turbine noise above 37.7 dB(A) will be out of compliance for more than 4 hours for 42 days out of the year, and for 112 days out of the year, the noise will be out of compliance more than one hour each night.

    MassDEP sampled the noise on 9 occasions 24 times and found only 4 violations. If MassDEP were to accept that 42 to 112 days out of the year when the ambient would be 27.7 dB(A) is an unbearable number of nights to disturb one’s sleep, than the number of violations would be close to 24 practically for all the testing events they measured.

    I believe this is the main reason that we have such a large number of complaints in Fairhaven. The noise level is frequently more than double the legal limit.

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