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Scituate’s Turbine Noise Meets Regs–But Only at Reduced Power

August 7, 2014

“Still Life” according to PL photographer Greg Derr

While the Scituate turbine sits idle awaiting a solution from the Chinese manufacturer,* the Board of Health and the Selectmen have been hearing the preliminary report of the noise testing done by Tech Environmental.

“After three nights of testing in five different locations, owners of the 390-foot-tall wind turbine on the Driftway say noise from the machine falls within state regulations,” according to Jessica Trufant, reporting in the Patriot Ledger in Quincy (“Test results show Scituate turbine noise within state regulations” 8/6/14).

In a submission to Wind Wise, resident Dave Dardi said, “The report stated that the turbine was tested on three separate nights and the highest difference found between low ambient and maximum noise output was 7 dBa.” He asked owner Gordon Deane during the BOH meeting for information that he needed for proper evaluation of the data. Mr Deane stated that he didn’t bring that data with him. Mr Dardi pointed out that “the report indicated the turbine was very seldom above 30% power output and never above 60% during the testing periods and in addition the wind was never from the Southwest.”

Video of the Board of Health meeting is posted on YouTube, “Scituate Board of Health Meeting 7-28-2014.” The BOH pointed out that only three of the four tests were completed and voted to ask for the last test to be done while the turbines are running at intermediate speed and the wind direction from the southwest. They also asked why Tech Environmental had not accommodated parallel sampling by an acoustician for a Scituate community group, and were told there had been last-minute changes to the schedule.

*Trufant had earlier reported on the losses mounting from the turbine’s down-time (Software glitch costs owners of Scituate wind turbine $45,000, 7/30/14).

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