Murray May “Wind Industry Spin Won’t Wash Any More”

Canberra Times, September 11, 2014
Letters to the Editor

In selecting wind farm projects for the ACT, Environment Minister Simon Corbell says that ”community engagement” will constitute 20 per cent of the assessment, as relationships with local communities where turbines are to be built is critical (”Wind companies huff and puff to compete for ACT deal”, September 8, p1).

By now, readers will readily translate this to mean that considerable spin will be required to overcome communities increasingly awake to the problems that come with the installation of large wind turbines. These include health, noise, and sleep deprivation problems, falling property values, despoliation of landscapes, damage to rural roads, and continuing community division.

The industry spin that turbine noise is akin to a fridge just won’t wash any more. A recent noise monitoring study of Waterloo Wind Farm in South Australia by Professor Colin Hansen and others underlines this. Hansen is an emeritus professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Adelaide, and has worked in the vibration and acoustics field for more than 40 years. The study describes the results of acoustic monitoring at homes two to 10 kilometres from the wind farm. The results show there is a low frequency noise problem associated with the Waterloo wind farm. It calls for further research to include health monitoring and sleep studies with simultaneous noise and vibration measurements. This reinforces the recommendations, still not implemented, of the Senate committee that investigated the wind farm problem in 2011.

Murray May, Cook

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