Vestas Warns of Possible Noise & Other Risks From Its Wind Turbines, Falmouth


August 3, 2010

Mr. Gerald Potamis
Wastewater Superintendent
Town of Falmoµth Public Works
59 Town Hall Square
Falmouth, MA 02540

RE: Falmouth WWTF Wind Energy Facility II ‘Wind II”, Falmouth, MA Contract No. #3297

Dear Mr. Potamis,

Due to the sound concerns regarding the first wind turbine installed at the wastewater treatment facility, the manufacturer of the turbines, Vestas, is keen for the Town of Falmouth to understand the possible noise and other risks associated with the installation of the second wind turbine.

The Town has previously been provided with the Octave Band Data I Sound performance for the V82 turbine. This shows that the turbine normally operates at 103.2dB but the manufacturer has also stated that it may produce up to 110dB under certain circumstances. These measurements are based on IEC standards for sound measurement which is calculated at a height of lOm above of the base of the turbine.

We understand that a sound study is being performed to determine what, if any, impacts the second turbine will have to the nearest residences. Please be advised that should noise concerns arise with this turbine, the only option to mitigate normal operating sound from the V82 is to shut down the machine at certain wind speeds and directions. Naturally this would detrimentally affect power production.

The manufacturer also needs confirmation that the Town of Falmouth understands they are fully responsible for the site selection of the turbine and bear all responsibilities to address any mitigation needs of the neighbors.

Finally, the manufacturer has raised the possibility of ice throw concerns. Since Route 28 is relatively close to the turbine, precautions should be taken in weather that may cause icing.

To date on this project we have been unable to move forward with signing the contract with Vestas. The inability to release the turbine for shipment to the project site has caused significant delays in our project schedule.

In order to move forward the manufacturer requires your understanding and acknowledgement of these risks.

We kindly request for this acknowledgement to be sent to us by August 4, 2010, as we have scheduled a coordination meeting with Vestas to discuss the project schedule and steps forward for completion of the project.

Please sign in the space provided below to indicate your understanding and acknowledgement of this letter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me.

Bruce Mabbott, Project Manager Gerald Potamis, Town of Falmouth

CC: Sumul Shah, Lumus Construction, Inc.
Stephen Wiehe, Weston & Sampson
Brian Hopkins, Vestas

Download the original letter →

Read a letter from Ditlev Engel of Vestas lobbying the Danish Environment Minister not to tighten noise regulations

Read an article by the Australian Environment Foundation entitled ‘What Vestas Knew, and When’

Read more about Vestas, including a 2004 presentation on wind turbine noise problems by Vestas, its Act on Facts campaign launch, included in a Public Statement by the Waubra Foundation’s CEO