Search Results for: turbine size

The A713 Castle Douglas to Ayr road was shut just north of Parton following the incident which occurred at 22.45 on Monday 6th February.


A DAF lorry, part of a convoy heading to the Brockloch wind farm at Carsphairn, had left the road.


Recovery work took over 3 days during which the road was closed. The road has now reopened after inspections of its condition.


Some people might suggest that attempting to take these extremely long vehicles along narrow, winding roads is irresponsible – more, that to do so in darkness looks like negligence.


For more on this story folloow this link to BBC News



Proposed 3 x 100m turbines near Hartburn Farm, Kirkcudbright.
Image produced in accordance with guidelines produced by Scottish National Heritage, Spring 2013.
The existing 2 x 20m turbines can be seen to the extreme left of the image and provide a stark contrast to the scale of those proposed.

Ministers from the UK and Ireland are set to sign a deal which will see Ireland buiding 180m (600ft) turines on land with the power being exported across the Irish Sea to Wales.


This is supposedly set to save the UK money as onshore wind will prove cheaper than off shore.  Wonder if the transmission losses, impacts of nearby residents health and environmental damage has been included in the costs?


Best of all though is the reason for the turbines being so tall:-


Because the bog lands are relatively windless, the company behind the scheme says they will need to stretch high into the sky to catch sufficient wind to generate power.


Obviously, not the wrong place for a wind development then?


To read BBC Report click here



Credit:     Simon Johnson     Scottish Political Editor     The Telegraph     (13/01/13)


"Primary pupils in North Ayrshire were handed plans, seemingly written by a developer, encouraging their parents to back a planning application for an extension to a wind farm in the area.


The letter contained a section for parents’ signatures at the bottom and was addressed to the local council’s planning department.


Critics yesterday expressed their anger at both the developer and SNP-run North Ayrshire council for allowing wind farm “propaganda” in the classroom but the local authority claimed the letters were “directly relevant” to the pupils’ school work."


And the developer is…….. none other than our old friends Community Windpower Ltd!


Clcik here to read more


Credit:     Simon Johnson     Scottish Political Editor     The Telegraph     (09/11/2012)


"A thousand wind turbines are on course to be built in the Scottish Borders thanks to the SNP’s “backroom bullying” of the local council to ignore public opposition, it has been claimed.


Campaigners said official figures showed wind farm developers have already built or have planning permission for 403 turbines in the picturesque tourist area.

An additional 418 are in the planning system, either as live applications or appeals, while wind farm companies have started scoping and screening for around a further 200 turbines."


Figures for Dumfries and Galloway are now up to over 1,100 for turbines over 50m high at various stages within the planning system



Alex Salmond has defended onshore windfarms, saying they do not spoil the countryside and actually make Scotland more attractive Read more here











                  The Clyde wind farm photos courtesy of Olive Repton


An article in The Buteman quotes Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson talking about the potential health impacts from living near wind turbines.  The application discussed is for 3 turbines on the isle of Bute, but it is the first time we have seen/heard politicians start to acknowledge the possible impacts on the health of local residents.


“If constructed, the turbines will intrude on many of Bute’s tourist attractions, but the potentially hazardous impacts of the turbines on local residents’ health are most worrying. The health impact of wind farms has recently become a hot topic in the media and independent biomedical experts have shown that living close to a turbine can cause headaches, dizziness, sleep deprivation, unsteadiness, nausea, exhaustion, mood-swings and the inability to concentrate.


“The low-frequency noise emitted by a turbine travels easily and varies according to the wind. This constitutes a permanent risk to people exposed to it. There is even military weaponry that relies on low-frequency sound for crowd control purposes.


“At high intensities it creates discrepancies in the brain, producing disorientation in the body and resulting in what is called ‘simulated sickness’. The Israeli army uses this technology to cause instability, nausea and headaches. It is great for crowd control as it has no adverse effects…unless you are exposed to it for hours, as you would be if you lived beside a turbine."

Credit:     Rowena Mason,    Political Correspondent,     The Telegraph     (15/04/12)


Ministers are preparing to veto major new wind farms in the British countryside and cut back their subsidies, according to senior Government sources.


The decision to pull back from onshore wind farms comes after more than 100 backbench Conservative MPs mounted a rebellion against turbines blighting rural areas earlier this year.


Greg Barker, the Climate Change Minister, also said this weekend Britain has “the wind we need” either being built, developed or in planning.


“It’s about being balanced and sensible,” he said. “We inherited a policy from the last government which was unbalanced in favour of onshore wind.  There have been some installations in insensitive or unsuitable locations – too close to houses, or in an area of outstanding natural beauty.”


Britain already has around 350 wind farms across the country, with around 500 already under construction or awaiting planning permission

Credit:     Christopher D Hanning, (honorary consultant in sleep medicine) and Alun Evans, professor emeritus,     Article published 8th March 2012 in the BMJ



A large body of evidence now exists to suggest that wind turbines disturb sleep and impair health at distances and external noise levels that are permitted in most jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom. Sleep disturbance may be a particular problem in children, and it may have important implications for public health. When seeking to generate renewable energy through wind, governments must ensure that the public will not suffer harm from additional ambient noise. Robust independent research into the health effects of existing wind farms is long overdue, as is an independent review of existing evidence and guidance on acceptable noise levels.


Click here to read full article

Credit:    Christopher Booker,      The Telegraph,     (03/03/12)


Developers of wind farms offer ‘sweeteners’ to local communities, but they may be tiny compared to the revenues.

Read the full article here.


Please note for D & G, a framework has been agreed for developers to pay £5,000 per MW not £1,000 as in the article.  To put it into context though let's look at the Mayfield development:-


20.4 MW at 30% capacity (as claimed in their Environmental Statement – though they also claim it could be 35% capacity!)


6.12MW x £800,000 pa from ROC's and electricity sales   =  £4.896 million pa   x 25 years

TOTAL  income of     £122.4 million


Community benefit at £5,000 per MW is £102,000 pa   

Over 25 years is equal to £2.55 million  – approximately 2% of the total income at today's prices!




This turbine in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, was photographed on fire in Thursday's (8th Dec) UK storms

Photo: Stuart McMahon

…an academic study by Daniel Shepherd, David McBride, David Welch, Kim N. Dirks, Erin M. Hill


(Department of Psychology, School of Public Health, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, School of Population Health, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)


This paper was published recently (September 2011) in an interdisciplinary  journal (public & evironmental health). Here's part of the abstract of what the study found:-

…residents living within 2 km of a turbine installation reporting lower overall quality of life, physical quality of life, and environmental quality of life. Those exposed to turbine noise also reported significantly lower sleep quality, and rated their environment as less restful. Our data suggest that wind farm noise can negatively impact facets of HRQOL [Health Related Quality of Life] .

You can access the full paper here and the conclusions are reproduced below:-

A thorough investigation of wind turbine noise and its effects on health is important given the prevalence of exposed individuals, a nontrivial number that is increasing with the popularity of wind energy. For example, in the Netherlands it is reported that 440,000 inhabitants (2.5% of the population) are exposed to significant levels of wind turbine noise. Additionally, policy makers are demanding more information on the possible link between wind turbines and health in order to inform setback distances. Our results suggest that utility-scale wind energy generation is not without adverse health impacts on nearby residents. Thus, nations 339 Noise & Health, September-October 2011, Volume 13 Shepherd, et al.: Health and wind turbine noise undertaking large-scale deployment of wind turbines need to consider the impact of noise on the HRQOL of exposed individuals. Along with others, we conclude that nighttime wind turbine noise limits should be set conservatively to minimize harm, and, on the basis of our data, suggest that setback distances need to be greater than 2 km in hilly terrain.


Why is our Government pushing up our energy bills by giving subsidies to wind farms, which are proven to be uneconomic?

800+ turbines (over 50m) now in the planning system at various stages for Dumfries and Galloway.


The latest concentration is around Dalswinton, which has 15 turbines currently constructed and operating.  Some people may think they don't look too bad as they travel along the A75 into Dumfries, but few realise that Dalswinton is actually 9 miles away.


2 miles to the east of Dalswinton there is consent for 71 turbines at Harestanes (Forest of AE) still waiting to be built.  Add on a possible extension of 19 to the same development, which are at the scoping  stage and there are potentially another 90 turbines to be added to the view.


Last week an application for Auchencairn wind farm for 16 industrial generators, adjacent and to the north of Dalswinton, was submitted.  Finally, 5 turbines are at scoping for Blackwood, High Auldgirth.




Anyone interested in objecting to the Auchencairn wind farm before 27th October please contact us


Credit:     Adrian Pearson     The Journal     (01/10/11)      Click on the link for the full article then vote whether you agree with Mr Huhne ..  or not!


Energy secretary Chris Huhne has told the North East to learn to love “beautiful” wind turbines and called for hundreds more to be given the go ahead.


Speaking at Newcastle’s Centre for Life, he said: “I happen to think we should have more onshore wind turbines. I have been booed for saying this, but I think they are beautiful, and those of us who think they are a good thing need to speak up more and say that.

“After all, no one would now look at windmills and say they do not add something to the view.

“But they are the same technology, they were once new but they are very well liked, there is one in my constituency that is a big tourist attraction, technology from the 17th Century which is now very popular with visitors.


“We are talking about exactly the same thing. When I hear people say wind turbines are bad for scenic areas I just don’t agree, I think they are elegant and beautiful and a lot more people should be saying that.

“Every time we put a wind turbine up, and a lot more of them need to go up in my opinion, we need to be saying to people these are not horrendous, we think they look nice and they have to accept that.”


Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Berwick’s Conservative spokeswoman, is lending her support to those battling plans to build 16 turbines at Detchant, north of Belford.


Mrs Trevelyan said: “The industrial turbines proposed for construction on this unspoilt rural landscape are giant metal pieces of a factory.


“They bear no relation to house-sized windmills of the 17th Century.


“Nor are they as efficient. If the Secretary of State is so keen to see more onshore wind turbine built on British soil perhaps he can encourage the investors looking to take advantage of Government subsidies to build them in his constituency.”

Communities Against Turbines Scotland has changed their web site address.

It is now   


Please note that everything is the same except we are    .com    NOT .org


Sorry for the inconvenience.  If there are any problems please contact Kim Terry on


Please consider attending  the day-long in Ayr on the 11th November (why not make a weekend of it!). The conference has been called to generate a national critical voice on Scottish wind energy policy and to facilitate solidarity between groups and communities.


Please register as soon as possible and preferably before the end of September so that  numbers can be assessed.

This is a controversial subject – but, given the varied sources and views we have researched, we have always been a little cynical of the claims of those who advocate wind energy as clean and cheap. The evidence of the negative effects of large wind turbine factories is growing…

  • ~ illness and loss of wellbeing due to 'wind turbine        syndrome'
  • ~ shadow flicker – like living with a stroboscope
  • ~ constant low frequency noise
  • ~ impact on tourism, property devaluation and plain      aesthetic intrusion

…yet these effects have always been justified on the grounds of an alternative 'renewable' source of energy that is cleaner and cheaper than conventional power generation. We would just have to put up with these 'side effects' for the sake of the greater good.


But wait – it turns out, according to 2 recent studies using measured, real-time operations data of the Colorado, Texas and Irish grids, all with significant wind penetration, wind turbine generation is neither cleaner nor cheaper than 'combined cycle gas tubines' or 'open cycle gas turbines'


Well – you may say – we are running out of gas so wind is still a good alternative. Unfortunately we need to keep our gas turbine generators working to provide backup for unpredictable wind. Wind is very variable – especially in the UK – and can provide only a small fraction of what we currently need – let alone what we'll need in the future.


Here's the interesting finding – ramping up gas fired turbines to cope with wind energy unpredictability turns out to use MORE – NOT LESS – energy  and produces more CO2, than keeping the gas turbines going all the time. Most of  us know that if we accelerate and decelerate a car wildly it uses more fuel than if we maintain a standard speed. That's what 'cruise controls' were invented for. It's no surprise then – that the same physics applies to large scale power generation.


What James Lovelock (he of Gaia fame) warned us of is becoming increasingly clear…

Wind turbines will desecrate the landscape pointlessly

The full article can be found at the Energy Collective's web site.The studies show increases of CO2/kWh due to adding wind energy to electric grids.

This is a preliminary draft of the following article in press:

Carl V. Phillips, “Properly Interpreting the Epidemiologic Evidence about the Health Effects of Industrial Wind Turbines on Nearby Residents,” Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, vol. 31, no. 4 (August 2011), pp. 303-315.

"There is overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate. The bulk of the evidence takes the form of thousands of adverse event reports. There is also a small amount of systematically-gathered data. The adverse event reports provide compelling evidence of the seriousness of the problems and of causation in this case because of their volume, the ease of observing exposure and outcome incidence, and case-crossover data. Proponents of turbines have sought to deny these problems by making a collection of contradictory claims including that the evidence does not “count”, the outcomes are not “real” diseases, the outcomes are the victims’ own fault, and that acoustical models cannot explain why there are health problems so the problems must not exist."

Click here to link to the full article

Two Acousticians taking noise readings at a property approximately 500m from the nearest turbine, experienced adverse medical effects.  Below is their letter to Dr Nina Pierpont who first noticed this collection of symptoms and named it Wind Turbine Syndrome. 

Credit:   Robert W Rand     (20/04/11)

I just got back from a several-day wind turbine noise survey with my long-time colleague, Steve Ambrose—like me, a Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

I’m writing to let you know that we both experienced adverse medical effects in the vicinity of the turbine under survey (one industrial wind turbine) under strong wind conditions aloft. Nausea, loss of appetite, vertigo, dizziness, inability to concentrate, an overwhelming desire to get outside, and anxiety.

The distance was approximately 1700 feet, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

We obtained relief, repeatedly, by going several miles away.

I will be looking very carefully at the data and recordings acquired at this site to correlate with the experience. Short story is—and I reserve the right to revise any comments here as I learn more—it matches the Pedersen & Waye 2004 curve, where the annoyance ramps up quickly above 32 dBA.

That curve hides the real story, however. The A-weighted level doesn’t track the experience at all. I know! Steve and I sat for hours on Monday, comparing what we were feeling and what our meters were displaying. The dBA doesn’t work at all. So we have a complete disconnect between medical impact and regulatory framework.

Don’t count on dBC either.

I think that this impact could be related to how the ear is pumped by the repetitive pressure in a quiet rural background, or indoors. In Hull, Massachusetts, the background is high (Ldn60) and the two industrial turbines there don’t raise appeals to stop the noise, or even any complaints to speak of, at the same or closer distances than I was at this last week.

I hypothesize that if the ear is working at a low background level, different things happen in the auditory and vestibular system than when the ear is working at higher sound levels. (Wish I had more training in neurobiology!)

Many have been affected by wind turbine noise here in Maine and elsewhere, and we have listened to a number tell of their symptoms and problems with wind turbines. We have determined the potential for community noise impact of wind turbines in rural areas and published our findings.

However, the symptoms we experienced on this trip were unexpected for us. We have been surveying other wind turbine sites over the last 15 months and have not experienced these effects. (We each have over thirty years of experience in general and industrial acoustics, and have evaluated just about every kind of noise source—and noise level—imaginable.) I repeat, this is the first time I have experienced these symptoms simply by being near a noise source.

However, I see this as a gift. We are experienced acousticians who work from the neighbor’s perspective. Now we know personally, viscerally, what people have been telling us! We must now include ourselves in the percentage of the population that can experience significant and debilitating adverse health effects from the acoustic energy emitted by wind turbines.

Large industrial wind turbines must be considered seriously as capable of creating an adverse health effect within a certain distance with a dose-response or threshold relationship that varies with the individual.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about what we experienced, please contact me at your convenience.

Click here to listen to Jenny's moving story of living with Dalswinton wind farm 


Acoustic waves carried on oscillating particles in the air.

How much we perceive is partly dependent on the frequency, which is measured in hertz (Hz).  High frequency sound has more oscillations per second, whilst low frequency sound has less. Audible noise is defined as ranging from 20-20,000 Hz with

Low Frequency Noise  (LFN) ranging from approximately 20-200HZ. 

Infra sound is sound that is not audible (though it can sometimes be felt) and is usually defined as less than 20HZ.  At around 16-18Hz most people are unable to hear tone.

Sound does not get louder over distance but may become more noticeable because our ears hear different frequencies at different distances, with low frequency noise being heard over a larger distance

Measuring noise

Noise is measured in decibels (dB), usually on what's called an 'A' weighted scale.  To give you an idea of perceived loudness below are some figures quoted from Scottish Planning Policy PAN 45

Car at 40 mph at a distance of 100m     55dB

Wind farm at 350m      35-45dB

Quiet bedroom      30-35dB

Rural landscape   15 – 25dB

An important point to remember is that for every 10dB increase there is a perceived doubling in loudness, a 20dB increase is a quadrupling in noise!

Noise from wind farms is still a contentious issue due to the industry's reticence over many years to acknowledge its existence and their refusal to investigate it properly.

The Wind Industry's favourite answers to questions on noise:

Three favourite statements seem to be:-

1.   "Stand underneath a turbine and you will be able to hold a conversation."

2.   "Any noise made by the turbines will be covered by the sound of a babbling brook or the wind blowing through the trees."

3.   "The turbines will have to comply with strict guidelines on noise that will protect local residents."

So what are we going on about and why won't this issue go away?

Noise measurements are taken at properties closest to the wind farm, usually over a period of 4-6 weeks to give a baseline level for background noise .  Results are analysed and a best fit profile is produced.  Computer models are then used to predict a worse case noise scenario at each property.

Types of noise

There are 2 types of noise that can cause problems:-

Mechanical noise – usually caused by problems with the generator or gear box which are contained in a sound insulated housing in the nacelle.  Most modern turbines have a direct drive system which eliminates the need for a gearbox.  We are unsure as to the degree of noise caused by new machines as yet.

Aerodynamic noise – created by the rotor blades passing through the air at speeds of up to 180mph.  Speed, design of blade and set angle will play a part in the loudness of the characteristic swooshing or thumping noise.  This thumping noise is emphasised in high winds caused by additional turbulence around the blade tip and is known as Amplitude Modulation (AM)

Low frequency noise (LFN).

Dr Geoff Leventhall, Consultant in Noise Vibration and Acoustics, states " there are circumstances in which turbines produce increased levels of LFN.  This is mainly when inflow air to the turbine is very turbulent and there are interactions between the blade and the turbulence."  This generally occurs in certain atmospheric conditions. 

There is insufficient evidence to know what effects infrasound has on nearby residents but it is clear from the many anecdotal stories that a thorough independent investigation is needed.

Noise travels out from the source in all directions (like a firework exploding).  This explains why only a small amount of sound falls to the base of the turbine and you can hold a conversation!  The wind will pick up the majority of noise and carry it with it, hence the reason noise complaints are usually downwind of the structure.  Noise can travel for long distances and TW 312 have reports of turbine noise disturbing residents at least 1 mile and up to 4 miles from the respective sites. Topography, atmospheric conditon, wind speed and direction all play a part.  There have been many days over the winter when the wind wasn't blowing that the noise of the traffic on the A75 was clearly audible some 5km distant.

Noise Guidelines (ETSU-R-97 and PAN 45 – in Scotland PAN 45 are used which are based on ETSU-R-97)

ETSU-R-97 guidelines were written in 1996 when turbines were approx 50-70m to tip.   There are a growing number of experts in the acoustics field who maintain they are outdated and unfit for purpose.  They were designed to give "indicative noise levels to offer a reasonable degree of protection to wind farm neighbours, without placing unreasonable restrictions on wind farm development or adding unduly to the costs and administrative burdens on wind farm developers or planning authorities".

The guidelines state that daytime noise levels outside the nearest property should not exceed 35-40dB(A) or 5 dB(A) above the prevailing background, whichever is the greater.  Background noise levels in rural areas can be as quiet as 20dB, so the greater limit would allow level of 35-40dB.  This would be a quadrupling in perceived noise.  Studies have been published on the type of noise emitted by turbines and it was discovered that the swish of the blade was more annoying to more people than traffic noise at the same level.  Further studies show that people who live in a quiet location were likely to find noise a nuisance around 7 dB lower than someone who lived in an urban environment. 

At these levels you should be able to sleep in your bedroom during the day but you are not guaranteed to be able to sleep on your patio on a warm summer's day

Night time noise levels are not permitted to exceed 43 dB(A) or 5dB(A) above the prevailing background, whichever is the greater.  These levels are higher than the recommended night time noise level of the World Health Organisation, who advocate a limit of 40dB to protect people's ability to get back to sleep once wakened. Disturbed sleep is acknowledged by the medical profession to have serious consequences to a person's health, causing stress, tiredness, irritability, lack of concentration and ultimately affecting the cardiovascular system.

The wind farm industry is the only industry where the night time noise level is higher than the daytime limit.  We all know it is much quieter in an evening than during the day so what sense does this make?

A particular set of conditions which appear at night cause problems for people living near wind farms.  Studies showed that data used from wind speeds measured at 10m above ground was not the same as that at 80m high.  When conditions are quiet and still on the ground during the night, it can be that at hub height wind speed can cause turbines to operate and produce noise that cannot not masked by the non existent wind at ground level. 

In 2006 the UK Government published a report on wind farm noise and it's effect on nearby residents produced by an acoustics company called Hayes McKenzie Partnership (HMP). The study supported the view that there was no need to review the ETSU guidelines.  Under a FOI request, which at first was refused as not being in the public interest, Den Brook Judicial Review Group secured the release of all draft reports.  The published report revealed that important recommendations had been dropped from the final draft including:-

1. Night time noise limit be reduced from 43dB to 38dB

2. Where there was a discernable beating character to the noise it be reduced further to 33dB

3. The recommendation that consideration be given to revising the night time limits in ETSU guidelines

We do not know whether any of the proposed wind farms would produce noise problems for local residents – but then neither do the wind farm companies

Amplitude modulation (the thumping noise) is impossible to predict and there is insufficient evidence of the full part that infrasound plays in noise complaints.  A thorough and independent review of these aspects should be conducted before wind farm companies are allowed to build these factories at ever decreasing distances from people's homes.

If someone did have a noise problem, they first have to decide whether to complain to Environmental Standards at the council.  They should be aware that any formal complaint against noise must be declared when selling property.

Stories abound of the difficulties in trying to solve the issue of noise from turbines and frequently wind farm companies are found to be operating within the ETSU guidelines but the problem remains unresolved for the complainant.

Noise from wind farms in the UK

According to research carried out by Salford University, approximately 1 in 6 windfarms cause noise problems for nearby residents. However this figure may be severely underestimated as some people will be too frightened to complain, believing nothing will be done to help them or it will be marked against them for property sales.

In Dumfries and Galloway the last 2 operational wind farms (Dalswinton and North Rhins) have generated noise complaints. Worryingly, one of the complainants lives 1 mile (1.6km) from the wind farm, which presumably complied with the ETSU guidelines.

Click here to listen to Jenny's moving story of living with Dalswinton wind farm 



For a good well balanced article on the problems with noise click here – Acoustic Ecology Institute



Post Categories

Post Archives