While many residents across the country welcome alternative energy programs, some people are particularly critical of wind turbines.
For some, diminishing land values or the threat to birds, bats and wildlife is enough reason to oppose the windmills. And for others, not only are the towers unsightly, but the excessive noise level can be a real headache for residents, literally.
Some complain of shadows, constant noise and vibrations from the turbines keep them from sleeping while others complain of nausea and headaches.
Caithness Energy, L.L.C. is reportedly offering Oregon residents a lot of money if they agree not to complain about excessive noise from wind turbines. According to a New York Times report, the energy company is offering residents of the city of Ione $5,000 if they sign a waiver, or noise easement, agreeing not to complain about the noise levels created by the windmills.
While the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) does in fact have noise level standards, the agency in charge of enforcement was “nixed” back in 1991 although some local agencies are trying to enforce them.
According to the waiver, the farm may “exceed” the DEQ standards which may be “annoying” and “might interfere with the unrestricted use and enjoyment of the resident property in its intended use.”
The noise levels, which may change throughout the day due to a variety of factors including wind variations or maintenance, could result in “increased noise influences” producing an increased sensitivity to wind project noise.
According to the report, large wind farms are regulated and must prove “they will comply with the noise ordinance and that noise waivers are among the solutions.” While the company did not disclose how much money it was offering Oregon residents, some property owners did say they were offered $5,000.
Caithness Shepherds Flat Wind Farm Project
The energy company is building one of the largest wind power generation facilities in the nation and the largest in the state. When the Shepherds Flat project is completed in 2013, 338 wind turbines will have a capacity of up to 909 megawatts. The farm, located south of the Columbia River, sits on about 32,000 acres in Gilliam and Morrow counties.
Image courtesy of Dani Simmonds
Learn more about Wind Power on eBooms Wind Energy Learning Page.
Any opinion contained in this article is solely that of the writers, and does not necessarily shape or reflect the editorial opinions of Energy Boom. Energy Boom content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be advice regarding the investment merits of, or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of, any security identified on, or linked through, this site.