The three large wind farms currently operating in Vermont have spurred enough noise complaints to trigger an investigation by the state Department of Public Service. DPS Commissioner Chris Recchia said “I want to get to the bottom of this….It’s not what was expected.” Recchia suggested that he’s considering asking the Public Service Board to reconsider their existing noise standards.
Since last fall, 105 formal complaints have been filed, by 23 different individuals living near the Sheffield, Lowell, or Georgia Mountain wind projects. Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment is also collecting confidential complaints, some from people who have filed formal complaints, and some from neighbors who have felt it to be futile to complain to the turbine operators and/or state.
The DPS is hiring a noise expert to analyze the complaints, and comparing them to quarterly noise measurements made near each wind project. After this analysis, the DPS has three options, and could recommend one or more: enforce standards if they find violations, create a more effective system for operators to respond to complaints, or ask the PSB to change the noise standards if necessary.
See this recent local news article for more, including details of a recent bad night for neighbor Kevin McGrath, whose house is pictured above.