Sunday, 1 January 2012

Where did 550m come from?

Click on image for a larger view

The Ontario Green Energy Act included a provision for a minimum 550m setback from a wind turbine to a receptor (a receptor is a residence).  Critics have claimed that the setback distance was just an arbitrary political decision.  This article from Treehugger explains that the decision is actually based on good science.
December 15, 2011
Brian Merchant

Does your neighbor's humming refrigerator keep you up at night? Then a wind turbine in your neighborhood won't either. That's the takeaway from this nifty little graphic whipped up by GE (the company manufactures wind turbines and would benefit from the nonsensical stigma dropped). And while it doesn't forgive the company for being phenomenal tax cheats, it does provide a nice visual reminder of how innocuous wind turbines are. Click here for a larger version.
See, you've probably heard stories about homeowners complaining about how loud wind turbines are, or even been regaled with the spectacular nonsense that is W.T.S. (Wind Turbine Syndrome). And though the media jumps on stories like these -- backlash against new technology that's supposed to make our lives better! -- wind turbine noise complaints have been shown time and again to be dubious at best, and W.T.S. has practically been laughed out of the medical community.
No, these people are complaining about change itself, or about something they consider ugly, or that embodies, to them, a political ideology they do not agree with. Wind turbines must be built hundreds of meters from homes--at which distance they emanate a dull, nearly inaudible hum. In fact, if these people own refrigerators, that's probably enough to drown out the 'racket' ...

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