By Miriam Raftery
July 20, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Iberdrola Renewables wants to build an industrial wind turbine facility on 15,000 acres in East County’s McCain Valley.
What happens if neighbors complain of noise?
In Fairfield, New York, weary residents asked town officials to measure noise levels at Iberdrola’s Hardscrabble wind facility. The results found levels above the legal limit of 50 decibels. But instead of reducing the noise, Iberdrola gave noise generating machines to residents in hopes of drowning out the whooshing and whirling turbine sounds. Note: The machine is set at the lowest setting in this audio link.
"It's torture. You cannot sleep with this frequency of noise,” resident James Salamone said of living just 1,500 feet from the nearest turbine. The noise machine did not work, he told WKTV.
Another resident likened the noise to the sound of a plane that never stops.
Iberdrola has said that as a long-time community partner, it is working with neighbors to solve the problem.
On July 13, the town's council voted unanimously to test the equipment--and under the resolution adopted, if the problem is not resolved in Fairfield by September, town officials have the right to pull the plug and order individual turbines—or the entire project—shut down.
“Is this what we all have to look forward too?” asked Parke Ewing, a resident in the quiet desert town of Ocotillo, where Pattern Energy is building a similar wind energy facility just 1,500 feet from the nearest homes. “Residents receive complimentary noise machines from wind turbine developer...I've heard it all now.”
Fed-up Fairfield residents, meanwhile, have come up with a satirical "ad" of their own for the "Iberdrola Turbine Drowner":