GMP: Kingdom Community Wind meets noise standards
The state's largest electric utility announced last week its wind farm on Lowell Mountain met noise standards during the latest reporting period.
Green Mountain Power told state regulators its 21-turbine Kingdom Community Wind project did not exceed legal limits, which are set at an hourly average of 45 decibels from May 22 to June 12.
Green Mountain Power violated the state's noise standards in 2013. The company says this was caused by snow buildup on the turbine blades and that it later installed monitoring equipment to address the problem.
Dorothy Schnure, a GMP spokeswoman, said Green Mountain Power has demonstrated definitively that it can meet noise standards set by state regulators in all weather conditions.
Resource Systems Group (RSG) tested noise levels at four locations around the project site. About 1,980 hours of data were collected and about 623 hours were discarded due to rain, high winds, and unusual non-turbine noise events, such as human activity, machinery, wind gusts, and animal sounds, the report states.
Robbin Clark is president of the Lowell Mountains Group, which formed in the early 2000s in opposition to the Kingdom Community Wind project proposal. She and other wind critics say the report is unscientific.
Clark said turbine noise is highest when it's raining because of the low cloud cover. High winds also contribute to louder turbine noise. Clark said she lives about 1.6 miles from the wind project and turbine noise is "dramatically lower" when the sound is being monitored.
The Lowell Mountains Group is pushing Green Mountain Power to adopt a sound monitoring plan to measure noise continuously rather than in two- to three-week periods. Schnure said Green Mountain Power supports a continuous noise monitoring program for one year.
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