How loud is a wind turbine?

Albeit from GE (mind your motives), pretty compelling.  Now onto wind turbine syndrome, shadow flicker, and all other things that Wind Concerns Ontario is concerned about.

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5 Comments to “How loud is a wind turbine?”

  1. Ya wind energy. This image is a bit out of date or not relevant to Ontario. Wind turbines have to be 550 m from the nearest house in Ontario now, so it’ll be even quieter. just to keep your followers up to date.

  2. You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that sound from wind is exactly the same all the time, no matter what the weather circumstances or time of day.

    One should not drive up under a wind turbine one day, spend 5 minutes there and declare it is quiet. Sound travels out. It is rarely very noisy directly UNDER a turbine.

    Talk to the people who live 1 km or less from them. They will tell you it is noisier at night when the ground air is stiller than the high air. Direction of wind, temperature and ambient noise can make a huge difference.

  3. Hi WCO,

    That all seems sensible, I’m sure wind direction/speed can make a difference. 550 m does seem to be a sufficient buffer. I have been in fields w turbines, at times they’ve been very quiet and at others I have heard them (although quiet).

    To me solar and wind seems like a great way to decentralize energy production (making it cheaper), allow farmers to obtain a new revenue stream which they desperately need, and help with pollution. I’m sure the farmers in King Township would rather have turbines than the natural gas fired peak electricity plant that’s proposed to be built right beside people’s houses. That would be loud AND toxic, no?

  4. Decentralize energy? Yes, if the wind power is off the grid and used by homeowners to be less reliant on a centralized system. Industrial wind turbines don’t do that. They are hooked into the grid and destabilize it with fluctuations where everything else has to ramp up and down to accomodate it. I dont’ see any benefit there.

    Cheaper? Are you kidding me? In Ontario we are paying these private companies more than double what the going rate is now. Also, wind tends to generate mostly at night, when we don’t need it so we end up selling it off at a loss to the States. We are subsidizing cheap energy for the US.

    Wind is useless when it is really hot and muggy or very cold. You won’t find many turbines turning when we need it the most. This summer, out of 1200 MW of wind now online in Ontario, there were many days when it was producing less than 1 MW. So the natural gas and coal is still pumping away.

    You seem to think by building wind turbines, you won’t have to build natural gas plants. Quite the opposite. Because nuclear cannot ramp up and down, new peaker fossil fuel plants must now be built to accomodate the instability of wind. In Ontario, it is natural gas plants replacing coal, not wind. Germany is now building 22 new coal plants for this very reason.

    It is not an either/or situation. It is a little more complicated than that.

  5. I don’t blame you for feeling frustrated with the way things may be going from an energy supply perspective. Maybe OPG or OPA should be working on revolutionizing the grid first so remote sources of clean energy can be managed effectively. But we need to start, and we need to start now. Not to mention they currently don’t know how to make the smart grid secure and efficient while simultaneously keeping the province continuously supplied with energy. Fixing the grid will be ongoing process, and will take decades.

    I applaud McGuinty for trying to get rid of coal plants. It just makes sense – and not just from an environmental and public health perspective. The economic costs of health and environmental degradation (yes there are true tangible costs to pollution) from these plants are massive. Look up the research, thousands and thousands get sick or die related to coal plants and emissions.

    – Cheaper long term – transporting energy will be increasingly expensive. Making the grid more receptive to decentralized energy is coming. Not to mention the produced wind is getting you a great kW/h rate.

    – I never mentioned an either/or situation? Nothing could be further from the truth. Obviously energy is not one source! In those muggy times you speak of, solar (which gives you an amazing rate per kW/h) would be excellent. All pro-wind proponents are supportive of a “healthy” mix of energy, it will have to be until the “best” source becomes dominant.

    Thanks for the comments, some good info.

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