Wind Turbine Syndrome visits Vinalhaven (Maine)

Dec 21, 2009


The bottom 2 videos were made by Industrial Wind Action, drawing from a radio interview 12/19/09 by WERU 89.9 FM (Bangor).  Our thanks to Lisa Linowes of Industrial Wind Action for making these available.

A little background.  November 17, 2009, the Fox Islands Wind Project of 3 GE 1.5 MW turbines began generating power on Vinalhaven.  Islanders were thrilled.  There was a big celebration.  Balloons, hot dogs, speeches, ribbon cutting, Washington dignitaries—the works.

Twelve miles out at sea, Vinalhaven has long been hostage to high electricity rates.  This project, owned by an island power consortium, was the perfect answer, so they were told.  The few people who did their homework and raised objections were considered cranks and righteously dismissed.  Enemies of the people.  The millennium of “clean, green, renewable” had arrived on Vinalhaven and was greeted on opening day with loud hosannas and wide-eyed schoolchildren (witness the above video).

Photo used with appreciation

Four weeks later, station WERU 89.9 FM interviewed the neighbors.  Euphoria has turned to anguish and self-reproach.  “We were misled,” seems to be the common lament.  Eurphoria has turned to hope that the wind developer, working with GE (the turbine manufacturer), will figure out a technological fix. 

What these worthy people fail to understand is that the noise/vibration is not amenable to a technological fix.  New research by noise engineers working in tandem with Dr. Pierpont shows that much of the problem is infrasound (single digit Hertz)—literally, powerful pressure waves—generated by those colossal, pressure-generating rotors as they churn an area the size of a football field.  (Click here.)  The only technological “tweak” for this, folks, is to turn them off.  Added to this, the passing of the blades by the tower appears to produce a powerful low frequency noise/vibration which, likewise, will cease and desist only when the turbines—you guessed it—are turned off. 

Despite this, hope springs eternal even as it is rendered vain by noise engineers and the inconvenient realities of Physics 101 and pathophysiology. 

At least one home has been abandoned—and these people are only a month into their Wind Turbine Syndrome. urges them to get hold of Pierpont’s “Wind Turbine Syndrome” (2009) to see what’s in store as they resolutely cling to their homes.  At what cost?  We mean, what health cost?

This is a tragedy and unnecessary.  The wind developer and GE both knew of Pierpont’s research, as well as that of numerous other clinicians, and they knew the work of independent noise engineers.  They covered it up.  Where is the Congressional investigation? 

Wind turbines owned by a consortium of islanders might be a dandy idea—as long as they’re a minimum of 2 km from people’s homes.  That’s where they blew it. 

Be sure your speakers are turned up. 

These videos were compiled using excerpts from the radio interview.  The images in the videos are not from Vinalhaven; they are photos from other locations in North America where towers were sited very close to homes—Industrial Wind Action.

Are stupendously bad setbacks essential to achieving “clean, green, renewable” energy, or are they more accurately the stealth bombers of sleazy wind developers and turbine manufacturers and lazy, juiced-up governments?

  1. Comment by Rural Grubby on 12/21/2009 at 8:14 pm

    With this kind of community buy in, one wonders if they will do the right thing and shut the turbines down to preserve the islanders’ health. Not likely as you can hear that they believe in wind energy because it is supposedly a renewable. It was refreshing to hear people actually admitting that they were not open to the negative info. about IWT’s. This scenario plays over and over again in every community filled with people who dearly want to feel less guilty about all of the riches we have gained because of cheap energy. We need to face up to the truth, industrial wind energy is the equivalent of latest high speed bikes, when what we need as a modern society is a powerful diesel engine to drive our economy forward.

  2. Comment by Brad Blake on 12/22/2009 at 10:36 am

    If you haven’t already seen the assinine story in the “Bangor (Maine) Daily News” (BDN) about the turbine tower training, here is the link: To see this kind of fluff coverage when we are trying to gain traction on a plethora of issues dealing with the turbines prompted this comment:

    I, for one among many others, am getting some friggin’ sick and tired of seeing the huge amount of print/video devoted to perpetuating the Big Wind/Big Lie! Come on, BDN, Portland Press and all you others, try some reporting other than glorifying an industry that wouldn’t even exist without taxpayer subsidies.

    How about equal amount of space to exposing the corrupt relationships that are driving this folly in Maine: Baldacci–Kurt Adams–First Wind. Juliot Browne (First Wind Lawyer)–her husband Rep. Jon Hinck–Expedited Wind Permitting Law. Larry Summers–D E Shaw–First Wind–Obama’s $40.4 million gift to rescue Stetson II. Ad nauseum!

    How about equal space to exposing the true ramifications of the goals for industrial wind sites that were incorporated into that unconstitutional Expedited Wind Permitting law? 45 to 50 more projects the size of Stetson Mt. Blasting away some 350 miles of ridgelines for at least 1800 industrial turbines, permanently clearcutting at least 50,000 acres of forest. Contaminating our streams and ponds with silt and herbicides, fragmenting wildlife habitat, killing birds and bats, and ruining the peace and quiet and health of people in the noise impact zone.

    What about a true discussion of the facts here and questioning why the politicians of the state decided without asking the citizens to go down the road to this folly? Maine gets nothing from this except a handful of temporary construction jobs and some promise of some property taxes. But wait, not too much taxes because this stupid state grants TIFs to these thieves! We get no electricity from these and we don’t need them anyway. How about exposing the real reason why ineffective, unreliable industrial machines will be cluttering up every vista in the state?

    Try some real reporting. Try some digging into some controversy. Try some reporting on the real impact of these. I could give a damn about tower training. Another waste of taxpayers dollars. I do give a damn about why these ugly, useless machines are being planted throughout my beautiful state!


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