LOWELL – A group of neighbors of the Lowell Wind Project have sent a letter last week to the Department of Public Service complaining of loud noise from the project.
Thirty-three residents signed the letter describing the sound coming from the turbines as “unbearable.” Last weekend, residents said, the noise sounded like a jetliner hovering overhead and never leaving, according to Lowell resident Don Nelson, who has been an outspoken opponent of the project. He was surprised by how loud the sound was.
The sound only occurred during certain conditions, he explained, and had something to do with winds on the mountain but not at the base.
Nelson checked with other neighbors around Albany to see if they had heard anything and found several complaints. Some residents as far as seven miles away heard the noise, Nelson said. One neighbor had even called the police to make a noise complaint and was told, according to Nelson, that the police would not respond to complaints about wind turbine noise.
All 21 of Green Mountain Power’s 459-foot turbines are constructed, and each one continues to come on line following testing. There is no sound monitoring yet, but that will occur once the project is fully on line. Sound measurements will be taken four times a year over a two-week period, explained Dotty Schnure, spokesperson with GMP.
“The Public Service Board requires us to meet strict sound standards and we will meet the requirements,” Schnure said Tuesday.
There is a protocol for responding to noise complaints, Schnure said, adding that if there is a problem with noise, GMP should be contacted. There are actions that GMP can take to address the noise, she explained. Schnure described certain weather conditions that can contribute to increased noise levels. GMP was not contacted until Monday afternoon regarding the weekend noise concerns, she said.
“It’s important to contact us so we can determine the cause of the noise. We want to be good neighbors,” Schnure said.
Schnure also noted that there will be times when people hear the turbines.
Currently GMP is working to contact everyone who signed the letter to the Department of Public Service.