Getting an Education From Kingston Wind

This morning the Boston Globe printed an article on the Kingston turbine.  It was more calling attention to the fuss than taking sides.  There were a number of comments including one referencing the original post on the topic in this blog.  There also was another article by the overzealous Kingston Journal reporter in which he went into a Kingston Green Energy Committee meeting to stir the pot.  A number of comments were posted at the bottom of the article, two caught my eye as the author seemed to have attempted to do a little research as opposed to most of the others which seem to fall into the “rage against the flavor of the month” category.  The most noteworthy were claims of setbacks in the Netherlands. While I have not investigated the rules for setbacks in the Netherlands, I did do a google earth flyover to see what level of tolerance people in the Netherlands seem to have for turbines.  After all, the Kingston folks are claiming they are experiencing a living hell.  So here is what I found.  I flew over to Flevoland Province which is one of the areas with the lot of turbines in the Netherlands.  What struck me was that people were placing their turbines close to their homes.  These are primarily farmers and presumably wanting to avoid having to steer their tractors around the turbines.  It appears that turbines are being sited less than 300 ft from residences.  And in one case you can see the turbine is casting a shadow on the home (shadow flicker caught in the act, so to speak).  If you would like to see it type in 52.557237, 5.580469 into Google earth or just click on this hyper link and you will see the photo below.      The turbine is about 260 feet from the home.  It appears to be smaller than the Kingston turbine, however the smaller turbines spin faster so the flicker would actually be worse and more likely to induce seizures.  If this seems interesting to you then do it in google earth and get out the ruler, set it to feet and start measuring stuff.  As you zoom out you will see that there are other houses nearby.  The one just down the road from this guy has a turbine 250 feet from his home and a larger one 520 feet from his home.  These folks don’t have rte. 3 to drown out the sound of these turbines.  And if you zoom out and look around the area you will see that placement in close proximity is commonplace.  You will also notice that the one 500 feet away is clearly part of a wind development.  In my mind this really casts some doubt on the kingston residents claims of being subjected to a living hell. There is a good photo of this site that gives a feel for the proximity of the turbines to the residence.  It has a zoom thingy on the side so you can zoom in. – There is another poster, or perhaps it was the same one, who seemed to be suggesting that we emulate the Dutch in their rules.  According to him, they seem to let sound dominate and they require 4x the hub height.  The comment then goes on to say that the hub height is over 400′ and so according the the Netherlands rules the turbine is too close to the homes.  Well, of course these homes are not in the Netherlands.  But if we did decide to adopt the Dutch rules lets look at what they would say.  The commentor made an error because he mixed up the height to the top of the blade tip but hub height is just to the axis of rotation.  The Kingston turbine has a hub height of 262 ft and a tip height of 403ft.  So using the Dutch Rule the hub height x 4 is just over 1000 feet.  The Alves home is this distance from the turbine. Other Information of Interest 2010 Kingston Acoustic Study

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