Waterloo Wind Farm
This wind farm is of particular interest in that it is one where there is a more organised opposition than most in Australia, with about six local people claiming major noise problems, and several of these being very active.
A few days later I slept 100m away from one of the other turbines at Waterloo. Again, a good night's sleep and no harm to my health.
When coming and going from the Waterloo Wind Farm I have made a point of calling into the township of Waterloo, which is three kilometres from the line of turbines. (I was, for many years, a member of the Waterloo Wind Farm Liaison Committee, some of the meetings were held at the wind farm.) Although I have called in about ten times I have yet to definitely hear the turbines from the town. A couple of my visits were in ideal conditions for hearing the turbines, with little, if any, breeze in the town, while the turbines were operating in a good breeze over the ridge.
Just once I may have heard them; they were operating, there was no breeze in Waterloo, but the bird sounds were sufficient to make me unsure whether I could hear the turbines.
Yet it is claimed by some opponents that houses have been abandoned in Waterloo due to intolerable noise from the turbines! (This claim was repeated by long-time wind turbine opponent and noise investigator Steven Cooper at a hearing about the proposed Crystal Brook Energy Park in Port Pirie in October 2018.)
Clements Gap Wind Farm
The Clements Gap turbines are Suzlon S88 models, 2.1MW.
Illnesses and injuries that have environmental causes, such as: nuclear radiation poisoning, ultra-violet exposure, microwave exposure from radar installations, heavy metal poisoning, exposure to carcinogens, snake and spider bite, hearing damage caused by loud noises, and poisoning in general show a dose-response relationship. The greater the dose or exposure, the more serious you can expect will be the illness or damage.
The dosage of anything radiating from a wind turbine would obey the inverse square law of physics. Put simply, if you are twice as far away as someone else, you would receive a quarter the dose that he or she would, and if you were three times as far away you would receive a ninth the dose, in any given period of time.
So by sleeping right under a wind turbine, I would be getting a huge dose of anything that the turbine would (hypothetically) be radiating; yet I was entirely unaffected. Also see Is your car making you ill?
Starfish Hill Wind Farm
I noticed a curious sound from one of these turbines. The only thing I could think of to explain it was that one or more of the hollow turbine blades contained some water that had got in from rain. I felt that the sound could be explained by water 'swishing' from one end of the blade to the other as the turbine slowly rotated. The swishing stopped when the turbine rotated more quickly, as would be expected if the rotation speed was fast enough for centrifugal force to keep the water out at the end of the blade.
I recall that I communicated this to the turbine operators who seemed to think it unlikely that the blades would have any water in them.
Absurd claims of illnessWe are told that people have differing susceptibilities to the allegedly evil, noxious and malevolent forces that radiate from wind turbines. We are told that susceptible people can be made ill a kilometre or more from a wind turbine.
Yet I had a good night's sleep and was entirely unharmed! We can believe some variation in susceptibility, but isn't it hard to believe that some people are more than one hundred times as susceptible as others? We don't see anywhere near such variation in susceptibility to any of the other environmental illnesses or injuries listed above.
If we were to believe the claims of
(ex Dr) Sarah Laurie and
Nina Pierpont we would have to believe that
some people are becoming ill while receiving one ten-thousandth the
'dose' 'received by' wind farm
workers, who are inexplicably immune.
Toora Wind Farm
We stayed another three nights at the Toora Tourist Park in 2019, this time in a tent-trailer. Again we noticed the sound of the turbines at times, but did not find it at all annoying.
I have mentioned elsewhere about how dishonest the more vocal wind farm opponents are, so if you should look at the Wiki Camps entry for Toora Tourist Park after April 2019 don't be surprised to see complaints about noise from the wind farm – I would not be at all surprised if some of the opponents placed bogus postings in response to this observation.
It seems, from the photos on this page, that sheep and cattle don't have any problems either.
North Brown Hill Wind Farm
There was a light breeze all night and whenever I woke through the night I could hear that the turbine nearest me was operating. It did not disturb my sleep, and I did not have any trouble getting to sleep, either when I first got into my swag or after waking through the night.
I got into my swag about 2000hrs (8pm) because the evening was cold and I had little else to do. When sleeping in a swag I don't sleep so soundly as when in my normal bed – this is mainly because I don't often sleep in a swag. I probably woke about five times through the night and was finally woken by daylight at around 0545. I would have had well over eight hour's sleep all together.
I measured the sound level from nearest turbine at 43 and 45dB(A) in the evening and morning, respectively. (I could hardly hear any other turbines, due to the greater sound from the nearer one, once again making nonsense of the claim from some anti-wind power people that turbines can be louder at a distance than up close).
In other parts of the wind farm I noticed sheep very close to turbines, and
to judge by the number of sheep droppings near the nearby turbine, sheep often
Again demonstrating that
livestock are not afraid of wind
Hepburn Community Wind Farm
Again, a perfectly satisfactory night's sleep.
Mark had a meeting with some people who objected to the Waterloo Wind Farm in the afternoon before the sleep-over. I believe he visited one or more of the houses that the wind farm opponents claim have been abandoned due to noise from the turbines.
Mark is more generous than I am in that he keeps a very open mind to the claims by the opponents. After having visited the township of Waterloo around ten times, listening for noise from the turbines and hearing nothing, I'm more inclined to think that the opponents are suffering from over-active imaginations.
Getting back to the night beneath the turbines, it was quite breezy, with the turbines operating all night and averaging about 60% of their 3MW installed capacity in the early hours of the morning. At this time the sound that I was hearing was very similar to the sound that would be heard from a considerably stronger wind and no turbines, or the sound of heavy surf on a beach.
Of course we all had a good night's sleep. (Mark's tent partly blew down – a windy ridge is not an ideal camp site). I hardly need say that none of us suffered any ill effects from the experience.
An impartial observer would probably think that Mark should be congratulated for taking the trouble to experience a night out among wind turbines, but David Ridgway, a noted wind power opponent and a man not greatly concerned with the facts, claimed it to be a political stunt. Interestingly Mr Ridgway slept in one of the houses that have been claimed to have been abandoned due to noise from the same wind farm on the night of 2013/07/17. It seems that Mr Ridgway believes this is not a stunt; does the reader see a contradiction here?
David Ridgway was also interviewed. It seems that he thinks that the sound is somehow going to be very different and more harmful in an abandoned house several kilometres from a wind turbine than right among them. Perhaps he should look into sound attenuation and, particularly, the inverse square law of physics?
'Bob from Bradey Creek' was also briefly interviewed. He said he was 10km away, but "I can hear them now". It happens that the Tothill range of hills, higher than the range that the turbines are on, lies between the wind farm and Bradey Creek. As mentioned above, I have visited the town of Waterloo, three kilometres from the turbines with a clear line of sight from town to turbines, around ten times now. I have never heard the Waterloo wind turbines from Waterloo township. It is quite impossible that Bob could hear them at ten kilometres on the far side of the Tothill Range.Waterloo Wind Farm.
Mr Ridgway, a noted wind power opponent was quoted by the ABC as saying:
"I couldn't really hear any distinctive noise that I could say was coming from the wind farm".Mr Parnell said that the wind was blowing directly toward them from the wind farm early in the night, but, perhaps not surprisingly, Mr Ridgway did not mention this.
A short segment by 9 News is on U Tube. It was stated on the segment that the house is two kilometres from the turbines. Bob Lamb and Ally Fricker also featured on the video clip. They live eight or nine kilometres east of the wind farm, on the far side of the Totthill Range of hills and have long opposed wind farms. Ms Fricker said that "they [the turbines] were incredibly noisy at our place last night as a matter of fact". Can the reader believe that? The turbines were inaudible 2km away, yet were "incredibly noisy" 8km away on the far side of a high range of hills?
Tom Richardson, of the InDaily, wrote a piece on the sleep-over. He wrote "Personally, I couldn't hear a thing above the snoring resonating from the rooms around me."