Saturday, July 31, 2010

The New Wind Landscape is about more than Wind

I touched lightly on the aspect of permitting wind farms in yesterday's post. As noted permitting is a mix of local permitting and/or state permitting via Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC). A article in today's New York Times HERE discusses wind farms and noise in Oergon within the area of the Columbia River near Washington State.
I served on Washington State's EFSEC for three natural gas power plant proposals. Noise was a big issue for all three of those proposals and is a lot more complicated than one would initially think. Different frequencies were considered and how sound traveled under different weather conditions was also a factor. I will say that the Councils I served on took the noise issue very seriously for natural gas power plants and I suspect have done the same for wind turbines.
I will say that an attempt to camp near the Columbia River earlier this summer east of the Dalles was aborted because of the wind and the associated noise that came with the 40+ mph breeze. We found a somewhat more protected spot near Hood River, a popular wind surfing destination.

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