Jul 28, 2014

Letter: Too Much Weight Given to My Wind Turbine Comments

Middletown resident John Byrne submitted the following letter.

Letter: Too Much Weight Given to My Wind Turbine Comments

To the editor:

There has been much discussion regarding the wind turbine survey and the apparent impact that one neighbor has had on the outcome. I am that neighbor, and my opinion actually differs from that being portrayed.

I agreed to meet with the three Town Council members at my home, and I commend them for taking the time to meet with a constituent to further discuss the balanced comments that I had put in my survey response. But what has transpired since then appears to have resulted in my opinion being given far too much weight in the formation of a town wide policy on turbines.

I want to state that I do not have a blanket opinion on turbines one way or the other, my personal opinion is that the installation of turbines should be looked at on a case by case basis. Let the neighbors have a say in the matter, rather than approving general installation in particular areas of town or on particular types of property.

I opened our discussion by stating the fact that I do not have a problem with the two turbines across the street. Furthermore I added that we have never approached our neighbor with any sort of complaint about the turbines.

The front of my house faces the 55’ turbines, turbines do make noise but the level of noise from these units, in my opinion, is acceptable in our personal situation. The noises are not something that can be measured in decibels; the comment about sounding like a fire engine missed out on some critical words, the sound is actually more like that of a distant fire engine siren. The flicker effect happens for a few short minutes at a particular time of the year, only if there are no clouds in the sky and the wind is coming from the south east at around 7am, so this is a tall order given the variety of weather conditions that we experience on the Island. The flutter noise happens when the small blades spin quickly during high wind, but nobody has ever lost any sleep in my house because of the turbines.

During our discussion I also suggested that the town should look at directly surveying the people that live around these turbines to see what their opinions are, adding that I was surprised that nobody had actually gone out and done this. This begs another question, why hasn’t anyone approached the owner of the turbines on Mitchell’s Lane and asked them first hand about their experiences, has it been worth it, would they do it again, has anyone ever complained about the turbines?

Before purchasing anything large we all have a tendency to garner knowledge from reviews of products whether that be from reputable magazines or actual users. I consider myself to be a user when it comes to proximity to turbines, I have merely given a review and it should, like others, be considered as such.

John Byrne
Middletown RI

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