This video was shot on a windy summer day at the foot of the new 1.6 mW turbine in Ipswich. The three visitors from Salem found that the sound from the turbine was minimal, especially as compared to the summer crickets.
That’s the thing about sound. A lot depends on what is called “background noise.” If the location of the turbine is such that there is already noise from the ocean, wind, trees, cars, and boats, the wind turbine is not likely to be very intrusive. This is the case with Winter Island.
How loud is the proposed wind turbine?
According to GE, the manufacturer of the turbine being considered for Winter Island, the sound from the turbine on a windy day would equal about 55 decibels (dB). This is the same level as the background noise in a “quiet urban daytime” environment. If you are in a room with people talking, the level is usually about 60-65 dB. The wind turbine will be far quieter than many neighborhood noises we are used to: lawn mowers, leaf blowers, air conditioners, and traffic.
As part of the Wind Turbine Feasibility Study, Meridian Associates did a thorough accoustic study to determine if the proposed turbine would disturb residents. The study team concluded that at the Plummer Home, the closest location to the turbine, the night time decibel level would be 43 dB, just 3 dB higher than the background noise, which measured 40 dB.
For more information on the impact of the sound of a community wind turbine, go to: http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/newengland/filter_detail.asp?itemid=2679