Remember this post from a few days ago? Wind developer canned response #283: “We don’t believe we mislead anyone.” Well, the “didn’t mislead” comment came from none other than Dave Friend, CEO of US WindForce, the developers of the Pinnacle wind project atop Green Mountain in Mineral County, West Virginia. That post dealt with the confusion surrounding what neighbors to the overgrown tinker-toys thought the wind developer said, and what the wind developer and/or the new owner is now saying.
This post will deal with another point of confusion.
Seems the latest “surprise” to greet the citizens of Mineral County has to do with noise from Pinnacle’s 23 Mitsubishi turbines now installed and slowly turning, presumably in test mode. (FYI – Test mode is when the turbines pull power from the grid as opposed to the operational mode when the turbines pull power from the grid.)
Anyway, the turbines are scheduled to become fully operational prior to a December 31 deadline established by the owners – Edison Mission Energy of Irvine, CA. The newspaper stated that Edison purchased the Pinnacle project in April of this year. (Which again brings into question why US WindForce LLC is still speaking on behalf of the project … and why folks continue to listen to them?)
The issue at hand comes from comments local resident Richard Braithwaite addressed in an email to fellow Mineral County resident, Dr. Wayne Spiggle: “The noise from the windmills is so unbelievable. It is so loud that I cannot sleep.” The Cumberland Times-News article discussing the noise issue, noted that Mr. Braithwaite reached out to Mr. Friend and the California owner and was told, in response, that they had never used the Mitsubishi turbines, which they secured for the Pinnacle project, “around homes.” Mr. Braithwaite also stated that “they said they didn’t know they made this much noise.”
Charley Parnell, vice president of public affairs for Edison Mission Energy of Irvine, CA said in the article that he’s aware of noise complaints at other projects, but he believes Pinnacle “will have little, if any, negative impact on our neighbors.” He adds that his company would address “any concerns with our neighbors directly.”
Well, I don’t know about you folks, but I hope Mr. Parnell’s corrective action for the noise issue is better than that of the Edison Pinnacle project manager’s response to turbine fire concerns. Remember this gem? “Just let them burn and they will eventually burn out.”
Really? Just let the fire in the 300 foot plus turbine located at the top of the mountain burn out? I mean … if Mr. Braithwaite thought noise was an issue, have a look at this possibility!
Yep, there’s a plan! What could possibly go wrong?
But back to the noise issue which is bothering Mr. Braithwaite … I found it interesting that the first thing the Edison folks do is shift responsibility for any operational issues: “The state permitting process addressed all of these issues.” Straight from the American Wind Energy Association playbook.
Next thing the AWEA will try to tell you is that the Braithwaites are exaggerating. The wind team will
try to mislead the public into believing likely claim there is no such thing as Wind Turbine Syndrome , and that respected Audiologists who have raised concerns about noise from wind turbines are stooges for the fossil fuel business, or simply backward thinking, knuckle-dragging NIMBYS standing in the way of progress. (That’s what they call me and other opponents.)
Have a look at this assessment of the impact of noise, beginning on Page 20 of this article in Audiology Today:
Yes folks … the denial and misdirection ploy used to work for the wind folks … until citizens began to see the reality and broken promises of the industrial wind business. As we’ve said here many times, “The greatest threat to the wind industry’s growth is, in fact, the wind industry’s growth.”
Which reminds me, I’m still waiting for the Pinnacle cheering squad to respond to my concerns. But then, I suppose any failure of the Pinnacle project to live up to the pre-approval hype will likely be blamed on the “state permitting process” as well. I’ll bet the WV Public Service Commissioners will be surprised to learn it is their own failed process which is responsible for the problems associated with industrial wind.