Massachusetts environmental protection department flunks wind farm compliance test

Acoustics firm hired by power giant Con Edison fails to show compliance with noise regulations, and uses some pretty dodgy methodology, too

Missing data, fudged presentations and contempt for reporting protocol–how the wind industry shows compliance with protective regulations [Shutterstock photo]
August 22, 2018

With thanks to Wind Wise Maine

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has rejected a technical report provided to the Town of Plymouth by Con Edison Inc., on wind turbines and compliance with noise regulations.

The technical report was prepared by Tech Environmental Inc., an environmental consulting firm based in Waltham, Mass.

In a politely written but nonetheless excoriating review letter, the DEP noted several critical points in the consultants’ report:

  • There were no compliance audit data available at the time of commissioning as is required
  • Two of the five turbines were turned off completely during monitoring
  • Noise assessment was to be done during the quietest hours of the night so as to indicate a worst-case scenario, specifically 12 -4 a.m.; the assessment was done for two hours only, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • The consultant did not follow the government-required protocol for the presentation of data
  • Several data points were missing entirely

As a result, the Massachsuetts DEP said, it was “unable to concur with Tech Environmental Inc.’s conclusion” that the noise assessment demonstrated compliance with the noise limits.

Read the relevant correspondence here:

https://windwisema.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/dep-response-letter-tech-env-plymouthsound-stdy.pdf

This wholesale manipulation of data and flagrant contempt for regulations designed to protect health of the residents forced to live nearby industrial-scale wind turbines seems endemic to the wind power development industry.

In Ontario, many wind power projects are without completed acoustic Immission Audits post-operation as they are required and, when called on to perform assessments in the recent example of two homes in the Underwood project, seem free to manipulate the data at will. We regret too the news that the Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks has now accepted a noise abatement plan for the problematic single turbine operated by union Unifor, despite hundreds of complaints filed over five years, and the fact that noise complaints began on day one of the pilot noise abatement plan.

More government departments need to perform actual technical review of the material presented by power developers, and call them to account. If in violation, curtailment and shutdown need to be enforced, immediately.

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

Comments

Sommer
Reply

Here is a write up, verbatim, lifted from an Aeracoustics agent’s bio which may be relevant to the harm from noise issues here in Ontario.. What exactly does “re-writing of the technical rules used in the industry” mean?
“Payam Ashtiani
Principal
Perhaps it was Payam’s love – and mad skills – for the classical guitar that drew him to the finely tuned work at Aercoustics where everyone is encouraged to delve deeper into projects that are of interest to them.
Some of the outrageous engineering projects at Aercoustics that Payam is most proud to be part of include: the Ontario wind turbine noise measurements protocol development where he was part of the team that developed new methodology which is now being mimicked by others, South Kent Wind farm post construction measurement campaign – the largest wind farm in Canada and the Wilfred Laurier Global Innovation Exchange acoustic design where new room acoustic modeling and design techniques were used.
Payam’s favourite part of Aercoustics is the breadth of knowledge in the company that constantly allows for innovation and “re-writing of the technical rules used in the industry.”

lily loo
Reply

Correction: Future Generation Wind consists of 4 2MW Gamesa G-97 wind turbines (not 5).

The town of Plymouth, Ma was in receipt of a Letter of Professional Caution during the permitting phase – the Letter advised that IF the project was to consist of a single industrial scale wind turbine THEN there would need to be at least a one mile separation between the facility and residential neighbors – and IF there were to be MORE than 1 turbine that one mile setback would need to be increased.

As we have witnessed over and over – local officials have ignored cautions in favor of misinformation provided by developers as to operational impacts.

Post construction wind industry firms have consistently manipulated testing protocols – data collection and subsequent reporting (setting aside data not to their liking and testing in conditions that do not result in neighborhood noise / nuisance complaints…just 2 examples of shenanigans intended to hide worst case noise and non-compliance)

So much to tell… so much negligence engaged in both at the local and state level… regulatory capture of our state agencies has, to date, been successful and as a result neighbors continue to suffer.

Stan Thayer
Reply

Great, more proof that wind developers have been bold face liars.
I am working with a certified engineer who graduated from a Montreal technical institute only two years ago. He has no experience in the electrical or construction trades and is well versed on what the developers want.
He is a groomed yes man for the industry! Regularly he signs off on proposed changes to policies believing there will be no personal consequences and knowing the deviation of the project guidelines will comprimise someone’s health or safety.
Ignorance is bliss they tell me!
The formula for Industrial Wind Turbines has proven to be, 30/70 or 70/30 and is becoming factual for most wind turbines.
Any turbine will probably produce 30 % of its rated output 70 % of the time it produces.
Any turbine will probably produce 70% of its rated output 30% of the time it produces.
This formula works well because it takes into account the aberration in the parameters declared for any type of windmill equipment.
Sort of a corrective equation for embellishments.
I challenge anyone to prove it wrong!
Stan the power man

Stan Thayer
Reply

For those that do not know!
Renewable energy developers and their financial investors use a, ” Key Document Classification System “, which is purposely scribed to produce a certain manipulated result.
Strictly Confidential- for certain individuals.
Private Confidential- for those involved with that subject only.
Commercial Confidential- contractors and employees gag order.
Staff Only- basically a need-to-know basis.
Customer’s Release- usually a good news media scrum or handshake party.
Release for Construction- plans available to buyers, manufacturers, suppliers, etc., etc..
It would be so interesting for me to read some of the confidential notes that have been sent around pertaining to these Industrial Wind Turbine projects.
The only reason to hide the truth is $$$$$$$$$$.
Non-confidentially yours.
Stan

Sommer
Reply

What can be done with this information Stan?

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