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Clean Power Michigan’s Wind Farms: The Sound (of Crickets) and the Fury (of Crackpots)

Published on September 21st, 2012 | by Chelsea


Michigan’s Wind Farms: The Sound (of Crickets) and the Fury (of Crackpots)

Complaining about the noise of windmills falls in that whole ‘not in my backyard‘ phenomenon. Truth be told, wind turbines aren’t very loud, and crickets (and cars) are deafening compared to wind turbines. Check out this video below to see/hear:

In November, our friends in Michigan are going to vote on a big ballot initiative – proposal 3 — that requires 25 percent of the state’s energy usage come from renewable sources. Here’s to hoping voters take advantage of Michigan’s local power sources, including its abundant off-shore wind farm sites.

Source: Climate Crocks

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About the Author

is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.

  • Laura Griffin

    What people just don’t understand and gosh it’s so HARD to get them to see this, is that it’s not just the sound from the turbines, but the INFRASOUND, which cannot be heard. UCLA and the Acoustic Society of America released a study earlier this year on the devastating effects of infrasound on the human body.

    Those same “waves” cause the lungs of bats to explode. If they’re capable of that, then what are they doing to people?

    You also have the shadowflicker to deal with.

    Plus that cost comparison between wind and coal at the end does not tell the whole story. Wind cannot operate without a constant backup conventional power sources fired up and standing at the ready to go when the wind doesn’t blow.

    But when they calculate the cost of wind, they don’t include the cost of keeping the backup power fired up. So theoretically, what you need to do is combine those two totals (for wind and coal) and THAT is what wind really costs.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Are you familiar with the inverse square law? Sounds like you aren’t. If you will read up on it and measure the distance you live from the closest turbine blade you may find that you can relax.

      (And notice that I didn’t need to type those letter all caps and they still formed a word?)

      You are incorrect about attempting to add “firming” cost to the cost of wind. Each source stands on its own. Do you also add “firming” cost to nuclear when the plant goes down for weeks or years?

      Fact is, we have enough dispatchable generation, storage and movable load on our US grids to allow us to add anywhere from 25% (Eastern grid) to 35% (Hawaiian grid) wind and solar to our grids without adding any additional dispatchable generation or storage.

      As we bring EVs and PHEVs to the grid those numbers will climb. We are now only at ~4% wind and solar combined so increasing fill-in capability is several years into the future.

      Oh, and that 25% to 35% was calculated prior to our present round of replacing coal generation with natural gas. Coal is down over 10%, possibly closer to 20% which means that we could up the 25% to 35% by roughly another 15%.

      Someone has given you a whole wheelbarrow full of bad information….

    • Dan Chestnut

      Laura. I”m not sure where you live. But the windfarm proposal here in Michigan is to put the farm off-shore, in the lake. 2-3 miles from shore. The fish aren’t going to care about ‘shadowflicker’ and ‘infrasound’, if it does exist, fish don’t have lungs (except maybe those close to the nuclear power

      • Zachary Shahan

        marine life have actually been shown to thrive / do better underneath wind farms.

  • savvyone

    My wish for you, Chelsea, is a turbine right near your home so you can “walk a mile in my moccasins” and THEN right about how quiet they are.

    • Bob_Wallace

      How close to you live to a wind turbine?

      When was that turbine installed?

      Do you make any money from the turbine?

      What are the current siting regulations (required setback from residences) for your area?

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