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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 71  |  Page : 228--239

Evaluation of community response to wind turbine-related noise in Western New York State

1 Colden Corporation, East Syracuse, NY 13057, USA
2 Lally Acoustical Consulting LLC, New York, NY 10012, USA
3 Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shannon R Magari
5842 Heritage Landing Drive, East Syracuse, NY 13057
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Source of Support: New York State Energy and Research Development Authority Electric Power Research Institute., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.137060

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As the boundaries of harvesting wind energy expand to meet the ever-increasing societal energy demands, the number and size of wind turbines being constructed rises. As part of a larger project to monitor sound in an operating wind park in western New York State, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among individuals living in and around the wind park to characterize the perception, level of annoyance, and self-reported health effects of residents. We conducted the study in a 126 MW wind park consisting of 84 turbines spanning approximately 19 square miles of farmland. Short-term outdoor and indoor sound level measurements were also performed at each dwelling in which a questionnaire was administered. To our knowledge, this study is the first to collect sound measurements at individual residences. There was no apparent exposure-response relationship between an individual's level of annoyance and the short duration sound measurements collected at the time of the survey. There was a correlation between an individual's concern regarding health effects and the prevalence of sleep disturbance and stress among the study population. The siting process is unique to each community with varying degrees of success. Additional sound level measurements inside and outside homes in larger cohorts in concert with detailed questionnaires would be useful in verifying those exposure-response relationships found in studies using calculated sound level data. Additional research should include a detailed investigation of sleep patterns and possible disturbance in those living in and near operating wind turbine projects.


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