Ada, Ohio residents suffering from noisy NextGen turbine

How unfortunate, that this community was hoodwinked by this industry before learning about the facts.  All over the world, you will read complaints about people experiencing problems with the noise or low frequency vibrations from these industrial machines. This ‘annoyance’ penetrates windows, doors, walls and leaves some people unable to stay in their own homes.  And what does the industry have to say about this? They cry foul and claim that many such claims are unsubstantiated and psychosomatic. In Van Wert, I know of people who were offered ‘small noise makers’ to run at night to drown out these annoying sounds.  Ada has made the unfortunate mistake of allowing large turbines within their village with a miserably short setback regulation.  Just as Ohio recently revised their setback, so should the village of Ada, to prevent such a problem from repeating itself in the future. 

Finally, this is a sad story of how a small community can be taken advantage of by a large foreign company.  NextGen chose to site this turbine within a small village. And what recourse or resources do these individuals have? As you read below, “Several council members said they felt a noise specialist from outside should be brought in to test the noise levels of the turbine…Those guys are going to know how to block the ambient sounds”  Who will you hire and at what expense? Bologna, the only way to ‘block’ the ambient sounds and vibrations is to permanently disable the turbine. Will NextGen agree to this? No way.  The individuals who are suffering as a result of this turbine should contact the school and talk about the productivity (actually LACK of) of the turbine. We recently blogged about the capacity factor of all turbines in Ohio from 2011-2013 and it was a miserable appox 30%.  How are Ada schools actually benefitting from this machine? These individuals are taxpayers for the school and their voices should be heard…

The Ada Village Council will continue to look into what can be done about noise issues being created for neighbors by the wind turbine on the Ada School property.

A study by Michael Harnishfeger, police chief and zoning inspector, conducted from May 20 through June 5 was presented to the council on Tuesday night.

It showed noise decibel levels in the area of the turbine, while above the allowable 40 decibels, are actually lower than in most other part of village.

In his study, however, the chief was not able to distinguish what was creating the noise at the site – the turbine, the wind or other factors such as traffic.

Because of this, council is considering getting an outside noise specialist to look into the issue.

The village’s current ordinance states that noise generated by the operation of a small wind energy project may not exceed 40 decibels measured from all adjacent non-participating landowners’ property lines.

“Regarding the noise from the turbine itself, it is certainly audible and more so during certain conditions, for example higher winds at certain wind directions,” Harnishfeger said….

“Although I do agree that there are certain times during certain conditions that the sound could be annoying, I do not believe that this is of such duration, character or intensity as to disturb the overall peace and quiet of the neighborhood which could be a violation of our criminal code…,” Harnishfeger said….

“When the turbine is quiet there is no wind blowing,” Harnishfeger said.

“So when it’s moving the wind is blowing and our meter is picking up that sound mostly … it’s not a decibel issue in my estimation. It’s almost like taking a ride in a car with somebody for an hour and the person in the passenger seat starts making a low humming sound. That would be annoying after awhile. It’s not so much it’s loud, it the mechanical hum and the rotation of that. It’s an annoyance.”

Sheldon, while agreeing that decibel-wise the windmill may not violate the ordinance, said he feels there is definitely something wrong with it.

“There are times when that windmill is so noisy I can hear it in my home with the doors and windows closed,” Sheldon said….

“I’ve been dealing with NextGen Energy, emailing them and writing them letters. They have an issue with that turbine. They sent a maintenance technician out and have sent one out every time I’ve called, but they hired that maintenance technician and they pay that maintenance technician, so what’s he going to say – ‘yes it’s noisy, but there’s nothing wrong with it.’ … I’m facing an uphill battle, I can write them until I’m blue in the face.”…

“There are times when that windmill is running and it makes very little noise and there’s other times when it’s running and you look over there and think that blade is going to come off,” Sheldon said.

“That guy (from NextGen) has told me a half a dozen times there is nothing wrong with that (turbine) and I find that hard to believe, especially when you go right around the corner (to ONU) and the two of the three that work are whisper quiet. … Literally I’ve been around hundreds of wind turbines and that’s the noisiest one I’ve ever heard and luckily it’s right in front of my house.”

“I live in the 200 block of Turner and I agree with you,” Councilman Jimmy Williams said.

Several council members said they felt a noise specialist from outside should be brought in to test the noise levels of the turbine.

“Those guys are going to know how to block the ambient sounds,” Councilman Jeff Oestreich said….

While a noise specialist was discussed, council took no action on the matter.