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HEAT and Huron East to discuss engineer’s report criticizing noise assessment for St. Columban wind project

Susan Hundertmark, Seaforth Huron Expositor  — June 6, 2012

A 45-page engineer’s report, outlining criticisms of a noise assessment report by Zephyr North for St. Columban Energy LP’s proposed 15-turbine wind project, will be the topic of a meeting between Huron East council and Huron East Against Turbines (HEAT) tonight (Wednesday, June 6) at 7 p.m. at the administrative committee. Rob Tetu, of HEAT, asked for the meeting to discuss a report HEAT requested from engineer Bill Palmer, who belongs to the Acoustical Society of America and has presented studies on the safety of wind turbines at international conferences.

“If a bridge in McKillop was possibly unsafe and I walked in with a report supporting that, would you at least read the report?” said Tetu, adding that Palmer’s report expresses concern that the siting of several of the St. Columban turbines is not safe.

“It is unacceptable that turbines are sited so that ice, fires, collapse, and blade failures can impact public roadways, and that non-participating landowners are protected only by their having to choose to avoid their own property that may be impacted,” said an excerpt from Palmer’s report, which Tetu read to council.

Palmer’s report said Stantec, the consultants preparing the research for the St. Columban wind project, “chooses to minimize the risk of wind turbine blade failures,” pointing out that accidents with industrial wind turbines occur annually and referring specifically to a Siemens 2300 kW turbine in Scotland that had a blade snap off unexpectedly on March 16, 2010.

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