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Wind energy industry doublespeak on noise std

Media Release

Friday 2 September 2005

Wind energy industry doublespeak on noise standard

Speaking at the New Zealand Wind Energy Association annual conference this week audio consultant Mr Neville Hegley claimed New Zealand noise standard "(NZS 6808) afforded very good protection to communities with proposed wind developments."

However, this is completely at odds with Mr Hegley's view of NZS 6808 on 14 February this year when he gave evidence at the hearings on Wellington City Council's proposed district plan change 32.

Presenting evidence on behalf of the Makara-Ohariu Community Board, Mr Hegley said, "It is clear from comments around the world and locally that there is no confidence with the prediction techniques adopted in NZS 6808 to accurately reflect the noise from Wind Turbine Generators. NZS 6808 adopts a very basic method for predicting wind farm sounds. There is no allowance for the effects of noise propagation downwind, so the result is to under predict the noise in this direction".

The documented noise problems with Ashhurst homes 2.4km from Te Apiti turbines also cast doubt on the wind energy industry's claims that noise is not an issue.

When around 125 private homes at Makara are closer and are almost all downwind of the larger proposed Meridian turbines it is clear that Makara is an inappropriate site for wind power development.

At the same conference Meridian chief executive Keith Turner warned of cowboys damaging the reputation of wind energy. The reputation of wind energy is not helped by advocates who continue to deny that wind turbines are a significant source of noise.

Wind power can play a part in meeting the country's energy needs but it has to respect the interests of people and the value of landscapes.


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