Assessing the Impacts of Reduced Noise Operations of Wind Turbines on Neighbor Annoyance: A Preliminary Analysis in Vinalhaven, Maine


United States Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ben Hoen
Haftan Eckholdt
Ryan Wiser
1 June 2010

This report discusses the results of a pilot study undertaken in early 2010 on wind turbine noise levels. Neighbors living near a 3 turbine, 4.5 MW wind power facility in Maine, United States, complained that the turbine noise was unwelcome and annoying. Fox Islands Wind, the facility owner, hypothesized that implementing a Noise Reduced Operation (NRO) for the turbines, which would limit the turbines' maximum speed (rpm) and power output, would reduce the sound levels produced by the turbines and potentially the degree to which the neighbors report being annoyed by those sounds.