For those who wonder what modern wind turbines sound like. . . . On a windy fall day(Oct. 22, 2010) I drove north from Keene, N.H. on Route 10 for about 20 minutes. As I entered East Lempster I was struck by the gorgeous fall colors all along a ridge (Bear Mountain) that runs north-south about 1 1/2 miles east of the Town Hall on Rt. 10. Having lived in New England most of my life, this was a familiar, yet exciting kind of seasonal splendor.
But then I saw the six giant white wind turbines, turning slowly in the wind. Striking. Unfamiliar. Awesome in their belonging, yet unbelonging. A certain kind of beauty, and yet I couldn’t help but think of the giant mechanical Martians in War of the Worlds. Something ominous, I thought, but certainly better than mountain top removal!
I had read the literature, so I knew there are actually 12 turbines out there in those hills east of town. I have a personal interest in getting to know wind turbines because a developer wants to build some turbines near our home in Ashfield, Massachusetts. Soon, they may inhabit many of the hills in western MA. So this was my personal visual and audio investigation.
In the midst of a constant hiss of wind moving through the surrounding forest and hills I could hear a slight whoosh-whoosh from the town hall, about 1 1/2 miles away. So then I drove up Mountain Rd. toward the turbines and set up my two cameras, a Panasonic HD HMC150 and a Canon 7D SLR. Here is what I saw and heard from a distance of ¼ mile. I talked with a neighbor who lives 900 feet from a turbine. He said he's bothered by the noise sometimes, but can live with it. It's worse when it rains or snows, he says, but he's able to fall asleep anyway.
Robert A. Jonas