Noise created by commercial-scale wind turbines has become a major concern around the world as wind power development continues to proliferate. Although the industry claims that modern turbines are quieter — even as they grow ever larger — complaints are increasing from people who live near new projects.
While the wind itself may mask some of the noise under some atmospheric conditions, the deep unnatural thumping as the giant blades pass their supporting tower is particularly intrusive. Testimony from hundreds of turbine neighbors confirms this, most recently from Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Canada, the U.K., and New Zealand. Reports can be found at http://www.wind-watch.org/news and http://www.wind-watch.org/documents.
The noise is especially intrusive because wind energy facilities are often built in rural areas where the ambient sound level may be quite low, especially at night. On the logarithmic decibel (dB) scale, an increase of 10 dB is perceived as a doubling of the noise level. An increase of 6 dB is considered to be a serious community issue. Since a quiet night in the country is typically around 25 dB, the common claim by wind developers of 45 dB at the nearest home would be perceived as a noise four times louder than normal. And because it is intermittent and directional, those affected assert that one can never get used to it. The disruption of sleep alone presents serious health and human rights issues.