NO Residential Wind North Kingstown
A coalition of concerned citizens in opposition to industrial size wind turbines in North Kingstown, Rhode Island
Q: Who is "No Residential Wind North Kingstown?"
A: We are a coalition of concerned citizens in opposition to industrial size wind turbines being installed near residential homes in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Q: What is an industrial size wind turbine?
A: Industrial sized wind turbines are designed to be used in wind farm applications and by utilities planning to sell to the public. Homeowner turbines are either attached to the house rooftop or freestanding on a backyard tower. Industrial or commercial grade turbines are generally over 100 feet tall feeding electricity into the utility electrical grid.
Q: Why is "No Residential Wind North Kingstown" against wind turbines?
A: Simply said, we aren't. However, we are in support of responsible regulations to be put into place outlawing industrial size wind turbines (over 100 feet) to be installed within 1 mile of residential homes in North Kingstown. This is for a variety of reasons including documented human health and safety issues, the killing of wildlife, ambient and low-frequency noise, shadow flicker from the spinning blades, ice throw, the lowering of property values, and the overall environmental and visual impact on our community.
The A B C's on the opposition to industrial size wind turbines near residential homes
Q: Where in North Kingstown are wind turbines being proposed to be erected?
A: Currently, there are 3 wind turbines slated for North Kingstown. The first proposed turbine would be 427 feet tall located in a new cluster subdivision called North Kingstown Green off Ten Rod Road next to the Wickford Junction train station. The second proposed turbine would be 389 feet tall and located on Stamp Farm, just north of Schartner Farms on Route 2. A third 160 foot turbine will be built at Mill Creek Marine in Allen Harbor on Quonset Point, however this is much smaller, not near residences, and is in zoned a commercial district.
Q: Aren't we all in favor of alternative energy? If so, what's all the fuss about these turbines?
A: We, like you are supportive of alternative energy, maybe even wind turbines, only one caveat.........NOT NEAR OUR FAMILIES. In every developed nation, when we build power plants, they are built in industrial areas, away from people. Of the two turbines planned for North Kingstown, one is located centrally in a high end residential community (North Kingstown Green) and the other is within 2,600 feet (½ mile) of over 150 homes (Stamp Farm)!!!
Q: Okay, I get the point, but so, you'll see a windmill?
A: Not exactly a “windmill”. These are industrial power producing facilities that are GIANT in size. Think of the Bank of America building in Providence. It's 428 feet high, and you can see it for miles before you get near it. These turbines are 427 feet high, some even higher. What would you think of looking out your back window at the BofA building every day? Another perspective, the Statue of Liberty from the ground including the base up to the tip of the torch is only 309 feet high.
Q: Yeah, but I've seen the New England Tech turbine and that's pretty cool?
A: Agreed. Put that up here!! The reality is that EACH BLADE of the North Kingstown turbines is longer than the entire New England Tech turbine from the ground to the tip of the highest blade. The North Kingstown turbines would dwarf the New England Tech turbine.
A: Each of the three blades on the North Kingstown turbines is over 150 feet long, hanging onto a tower about 250 feet above the ground. The radius of the rotating blades are larger than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet. At 121 feet the rotor hub of the New England Tech turbine is 30 feet shorter than just the blades of the turbines proposed for North Kingstown. Comparatively speaking picture an adult golden retriever standing next to a 5 foot tall person. See the "Proposed Turbines" page for examples of size comparisons.
Q: Okay, I'll give you that the view wouldn't be appealing, but don't we want to save the Earth?
A: Yes, let's do that. Rhode Island currently gets about 85-90% of it's electricity from clean burning, cheap and abundant natural gas. In contrast, “clean” wind turbines run between 20-30% efficiency (winds don't blow all the time, and sometimes they blow too hard and the turbine shuts down). Therefore, these are very costly to run and the price they sell electricity to the electric company (National Grid) is about 2x what gas costs.
Q: Wait a minute. You're saying electricity from turbines cost MORE than say gas or oil?
A: Sorry to say yes, but it's even worse than you think. First, when these are put up, the federal government pays about 30% of say $2 million to the developer. Then, when electricity is generated the developer sells it to National Grid at retail price (not wholesale which is usual). National Grid MUST BUY the electricity under a law called “net metering”, then National Grid marks up the purchased power and sells it to us consumers at higher prices. The benefit to the developer.
Q: “Net what”?
A: Net metering is a good law with a loophole. Net metering is a law which basically says if you or a business, a farm, whatever puts up a power generating windmill you get all the electricity from that, and if you have some leftover, you may sell it to the grid at retail. The intent was that you take care of your farm, then the residue isn't wasted but put into the grid. Slick developers, like the one in North Kingstown, and their lawyers have found the loophole and made a business out of renting land, giving the homeowner (or farmer) free electricity and then selling the remaining (up to 99% of the total) back to National Grid. Who gets taken? We do as taxpayers and local residents as we'll be buying electricity at higher prices than should be.
Q: Back to residential areas for a minute. They're putting these in small areas?
A: Very small. The town of North Kingstown ordinance allows a 427 foot turbine to go into a 265 foot RADIUS CIRCLE. So, say you own a 530 x 530 plot of unused land, Mr. Slick walks in and offers you say $5,000 a month to rent it. What would you do? Duh.....WINNING!!!
Q: What about the neighbors?
A: Seems that some people who are offered that much money kind of forget about their neighbors, their neighborhoods, and their communities as a whole.
Q: Can these do damage?
A: Yes, there are proven hazards from catastrophic collapse (goto the "Photos" page on this website and or just search the Internet), to ice throw, infra-sound, fire, and even the “gawk factor” auto accidents.
Q: Fire? How is a turbine flammable?
A: Fire can happen at a wind turbine in many ways. First, a 400 foot tall metal structure is quite attractive for lightning strikes and there has been a surge in the number of lightning strikes in areas with wind turbines. The part most vulnerable is the hub, or nacelle, of the turbine where the blades are attached. Not only does it contain the core components of the turbine – such as hub, rotor shaft, gearbox and generator – but also the electronic control elements and electrical units that transmit the electrical power. The nacelles used for modern wind turbines have reached the dimensions of a single-family home. But inside they are anything but spacious: machinery components weighting tons rotate in oil baths surrounded by bulky switchgear cabinets and cables. If a fire were to break out as a result of overheating in the devices, electrical malfunctions, or a lightning strike, the flames would find plenty of fuel in the mineral oils, lubricants, plastics and electronic components. The standard firefighting tactics for these fires is to evacuate the area, stand back, watch, and go “uh, oh” while preventing the fire and burning debris from spreading any further. You cannot safely approach a burning turbine because of the danger from very heavy debris falling and being thrown hundreds of feet away from the burning and spinning blades. Please see the "Photos" and "Videos" pages to see examples.
Q: You mentioned ice throw?
A: We all have ice that accumulates on our walks, our decks, whatever, the same occurs on the blades of the turbine during the down times (like we said they're down about 65-75% of the time). When they run again that ice needs to go somewhere. The blade tips don't look like they move fast but they rotate at over 150mph. Think of how far a piece of ice can be thrown at 150mph, and up 400 feet high!!! When it hits, it does not discriminate either. Roofs, shingles, windows, cars or humans.
A: I doubt you'd feel it. It may be more like a gunshot. Think of a rock hitting you on the head from just 100 feet up. Now how about from 400 feet up, moving laterally near 100 mph?
Q: Got ya. So if the blades spin over 150 MPH what about the noise?
A: Tall wind turbines create profound noise reverberations extending out for more than a mile. There are many variables on how sound travels, but generally turbines from far distances sound like "a boot tumbling in a dryer" or the revving of jet engines at takeoff. There are some clips below you can hear for yourself, or hear and see more examples on the "Heath Concerns" and "Videos" sections of our website.
Click here or simply hit the play button to hear the Click here or the play button to hear noise inside a house's vestibule
"jet noise" in Wisconsin from over 1000 feet from a turbine at midnight from a 1.5-MW turbine 1500 feet away in Bliss, N.Y.
This is ambient noise, or noise we can hear....we have not even touched upon infra-sound.
Q: Infra-sound? What is that?
A: Harder to explain, but even scarier. Infra-sound (or low frequency sound) is sound below 20 hertz (hz) which humans can't hear. Unfortunately, with so much vibration from these turbines, they create a great deal of ground vibration which is infra-sound which goes away from the base for up to a mile. People complain of tinnitus, ear pain, full ears, nausea, sleeplessness, and even sicknesses which appear to go away soon after leaving the area for a few hours. Goto the "Health Concerns" section of this website to learn more.
Q: Sounds like hell.
A: Not all people “feel” it and since you can't hear it, this is perfect for Mr. Slick's lawyers to say “isn't real”, but people get sick, some leave their homes. You can judge if it's real or not, unfortunately you have to be near a turbine to know.
Q: Tell me that's all, please.
A: Sorry again, but we haven't discussed nuisances.
Q: That's not nuisance enough?
A: Nuisances are things that don't actually hurt you. Ice throw, infra-sound, collapses, and auto accident gawking can hurt you, your kid, your dog. Nuisances are the noise and the shadow flicker effect.
Q: What noise? These are just big fans, right?
A: Ha. VERY big fans, which cut a lot of air each movement, and that air makes a sound, a loud sound. At the center of the blades the sound is nearly 106dBa (about like a rock concert), as you go away from the rock concert you hear “thump, thump, thump” all day, all night, every day until they're shut down. Most people try to sleep with their windows closed, and watch TV the same way.
Q: Yuck. What's shadow flicker?
A: Worse yet. Think of sunny days, the days you want to go out and be outside (“thump, thump”), say gardening. The kind of day you dream of. Well when the sun gets behind these blades (each blade 165 feet long) it casts a moving shadow which the industry nicely calls “shadow flicker”, more appropriately called “shadow nuisance”.
A: You can't be outside during those times, and......you can't really be inside either. Regular shades or curtains don't do anything against this beast. Only heavy (think of grandma's old dusty thick) drapes can block out the sun and most of the flicker. Many people just hide or go to bed, under the covers as even eyelids don't stop shadow nuisance. See examples on our "Videos" page.
Q: Can it hurt you?
A: We're not doctors, but the Rhode Island Hospital and the Neurology Foundation have both weighed in that a resident with brain cancer and epileptic seizures would be better served without turbines in his neighborhood. Several physicians from around the world have recorded a common set of ill health effects among people living near industrial-scale wind turbines. The symptoms include: sleep disturbance/sleep loss, headache, ringing or buzzing in the ears, increase in ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and stress, just to name a few.
Q: So this kind of sounds like prison in your home?
A: Well, yeah I guess it kind of is. This is NOT a game. These are peoples' lives, peoples' families, and peoples' biggest asset, their home.
Q: There are not any issues with animals, right?
A: Wrong. Sadly, birds are killed at an alarming rate as they do not fly around 400 foot wind turbines and their massive spinning blades. Birds including cranes, ducks, swans, geese, gulls have been found to collide with the blades of the turbines causing instant death. Birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, vultures, buzzards, and owls have been found to be especially vulnerable. Furthermore, bats which feed on all those annoying and virus spreading mosquitoes, die a horrible death near wind turbines as the rapid changes in air pressure are too much for their lungs, causing their lungs to explode. You can read more about this on our "Wildlife Effects" page.
Q: Are you done now, 'cause I'm getting depressed.
A: Sorry about that. Makes you want to move doesn't it?
Q: I'm out of here.
A: Again, bad news. Your home's value is shown to be devalued by 20-43% depending on how close you are and your view and nuisances/hazards from the turbine. You can read more about this loss on our "Property Values" page.
Q: Oh, come on.
A: Well, would you buy near this?
Q: At least the tax assessor will reduce my taxes, right?
A: No, assessors work for and with towns for the benefit of towns. They will not revalue your property unless you sell it.......for your new lower price and then the new buyer gets the lower valuation. You get just less money when you sell.
Q: So, hazards, nuisances, and property value loss too?
A: Don't forget higher resident taxes for all and electricity rate increases too. All the federal & state subsidies and grants for the developer comes from the taxpayers.
Q: How can I help stop this?
A: Jump onto the email list and we'll tell you what needs to be done as soon as we know ourselves. You'll get an email whenever we have news or action we need to take. We advise when important planning commission (PC) or town council (TC) meetings are and where. Always feel free to write both of them and our local and state officials with your thoughts. We as residents need to express our opinions, perspectives, and facts about issues to our local councils, commissions, local and state representatives so they are clued in to the thoughts and feelings of the people they represent. Goto the "Officials and Media" page to easily contact them and local media outlets to express your opinion.
Q: But I'm protective of my email address with spam and stuff.
A: Me too, maybe more than you. Look, we're not marketers or anything, we're just trying to educate others and kill these devils. We hold your address secret and don't pass it to anyone. We only write you about turbine issues and things related to TC and/or PC.
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