New wind energy rules address noise, maintenance – Petoskey News

March 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

New wind energy rules address noise, maintenance

New wind energy rules address noise, maintenance



Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:56 am

New wind energy rules address noise, maintenance

Ryan Bentley (231) 439-9342 – rbentley@petoskeynews.com

petoskeynews.com

PETOSKEY — Newly approved updates to Emmet County’s wind energy systems policy will set limits for the levels of low-frequency noise that the systems can generate, as well as new requirements to furnish officials with equipment maintenance plans.


The county board of commissioners approved the policy updates Thursday.

“I think we did a lot of homework on this,” said county commissioner Dan Plasencia, who also serves on the county planning commission that recommended the changes.

The updates would include new decibel limits focusing specifically on low-frequency sounds produced by wind energy equipment — which county planning director Tammy Doernenburg described as “that noise you don’t so much hear as you feel it” — as measured along an adjacent property’s nearest property line. 

As proposed, applicants seeking approval for a wind energy system also would need to furnish zoning officials with plans for scheduled maintenance of the equipment. Manufacturer’s guidelines or the best management practices recommended by the American Wind Energy Association would meet this requirement.

Additionally, parties pursuing larger residential systems — standing more than 60 feet tall — or utility-grade equipment would need to keep written maintenance logs and furnish them to the zoning administrator if complaints arise about the system’s operation.

“If those systems are not maintained properly, then they’re not going to work properly, and that’s going to increase the level of the annoyance to the neighbors,” Doernenburg said.

The changes would follow some other updates county officials put in place for the wind energy policy — which governs communities where county zoning rules apply — in 2013, including more general noise limits and standards for measuring the sounds.

 

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Keeping them up

Emmet County’s latest wind energy policy update includes some requirements relating to wind energy systems’ maintenance. Among them:

— Applicants seeking approval for a wind energy system also would need to furnish zoning officials with plans for scheduled maintenance of the equipment. Manufacturer’s guidelines or the best management practices recommended by the American Wind Energy Association would meet this requirement

— Additionally, parties pursuing larger residential systems — standing more than 60 feet tall — or utility-grade equipment would need to keep written maintenance logs and furnish them to the zoning administrator if complaints arise about the system’s operation.

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