Wind Turbine Safety Setbacks Now Exceeding 3000 Feet

One Falmouth Massachusetts 110 Db Wind Turbine Requires Almost 3000 Feet

By Frank Haggerty, Neighbor
Feb 6, 2020 9:23 am ET


Setbacks must be measured from a non-participant's property line. The only proven safety measure is a safe setback.

The Wall Street Journal published a scathing editorial on the experience of Falmouth, Massachusetts, which spent $10 million on wind turbines, and it's been a disaster.

The Massachusetts courts shut down both town owned wind turbines named Famouth Wind I and II both identical Vestas V-82 type wind turbines in June of 2017.

These turbines have no permits and are a nuisance.

Falmouth Town Meeting voted 2.5 million to take down and put the 15 years old gear driven turbines in storage.

The town was warned prior to installation the turbines generate 110 decibels of noise each but even today has never disclosed the Vestas warning letter to the public.

In Falmouth, Massachusetts an acoustician requires the distance to meet the 40-decibel threshold for Wind II, a Vestas V82 with a sound power level of 110 decibels, which is approximately 891 meters or 2923 feet.

Wind II has a tower height of two hundred sixty-two (262') feet, a rotor diameter of two hundred sixty-nine (269') feet and overall height to the topmost blade extension of three hundred ninety-seven (397') feet.

A setback measured from a dwelling limits the non-participating landowner's use of their property and greatly reduces protections for non-participants from noise pollution and its proven ill effects, shadow flicker, property devaluation, and potential property damage from blade failure, ice or fire.

All landowners should have the right to do with their land what they choose as long as it doesn't harm or impede a neighboring landowner. A setback for safety reasons, regardless of its distance, must be maintained.

Any zoning that allows a wind turbine to be built next to a non-participant's property line eliminates that property owner from safely using that land.

It creates an easement over the neighboring, non-participating property that eliminates the owner from any further developments. This amounts to an uncompensated taking of private property rights.

Because of widespread concerns about health and safety, many jurisdictions scattered around the United States and Canada have adopted larger setbacks in recent years.

Government Entities Examples of Setbacks Over 3000 Feet

Catarunk, Maine 7,920 ft.

Moscow, Maine 7,920 ft.

Haut-Saint-Laurent, Montérégie, Québéc 6,562 ft.

Fayette County, Pennsylvania 6,000 ft.

Carteret County, North Carolina 5,280 ft.

Frankfort, Maine 5,280 ft. from property line

Umatilla County, Oregon 5,280 ft. from "unincorporated community"

Mason County, Kentucky 5,280 ft. from property line

Trempealeau County, Wisconsin 5,280 ft. from inhabited structures

Hillsdale County, Michigan 5,280 ft. from residences

Sumner, Maine 5,280 ft. from property line

Newport, North Carolina 5,000 ft. from neighboring property lines

Ellis County, Kansas 4,921 ft. from rural residences

Rumford, Maine 4,000 ft. from property line

Clifton, Maine 4,000 ft. from occupied structures

San Diego, California 3,937 ft. from residences

Halifax, Nova Scotia 3,281 ft. from habitable building


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Comment by Penny Gray on February 9, 2020 at 6:40am

Rural Maine residents and their health, property values or quality of life are not of any concern when it comes to turbine set backs.  The important people live along the southern coastline, most of them out of staters seeking Maine's beauty and "the way life should be".  They pay the big property taxes.  They donate to election campaigns.  They have the money. They have the power to make sure any and all wind turbines are placed twenty miles off shore, so as not to disturb their sensibilities.  It's blatant discrimination that's going to cause some major problems down the road.

Comment by Willem Post on February 8, 2020 at 3:11pm

Long Islander,

Maine’s wind proponents, working in cahoots with legislators and bureaucrats do not give a damn about nearby people.

They know full well low frequency noise from the monsters is a serious matter regarding numerous medical issues.

Most jurisdictions have setbacks of a mile from the project property line.

Maine having 1.5 times turbine height  is grossly insufficient.

It should be. Immediately changed.

Comment by Long Islander on February 7, 2020 at 7:20pm

It seems that offshore, the effective setback is supposedly something like 20 miles. On land, Maine's model wind ordinance from 2009 says the required setback is a mere 1.5 times the turbine height, measured from base to highest possible rotor tip, e.g., 900' for a 600' turbine. Why the double standard for inland and ocean? It's past high time that the legislature revises this setback in a manner that at a minimum would be consistent with the body of health knowledge that has been amassed since 2009 when Maine created this developer-friendly setback.

From Maine's model wind ordinance:

Comment by Penny Gray on February 7, 2020 at 5:48pm

The set back should be Mars. It would give a big boost to our space program.

Comment by Willem Post on February 7, 2020 at 4:35pm


Thank you for that list.

Low frequency noise is a silent killer.

You cannot hear it, but you can feel it.

After those 600 ft monsters are up, nearby residents have all sorts of physical problems.


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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