Friday, 11 October 2013

The Experiment - Will Newcastle Give me Wind Farm Syndrome?

This weekend, I'm going to stay in Newcastle, for a friend's wedding. It's going to be fun, and, as it happens, I'll be staying exactly 6.037 kilometres away from a wind turbine on Kooragang Island:

Click to embiggen
It's not a big wind turbine - it's a 600 kilowatt machine, that generates about 900 megawatt hours per annum - Energy Australia have also opted to scrap the machine, to make way for more coal export infrastructure.

Street view imagery of the wind turbine
As far as I know, the wind turbine is yet to be de-energised, and is still operational. According to, 600 kw turbines are certainly large enough to cause health impacts - see here for an example of the citation of research on 600 kilowatt machines.

Robert Rand, an acoustician who claims to have suffered the impacts of 'wind turbine syndrome' whilst conducting sound tests on a wind farm, states that 100 kilowatt machines are enough to cause health impacts (teamed with some nauseatingly offensive clipart):

Anyway, we'll see how I go over the weekend. As it happens,  there are quite a few people within a 10 kilometre radius of this particular wind turbine - about 155,737, at a conservative estimate, using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.10 kilometres is the danger zone touted by anti-wind groups, so perhaps I'll ask around town, see if anyone's affected.

Wish me luck.

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