Where I live on the outskirts of Chico, I have an almost constant supply of wind. I’ve considered a wind turbine as a way of getting closer to being “off-grid” so that I don’t have to pay PG&E the exorbitant rates. After reading this ChicoER story, I think I’ll pass on a wind turbine and focus on more solar. – Anthony
From the Chico Enterprise-Record: Disturbing the silence: Wind turbine not sustaining to neighbors’ sleep
By HEATHER HACKING – ChicoER Staff Writer
CHICO — A year and a half ago when Don Steinsiek installed a wind turbine at the top of Stilson Canyon Road, he was excited to harness the wind.He had been interested in the technology for a while, and when tax credits and rebates became available, he went for it.
The wind will vary, but he figured with the incentives, he could pay off his $82,000 investment in six or seven years.
When energy generation is greater than his use, he can sell electricity to the grid for 5 cents a kilowatt. But overall, he said the turbine provides energy for about two-thirds of his energy use.
It sounded like a good plan, and fit with the trend toward renewable energy sources. But neighbors say the wind turbine ruins the quiet nature of the neighborhood, lowers their property values and deprives them of sleep.
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting there was a lengthy discussion of Steinsiek’s turbine.
The state is passing new rules that will make it easier to install small wind structures, explained Tim Snellings, county development services director. Unless Butte County passes its own rules before Dec. 31, the new state rules will apply, he continued.
Neighbors took the opportunity to talk about the wind turbine.
O.J. Sutherland lives at the bottom of the hill from the turbine. He described the sound as similar to a “hovering helicopter to a whining or moaning sound.”
He told the supervisors some neighbors have changed the rooms in which they sleep, others wear earplugs and some just can’t sleep.”We no longer have a quiet neighborhood. There is only one acceptable relief — to remove it,” Sutherland said.
Farther down the road is Gary Marquis, who said for 20 years he has heard frogs and crickets. “Now I listen to a wind turbine,” he said.
Read the full story here at the ChicoER