By now, most folks in the area know that 23 lawsuits were filed in federal court on behalf of 38 area residents against the Pinnacle wind plant above Keyser, WV. The locals cite mental and physical health problems related to the noise generated by the operation of massive turbines.
Apparently having mastered the dark art of spirit possession and entered the minds of these citizens, Charley Parnell, VP of Public Affairs for project owner Edison Mission Energy declared that “Pinnacle strongly denies the allegations being made against its wind energy project.” Really? You can somehow tell they’re just kidding about how their lives are impacted by the turbines?
Making a point in the same article which may have helped Mr. Parnell feel a little better but likely provided little solace to the Keyser residents mentioned in the lawsuit, the Edison representative stated that he “wasn’t aware of any other complaints about noise causing health issues at any of the other wind farms that Edison owns.” Apple … meet orange!
Mr. Parnell did note that Edison worked with the Japanese company which manufactured the Pinnacle turbines which, by the way, sit high above the ridgeline of the Allegheny Front on tower sections made in Mexico, to develop louvers intended to minimize noise concerns raised by other distraught citizens a year or so ago.
In the Cumberland Maryland Times-News article Mr. Parnell also stated that, “By all accounts they (louvers) had a dramatic impact on the noise of the wind turbines.” Perhaps “by some accounts” might be a more apt assessment of the “dramatic impact” based on the fact that 38 nearby residents are today very unhappy with the results.
In any case, it appears Edison Mission Energy is implying that the current lawsuit is frivolous, at least in part, due to the louvers. And from that, one might also be led to believe that the louvers, which were were installed as resolution to noise complaints raised by members of the Braithwaite family over a year ago, satisfied their concerns. We do know that even after a disappointing decision from the WV PSC regarding the Braithwaite’s formal request for assistance in resolving the noise problem, the complaints against Edison and Pinnacle seemed to cease.
It seems to me that Edison’s claim of louvers as resolution adds an interesting twist to the discussion. If the louvers did, in fact, reduce the sound enough to satisfy the discouraged homeowners who complained so forcefully last year, why are the turbines still too noisy for the current crop of complainers? And if it wasn’t the louvers which resolved the severe noise problem of last year, what exactly was the remedy?
What am I missing?
By the way, the statement in the lawsuit that Mission Wind and Pinnacle Wind were not part of the EME Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing seems confirmed by this statement from the paper’s December 20, 2012 edition: “EME’s wind energy projects are not part of the chapter 11 filing,” said (EME Spokesman Douglas) McFarland. “They remain a part of EME but do not rely on funding from EME and operations are not affected — in fact, operations at all of our energy generation sites are ongoing as normal and as provided for under the typical chapter 11 process.”