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America’s wind country is livestock country, and the tens of thousands of turbines spinning across the U.S. today have proven that livestock are not affected by wind turbines. There is no evidence that wind energy has any negative impact on livestock, and during construction, crews will work with farmers and landowners to ensure livestock is kept safely away from any construction work.
While some birds do occasionally collide with turbine blades, modern wind farms are far less harmful to birds than buildings, communication towers, power lines, and vehicles. In fact, wind turbines account for only a small fraction of all human-related bird deaths and cause fewer bird fatalities than other sources of energy. To ensure that any project we build has a minimal impact on birds, Apex’s team of environmental biologists conducts several wildlife studies of a project area, in consultation with state and federal wildlife agencies. These studies inform the project’s design to protect nearby birds and other wildlife.
The sounds produced by wind turbine blades are often described as a sort of “whoosh.” The sound comes primarily from the blade moving through the air, rather than from the mechanics of the turbine generator. A recent study by Canada’s national agency of health examined a list of all the potential impacts of wind turbine sounds, and based on self-reported data of those living near the turbines, the study found no evidence that wind turbine sounds have any effect on sleep, illnesses ,chronic health conditions, perceived stress, or quality of life.
Furthermore, while turbines can produce low-frequency sound (sometimes called infrasound), this type of sound wave is also not dangerous at the levels present around wind farms. In fact, infrasound is generated at levels similar to those produced by turbines by such common things as breezes, waves, appliances, and other large machines, with no known negative health effects.
As we progress through our community process, we would be happy to take interested people to visit other wind projects in the region so they can hear for themselves what turbines sound like and from what distance. If you would be interested in going on a wind farm tour of another project, please let us know at our signup page.
Depending on where you live and where the turbines eventually are placed, it is entirely possible that you will see a turbine from where you live or work. Whether the turbines have a positive or adverse impact to the aesthetics of the area, however, is truly a matter of opinion. While we are still working with the community to define the next steps of our development process, we expect will be asked to do visual simulations of what turbines would look like at some point in the future. We believe these simulations will be most valuable once the community tells us where the turbines might go.