Aelhaern Energy Wind Measuring Mast
In July of 2012 Antur Aelhaearn gained planning consent to erect a met mast to measure the wind speed on land belonging to Moelfre Bach. In November the mast was erected close to the preferred site for the siting of a single wind turbine. The mast will be in place for twelve months and at the end of this period will be taken down. It is important that data is collected for a year to see if the project is viable, at the end of this period Antur Aelhaern hope to sell the mast and plough the proceeds back into the project.
The mast was purchased from Solar Wheel a company from South Wales, and was paid for with a grant from Ynni’r Fro. Ynni’r Fro is sponsored by the Government of Wales and a branch of the Energy Saving Trust. Antur Aelhaearn has worked closely with Ynni’r Fro for some months now, and are thankful for this help from the Government of Wales
A film about Scottish Community Energy well worth a look:
Onshore wind energy: what are the pros and cons?
One of the more comprehensive (and well referenced) documents on wind turbines, which seeks to address common concerns and issues raised is produced the Centre for Sustainable Energy and is available here: http://www.cse.org.uk/downloads/file/common_concerns_about_wind_power.pdf
Because people are concerned about the objectivity of these reports information on CSE’s funders is available here: http://www.cse.org.uk/pages/about-us/clients-and-funders
Some information worth having a look at
Energy Policy and Planning in Wales
|A Newsletter for the Residents of Llanaelhaearn
Pentref Gwyrdd Llanaelhaearn Green Village: Wind Turbine
Following a public meeting in February, a number of things have happened to drive this project onwards.
Mrs Lynda Cox, Mrs Valerie Massey, Mr Ifan Hughes, Mr Emrys Williams, Dr Sioned Enlli Morgan, Mr Elgan Ab Owen, Mrs Gwenan Griffiths a Mrs Bea Kelsall.
We have made arrangements with Ifan Hughes to visit ‘Bro Ddyfi Community Wind Turbine’ during the evening of 12th June, starting off at 5pm. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Mrs Lynda Cox, Antur secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about the planning application can be ssen on this website.
ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION SERIES
Non-ionising radiation (power frequency electric and magnetic fields)
What are electric and magnetic fields?
Electric and magnetic fields are present around all appliances, power lines and power generating devices.
The electricity that runs through power lines, houses and schools is in a form called alternating current. Alternating current produces two types of fields or areas of energy — an electric field and a magnetic field. An electric field is produced by voltage and as the voltage increases, the electric field increases in strength. A magnetic field results from the flow of current through wires or electrical devices and increases in strength as the current increases. These two fields together are referred to as electric and magnetic fields, or EMFs.
Electric fields are easily shielded or weakened by walls and other objects, whereas magnetic fields can pass through buildings, humans, and most other materials. Since magnetic fields are most likely to penetrate the body, they are the component of EMFs that are usually studied in relation to health.
What effect do electric and magnetic fields have on health?
Electric and magnetic fields induce voltages and electric currents in the body tissues and electric fields can cause the build-up of charge on the body surface. If large enough, the induced currents/voltages cause stimulation of electrically excitable tissues and a variety of effects. Phosphenes, flashes of light in the eyes, occur in relation to stimulation of the retina, and stimulation of the brain can result in subtle cognitive effects. At still higher levels of exposure, stimulation of the peripheral nervous system can occur, involving muscle twitching/spasm. Build-up of charge on the body surface can be perceived in the movement of body hair.
Guidelines on limiting exposure are available (see below) and aim to avoid the above acute effects. The evidence to date suggests that in general there are no adverse effects on the health of the population of the UK caused by exposure to electric and magnetic fields below the guideline levels. However, there are a number of epidemiological studies, including studies from the UK, showing an association between exposures to magnetic fields at home and/or living close to high voltage power lines and a small excess of childhood leukaemia. At present there is no plausible biological
mechanism to explain this excess, if real, or certainty about what aspect of exposure, if any, might be responsible.
No consistent association has been found between exposure to magnetic fields and leukaemia in adults, brain tumours or breast cancer in women..
In 2004 the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), now part of Health Protection Agency (HPA), concluded that there is too little definitive data available from studies of cancer effects to derive exposure guidance. These results highlighted the uncertainty over evidence in relation to health effects and this, and people’s concerns, led to a recommendation for the UK Government to consider the need for further precautionary measures, particularly with respect to the exposure of children to lower frequency magnetic fields.
Limiting exposure to electric and magnetic fields – general guidance
Therefore, it is sensible to limit exposure to electromagnetic fields and the HPA have issued advice on this based on an extensive review of the science and a public consultation on its website.
The HPA has recommended that the UK adopts the EMF exposure guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
The ICNIRP guidelines are based on the avoidance of exposure to EMF at frequencies up to 300GHz (gigahertz), which includes static magnetic fields and 50Hz (Hertz) electric and magnetic fields associated with electricity transmission. Current UK Government policy is that the ICNIRP guidelines are implemented in line with the terms of the EU Council Recommendation on limiting exposure of the general public (1999/519/EC).
For static magnetic fields, as from the high voltage direct current (DC) lines used with some wind farms, the latest ICNIRP guidelines (2009) recommend that acute exposure of the general public should not exceed 400 mT (millitesla), for any part of the body. However, the EU Council Recommendation is based on earlier guidance and includes a value of 40 mT. ICNIRP does recognise that practical policies need to be implemented to prevent inadvertent harmful exposures. These may include people with implanted electronic medical devices and implants containing ferromagnetic materials, and injuries due to flying ferromagnetic objects. These issues can lead to much lower restrictions, such as 0.5 mT as advised by the International Electrotechnical Commission.
The ICNIRP guidelines give reference levels for public exposure to 50Hz electric and magnetic fields of 5kV m−1 (kilovolts per metre) and 100μT (microtesla), respectively. Known direct effects of these exposures include those of induced currents in the body on the central nervous system (CNS) and indirect effects include the risk of painful spark discharge on contact with metal objects exposed to the field. If people are not exposed to field strengths above these levels, direct effects on the CNS should be avoided and indirect effects such as the risk of painful spark discharge will be small. The reference levels are not ‘limits’ but provide guidance for assessing compliance with the basic restrictions and reducing the risk of indirect effects.
Further advice on exposure guidelines for 50Hz electric and magnetic fields is provided on the HPA website. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has also published voluntary code of practices which set out key principles for complying with the ICNIRP guidelines for industry.
Limiting exposure to lower frequency electric and magnetic fields – precautionary approach
The Stakeholder Advisory Group on low frequency electric and magnetic fields, SAGE, was set up to explore the implications for a precautionary approach to low frequency electric and magnetic fields (ELF EMFs) and to make practical recommendations to Government.
The First Interim Assessment of the Group considered mitigation options such as the ‘corridor option’ near power lines, and optimal phasing to reduce electric and magnetic fields. A Second Interim Assessment addressed electricity distribution systems up to 66 kV (Kilo Volts).
The HPA has given advice to Health Ministers on the First Interim Assessment of SAGE regarding precautionary approaches to ELF EMFs and specifically regarding power lines and property, wiring and electrical equipment in homes. The evidence to date suggests that, in general, there are no adverse effects on the health caused by exposure to ELF EMFs below the guideline levels. The evidence also supports the view that precautionary measures should address solely the possible association with childhood leukaemia and not other more speculative health effects. The measures should be proportionate in that overall benefits outweigh the fiscal and social costs, have a convincing evidence base to show that they will be successful in reducing exposure, and be effective in providing reassurance to the public.
The Government response to the SAGE report is given in the Ministerial Statement by Gillian Merron, then Minister of State, Department of Health, published on 16th October 2009:
Possible emissions from wind turbines and wind farms?
Currently, there is no consistent evidence conclusively linking wind turbines and wind farms with adverse health effects arising from emissions of chemicals. When operational, wind generation should not produce chemical emissions, pollutants, or waste products. Installations are therefore highly unlikely to lead to public health impacts associated with emissions of chemicals. There is, however, potential for impacts to arise during the construction and decommissioning phases from the transport of material and equipment (e.g. accidental leaks, spills, and releases).
The potential for noise related emissions in the form of audible environmental noise and inaudible infrasound has also been raised, but again, unequivocal evidence is lacking.
Are there other public health concerns associated with wind turbine / farm emissions?
The most common public health concerns relate to siting of wind turbines close to housing, leading to disturbance from noise (audible and infra sound) and shadow flicker (which occurs when the sun is at low-levels and the sunlight is intermittently blocked by the blades of the turbine, causing a flashing effect).
Infra sound emissions may be man-made (e.g. explosions, machinery, low speed fans and buildings) or natural (thunderstorms, wind and waves).
In 2010, the Independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) reviewed studies of infrasound, including ones carried out using animal models and volunteers, subjected to acute, intense exposures, and investigating effects on hearing and balance and on the cardiovascular system.
They found that while very high levels of infrasound may produce acute effects, such as aural pain and body vibration, no ill-effects have been established using levels commonly experienced in the everyday environment. However, they noted the lack of useful epidemiological and clinical data and highlighted that there have been few studies on the effects of longer-term exposure to infrasound;
“there is no consistent evidence of any psychological or behavioural effects of acute exposure to infrasound in humans. There is, however, little good quality research and interpretation is complicated because low frequency noise often includes audible as well as infrasonic frequencies. At high levels of infrasound, aural pain and eardrum rupture can occur. There have been few studies on longer-term effects of infrasound in humans, and no ill-effects have been established. Animal studies of infrasound have reported biological effects, mainly after exposures at levels above 100dB (decibels), while at levels above 140dB, hearing loss or damage to the ear can occur. At lower levels of exposure, there is a sparse literature and no confirmed biological effects. Few animal studies have investigated the consequences of long-term exposure to infrasound and no adverse effects have been established.”
The report concluded that the general lack of adverse effects with low levels of infrasound does not suggest that further studies should be given a high priority.
In addition, a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) study in 2006 concluded that there is a consensus that modern upwind turbines are not sources of substantial infra sound and low frequency noise.
Linked to this, and in relation to audible noise, it has also been suggested that the beat like character or ‘swish’ associated with some turbines, is often mistakenly interpreted as low frequency noise, in an effect known as Amplitude Modulation. However, the frequency of the generated turbine noise is actually well above what would usually be considered to be low frequency.
 AGNIR (2010) Health Effects of Exposure to Ultrasound and Infrasound.
 DTI (2006). The measurement of low frequency noise at three UK wind farms. London. DTII
(go to “Document Index” and Scroll to SAGE/Formal reports with recommendations)
Some Information from Renewableuk
Are wind turbines noisy?
Wind turbines are not noisy. The evolution of wind farm technology over the past decade has rendered mechanical noise from turbines almost undetectable with the main sound being the aerodynamic swoosh of the blades passing the tower. There are strict guidelines on wind turbines and noise emissions to ensure the protection of residential amenity. It is possible to stand underneath a turbine and hold a conversation without having to raise your voice. As wind speed rises, the noise of the wind masks the noise made by wind turbines. For more information, read the facts about noise from wind turbines or why not visit a wind farm and experience it for yourself.
Click here to download The Assessment and Rating of Noise from Wind Farms, produced by ETSU for the DTI
Do wind turbines produce low frequency noise?
There is always low frequency noise present in any ambient quiet background and it can be produced by a variety of man-made sources, including machinery and transport and natural sources such as the sea, wind and thunder. It has been repeatedly shown by measurements of wind turbine noise undertaken in the UK, Denmark, Germany and the USA over the past decade, and accepted by experienced noise professionals, that the levels of low frequency noise and vibration radiated from modern, upwind configuration wind turbines are at a very low level, so low that they lie below the threshold of perception.
Read BWEA’s full report on Low Frequency Noise and Wind Turbines.
How safe is wind energy?
Wind energy is one of the safest energy technologies. RenewableUK have no recorded cases of any member of the public being killed or seriously injured during the normal operation of a wind turbine. With over 25 years operating experience and with more than 100,000 machines installed around the world this provides robust evidence of the safety and integrity of the technology. Recent reports citing peer reviewed evidence (e.g. Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel – January 2012 Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection & Massachusetts Department of Public Health) provide robust and independent assurance to back this statement up. In addition independent research commissioned by the HSE in the UK (2011) states the probability of fatality as a result of a single failure of a large wind turbine is 10-9 per year-1. To put this is context – this is roughly the same as the risk of being killed by lightening. The safety risks of wind turbines to a member of the public are therefore extremely low and substantially below those of other those we all experience in day to day life.
Does wind farming affect tourism?
There is no evidence to suggest this. The UK’s first commercial wind farm at Delabole received 350,000 visitors in its first ten years of operation. A MORI poll in Scotland showed that 80% of tourists would be interested in visiting a wind farm. Furthermore, wind farm developers are often asked to provide a visitor centre, viewing platforms and rights of way to their sites. Find out more in an overview of tourism and wind energy.
Information from the VisitScotland.org website
Wind farms and tourism – new research published today
The presence of a wind farm would have little impact on a decision to holiday in Scotland, new independent research revealed today.
Investigating the latest consumer attitudes to wind farms and their effect on tourism, the omnibus study incorporated the views of some 3000 interviewees and was carried out as part of VisitScotland’s ongoing consumer insight activity.
Highlighting the fact that 83% of Scotland respondents stated their decision to holiday in the UK would not be affected by the presence of a wind farm; the research also reported that the majority (80%) of Scotland respondents disagreed, or felt neutral, that wind farms spoil the look of the Scottish countryside.
VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead, said: “We sell Scotland to the world, bringing millions of visitors to the country and boosting the economy by billions of pounds. The visitor experience is therefore a huge priority for us – we know visitors come here for the scenery and landscapes and our marketing activity works hard to promote those aspects.
“And so we are both reassured and encouraged by the findings of this survey which suggest that, at the current time, the overwhelming majority of consumers do not feel wind farms spoil the look of the countryside.”
The research also demonstrated that a high proportion, some 83%, of Scotland respondents wouldn’t tend to avoid an area if there was a wind farm present. In fact, almost half of all those surveyed expressed an interest in visiting a wind farm development if it included a visitor centre.
The full report is available here at 06.00 April 24 2012: www.visitscotland.org/research_and_statistics/tourism_topics.aspx
Some Information about the Moelfre Wind Project
Pentref Gwyrdd Llanaelhaearn Green Village.
Cynllun Ynni Gwynt Aelhaearn Wind Power Scheme:
During the last few months, Antur Aelhaearn, in partnership with local farmers (Moelfre Bach, Moelfre Fawr, Llechdaran and Llechdaran Uchaf) have been working to create a Wind Power scheme for the village of Llanaelhaearn. Some of you may have already heard of this venture and may have attended the open day that was held in June 2011. We are eager to have another opportunity to discuss with you as villagers (invitation and date below), but fist we wish to share some general information about the project with you.
What is the scheme?
The scheme proposes to build one 500kw wind turbine, 67 meter high on the Foel.
Pictures will be created on a computer soon to depict how the turbine might look from various locations. These pictures will be displayed during the open evening.
A share of the annual income from the wind turbine will be allocated to the Antur, and of course to local projects and institutions within the village the Antur supports annually. The Antur is keen to develop new projects such as developing Babell chapel and to reopen Glanrhyd shop. Hopefully, we can also develop a new project to convert the village into a “Green Village” that will reduce our carbon footprint and save the residents energy and money. The project will ensure long term income security for the Antur in a period of public sector cuts.
Why this location?
Following the consultation in June, we have decided on the size and location of the turbine.
The proposed turbine is situated on the other side of the Foel, about 150 meters from the agricultural buildings at Moelfre Bach, and as close as possible to the present electricity lines.
This location was chosen because initial studies denote it as a good location for wind power production.
Although the study states it would be possible to locate a big 120 meter high turbine on this location, it was decided that this was not the opinion of those who attended the open day, and that the height should be limited to half this height, to around 67 meters to the tip of the blade.
How much will it cost?
Projects such as this can be very costly. At present, we are working on the estimate that the whole project will cost up to £1.2million. The study also demonstrates that it will pay for itself within 8 years, bringing a gross annual income of £250 k.
- Grant Applications to Welsh Government and European Union
The Antur will submit grant applications to develop the project in the next phase.
- Further Studies
In order to attract grants and bank loans, a feasibility study of the location will need to be completed, carefully measuring the location’s potential to produce electricity. This will include placing a mast on the location indicated to measure wind speed and frequency.
- Engaging with villagers and people within the area
We are eager to arrange meetings with you throughout the process. The first meeting will be held on Friday 17/2/12 at 7:00pm in the Babell Community Center. A video will be shown along with a number of pictures depicting how the turbine might look from different locations around the village. A warm welcome to you all.
Further meetings will be arranged when more details are available
Bro Dyfi Turbine above Machynlleth
This turbine is the same size as the proposed turbine for Llanaelhaearn. However Antur Aelhaearn would like to point out that no final decisions have been made as the results of all the studies will have to be looked at first.