An article about the WindSoMe-project has been published in Tuulivoimalehti, a paper publicized by Suomen Tuulivoima Yhdistys (Finnish Wind Power Association).
You can read the whole article here (in Finnish) or a short summary below in English.
In Finland, wind energy has partly been met with scepticism and criticism, regarding the environmental effects. A possible explanation to negative attitudes, could depend on lack of new information based on empirical studies. Without reliable information available, people are more likely to rely on hearsaying and theories that are not backed up by studies.
The WindSoMe-project wants to do research to provide more updated information, which will hopefully reduce preconceptions regarding wind industry. Except for the compensations for the land meant for wind park areas, most of the criticism is concerning the noise from the wind turbines.
Within the project, research is being done about noise propagation, the strength of the noise and its´ special traits and in particular; how noise behave at different weather conditions and seasons. Except for sound- and weather measurements and weather models, surveys about noise from the wind turbines are also being performed. Feedback from the surveys is received in real time by a smartphone app and also by questionnaires.
This forms a new kind of versatile combination, containing weather information and clients´ opinions with measurements of the sound propagation from wind turbines. Based on the research it is possible to describe how the noise is experienced, when, why and under which circumstances the noise can be disturbing and to realize which parameters that makes varieties in the sound propagation. Differences in the terrain will also be one factor to affect the sound.
The project aims to find best practice amongst the individual, the community and the industry when building wind energy parks. The research will help to understand how wind energy parks are approved both generally and locally and which factors that affect these attitudes. The project ends in 2017.
Participants in the project WindSoMe are a program called Innovatiiviset Kaupungit (Innovative Cities), the University of Vaasa, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Lappeenranta University of Technology, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Merinova Ltd. Companies involved in the project are: Nordex Energy GmbH, ABB Ltd, VindIn Ltd, Cleanhub Ltd, Taaleri Plc, EPV Tuulivoima Ltd, the City of Lappeenranta and National Instruments Finland Ltd.