Flicker Alley

In an effort to provide a little more insight into how the flicker will affect some Amherst Island residents I’ve picked the stretch of Front Road from Stella east to roughly Sandy’s home (R370), a distance of about one km.  When reading the rest of this posting it would be good to have a copy of the East Stella close-up at hand.

The blue, green and orange lines are the 10, 20 and 30-hour contour lines from T15 and T24, both located in Wayne Fleming’s field (along with his solar panels – I have to wonder what his solar contract has to say about blocking the sun, even part-time).  Inside of the contours (in this case “inside” is towards the turbines, both of which are somewhere off the lower right-hand corner of the picture) the flicker is more than the value, while outside it is less.  I don’t show the maximum extent of the flicker, which goes well past the ferry dock.

Starting from the main intersection (about R137 for strangers to Amherst), you will be just outside of the 10-hour contour from T15 and further outside the 10-hour contour from T24.  The flicker here will be mostly at sunrise in the Spring and Fall, and will come mostly from T15 and some from T24.

As you travel to the east the flicker from both turbines increases, and the timing moves towards the Winter solstice.  At R408 you cross T15’s 10-hour line and are getting closer to T24’s 10-hour line, so the total flicker from these 2 turbines is somewhere in the 15 hour range.

Approaching the Museum (R132),  you cross T24’s 10-hour line and just past the Museum you cross T15’s 20-hour line.  By now you are at or above the standard European limit of 30 hours per year and it is still increasing.

Passing in front of Diane and Michelle’s (R172) you cross T24’s 20-hour line.  They are looking at something over 45 hours of flicker per year from the 2 turbines.  What this translates to is that for the life of the project they will never again have an unobstructed view of a fall/winter sunrise.  Early morning services at St. Alban’s (R 548) will certainly have to deal with the flicker on a regular basis.

30 meters past St. Albans you cross T15’s 30-hour line.  Chris Laffin (R403) is looking at something in excess of 50 hours per year.  Finally you start getting further from T24’s flicker field as you cross the 20-hour line in the decreasing direction and then T24’s 10-hour line another 50 metres to the east.

Unfortunately you are still going further into T15’s 30-hour area, and the numbers of hours increase more quickly as you get closer to the turbine itself.  Where it peaks exactly I can’t say, probably around R169.

After that it falls off fairly quickly as you cross T15’s 30, 20 and 10-hour lines within a distance of 100 metres.  By the time you pass Sandy’s driveway (R370) you are pretty much out of the flicker field.

2 thoughts on “Flicker Alley”

  1. I dunno… I gotta say that all of this sounds like much ado about nothing. 40 hours of “flicker” a year? Y’know, a year… which is 8760-odd hours long. That doesn’t seem like a lot to me. Or anything that should put the kibosh on a construction project.

    People who live near train tracks have to listen to trains for nearly 40 hours a year if 3 trains daily pass their house lasting 2 minutes each. Most of us will spend more than 40 hours a year waiting in line for and eating fast food… which is much more directly responsible for ill health than “flicker”.

    I think a little perspective is needed when it comes to presenting information about these projects. I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a fan of the proposed wind turbine project on the island, but at least when I oppose it I don’t make mountains out of mole hills in order to try to conflate the issues involved. Frankly, I don’t have to.

  2. I’ve never experienced the flicker, nor have I ever had to live with the noise on a constant basis. Until we have that opportunity ourselves, I think we ought to listen to those who have. Flicker is widely seen as a nuisance and is regulated in much of Europe.

    There’s a larger issue here as well. Who gets to decide just how much your neighbor gets to affect your property? The neighbor? The developer? Normally governments handle these things, hopefully in a reasonable manner. With people abandoning their homes due to wind turbine noise most of us would agree that the government, in this case Ontario, is no longer operating in a reasonable manner. With the flicker issue, the Council has an opportunity (and maybe its only opportunity) to protect those it is sworn to protect.

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