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DIRECT TESTIMONY OF TOWN OF FOREST PAUL D. SCHOMER, Ph.D. ON IMPLICATIONS OF THE SHIRLEY STUDY

DIRECT TESTIMONY OF TOWN OF FOREST PAUL D. SCHOMER, Ph.D. ON IMPLICATIONS OF THE SHIRLEY STUDY

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DIRECT TESTIMONY OF TOWN OF FOREST PAUL D. SCHOMER, Ph.D. ON IMPLICATIONS OF THE SHIRLEY STUDY
DIRECT TESTIMONY OF TOWN OF FOREST PAUL D. SCHOMER, Ph.D. ON IMPLICATIONS OF THE SHIRLEY STUDY

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Published by: pandorasboxofrocks on Feb 15, 2013
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02/15/2013

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Forest-Schomer-1
OFFICIAL FILINGBEFORE THEPUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF WISCONSIN
Application of Highland Wind Farm, LLC, for aCertificate of Public Convenience and Necessityto Construct a 102.5 MW Wind Electric GenerationFacility and Associated Electric Facilities, to beLocated in the Towns of Forest and Cylon,St. Croix County, WisconsinDocket No. 2535-CE-100
DIRECT TESTIMONY OFTOWN OF FOREST PAUL D. SCHOMER, Ph.D. ON IMPLICATIONS OF THESHIRLEY STUDYQ. Please state your name, employer, and business address.
1A. Paul D. Schomer, Schomer and Associates Inc., 2117 Robert Drive, Champaign,2Illinois, 61821.3
Q. Have you previously filed testimony in this docket?
4A. Yes.5
Q. What is the purpose of your testimony today?
6A. The purpose of my testimony is to report the findings of the Shirley Wind Farm7study that I performed with four (4) other acousticians which was completed and8signed by all the scientists on December 21, 2012.9
Q. What was the purpose of that study?
10A. The study was a collaborative effort funded by the PSC, Forest Voice and the11Town of Forest to attempt to measure levels of infrasound at the Shirley Wind12Farm for the purpose of correlating health impacts experienced by the three (3)13Shirley families that have abandoned their homes and to make recommendations14to the PSC with respect to the implications of the Highland Project.15
 
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Q. Are there similarities between the Shirley Wind Farm and the Highland
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Wind Project?
2A. Yes. The most striking similarity is the fact that Highland is proposing to use3turbines very similar or identical to those employed at Shirley, which have a4generating capacity of about 2.5 MW.5
Q. Why is the size of the wind turbines significant?
6A. Recent studies have shown that as the turbines grows larger, the amount of sound7and infrasound energy increases. In general, this increase is a function of the8turbine rotor diameter. In other words, the bigger the turbine, the more energy that9it generates, and coupled with increases in electric power generation are10corresponding increases in the acoustic energies and a lowering of the acoustic11spectra. Attached as Exhibit 10 is a recent paper by Moller and Pederson which12documents this phenomena.13
Q. Why is this significant?
14A. Although the science is developing in this area with respect to wind turbines, there15is a clear correlation between the infrasound produced by wind turbines and the16health effects experienced by people in the vicinity of wind turbines
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health17effects such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, feeling not well, drowsiness, fatigue,18and insomnia.19
Q. What was your investigative approach for the Shirley testing?
20A. The first thing we did was agree to work on a collaborative basis. Each of the21acousticians brought a great deal of wind turbine and general low-frequency noise22
 
D
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Forest-Schomer-3expertise, including expertise on health effects. We all found ourselves1contributing significantly to a collaborative approach on this complex topic. We2all agreed that we would make our best efforts to sign a joint report with as much3consistency as possible so that the PSC would get a consensus rather than4conflicting opinions.5
Q. How were you able to work collaboratively?
6A. The five consultants representing four firms worked together performing the7testing at Shirley from December 4 through December 7, 2012. It became clear8that two consultants, George Hessler on behalf of Hessler Associates and I, were9going to play a greater role than the others in making recommendations with10respect to the Highland project. George Hessler took the lead in developing the11main report that also includes appendices by each of the four firms. This was an12iterative process where George would send out drafts to all the acousticians and13we would make suggested changes until everyone was in agreement.14
Q. Was there a point at which you and the other acousticians signed a document
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that was the full extent of your evaluation, research and recommendations?
16A. Yes. It is attached as Exhibit 11 that was finalized on December 21, 2012. I17considered it a final report subject to revision if new information came to light.18
Q. After signing this document, did anyone ask you to remove or delete any of 
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the information in the report?
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