Wind is a source of clean, reliable, renewable energy. Wind energy is emission-free, creates no waste or water pollution, and helps communities and governments achieve climate change goals.
The annual emissions that could be displaced by a 200 MW wind project is about 500,000 tonnes of CO2 from thermal generating stations, equivalent to removing approximately 100,000 cars from Saskatchewan’s roads.
Wind energy causes wind turbines to rotate. A rotating generator located within each wind turbine converts wind energy into electricity which is transmitted to a collector system. Collector systems consist of overhead and buried conductors that transmit electricity from wind turbines to a substation, typically at 34.5 kV. The substation increases voltage for transmission over long distances. Electricity is transported to consumers along an overhead cable called a conductor or transmission line.
The team at Innergex keeps up with emerging technologies to ensure we are able to make the best decisions possible on the latest information available on turbine components, keeping efficiency, low noise, performance and cost as the main criteria.
When evaluating a wind project configuration, Innergex meets or exceeds best practices for siting and noise levels, which aligns with regulated standards that are expected to be put in place in Saskatchewan. The sound of wind turbines heard from outside residences, in accordance with typically accepted guidelines, must equal or be inferior to 40 decibels (dBA), which is comparable to a soft whisper from 2 m away in a library.
Additionally, rigorous scientific research to date indicates that wind turbines sited in accordance with regulated standards and best practices pose no health risks to nearby residents. Wind energy generates electricity without emitting greenhouse gases or air pollutants, and uses no freshwater– creating a healthier environment for people and wildlife.
Health Canada released a comprehensive study on noise and health related to wind farms in 2014 which looked at 1,238 households and recorded more than 4,000 hours of noise measurements.
The study is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/noise/wind-turbine-noise/wind-turbine-noise-health-study-summary-results.html
The following represents key findings of the Health Canada Study which is the most comprehensive of its kind in Canada:
Illness and Chronic Disease
No evidence was found to support a link between exposure to wind turbine noise and any of the self-reported illnesses (such as dizziness, tinnitus, and migraines) and chronic conditions (such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes).
No association was found between the multiple measures of stress (such as hair cortisol, blood pressure, heart rate, self-reported stress) and exposure to wind turbine noise.
The results of this study do not support an association between wind turbine noise and self-reported or measured sleep quality. While some people reported some health conditions, their existence was not found to change in relation to exposure to wind turbine noise.
Annoyance & Quality of Life
No association was found with any significant changes in reported quality of life, or with overall quality of life and satisfaction with health. This was assessed using the abbreviated version of the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Scale. An association was found between increasing levels of wind turbine noise and individuals reporting to be very or extremely annoyed.