12. Heidi Eigel: One farmer's wind story

Tags: Renewable Energy, Wind

Published September 20, 2012

Blog: What is it like to live next to a 136 megawatt wind farm? Get it straight from the horse's mouth

Heidi Eijgel (pronounced eye-gel) is an Alberta horse farmer who lives in the last house at the end of a gravel road surrounded by one of the largest wind farms in Alberta – and she’s ok with that.

She moved to the windy prairie of Pincher Creek from the intensely developed Fraser Valley in British Columbia, attracted to the beauty of the fescue prairie landscape and to be close to her husband’s family.

Their property is called Windy Coulee Canadian Horses and they raise well-trained and tough riding and driving horses. Only an hour away from rugged Waterton National Park they’re built to handle the rough backcountry and Eijgel prides herself on the fact that a 20-mile mountain ride is a cakewalk for her stout, muscular horses.

Heidi trains horses, but she is also passionate about the environment. Her and her husband put a conservation easement on their land to protect the natural fescue prairie and riparian habitats and she can wax lyrical about the health benefits that horses get when eating native grasses.  

They even approached a wind energy developer to see if they could have project on their land. Unfortunately, its location ruled it out. Being in a coulee, a deep prairie valley, means the wind is too turbulent for wind energy development. That doesn’t mean it isn’t windy though, it’s enough to knock you over on a windy day.  More…

Podcast: Living next to one of Alberta's biggest wind farms what can we learn from Heidi Eijgel?

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If you were to pay attention to the wind energy debate in Ontario you might think that a wind turbine had never been built in Canada before. That we don't have years and years of peope living with and interacting with wind turbines in their community. Thankfully we have people like Heidi Eijgel. We tell the story of an utterly normal, soft-spoken middle aged Albertan lady and her experience living with wind and telling that story in Ontario.


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The Lancet: Electricity generation and health

The paper concludes that “Forms of renewable energy generation are still in the early phases of their technological development, but most seem to be associated with few adverse effects on health” GO >

Tags: Renewable Energy, Wind

Research paper: Noise annoyance from wind turbines - a review

Wind power is a relatively new generator of electricity in Sweden. Legislation and regulation regarding noise from wind turbines in Sweden have been discussed. Eja Pedersen at Halmstad University has at the request of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency prepared this report as a base for further discussions on regulation and guidelines on noise from wind turbines in Sweden. The report reviews the present knowledge on perception and annoyance of noise from wind turbines in residential areas as well as in recreational areas. I GO >

Tags: Wind

Research paper: A disease in search of a cause: a study of self-citation and press release pronouncement in the factoid of wind farms causing “vibroacoustic disease”.

Background In recent years, claims have proliferated that wind turbines cause a large variety of diseases. Two of these, “Wind Turbine Syndrome” (WTS) and “Vibroacoustic disease” (VAD) are frequently mentioned. Seventeen reviews of the evidence for wind turbines causing harm have concluded the evidence to be poor yet some regulatory authorities are now referencing health concerns as part of the rationale for set-back guidelines from residences, greatly reducing siting opportunities. Methods and Findings Google returns 158,000 hits for WTS and 298,000 for VAD. We conducted a search for all papers and citations on WTS or VAD, and searched for evidence for any association between wind turbine exposure and VAD. No papers on WTS were found in indexed journals. Thirty five papers on VAD were found, none reporting on an association between VAD and wind turbines. Of the 35 papers on VAD, 34 had a first author from a single Portuguese research group. Seventy four per cent of citations to these papers were self-citations by the group. Median self-citation rates in science are around 7%. Two unpublished case reports presented at conferences were found alleging that VAD was “irrefutably demonstrated” to be caused by wind turbines. Conclusions VAD has received virtually no scientific recognition beyond the group who invented the term. The claim that wind turbines cause VAD is a factoid that has gone “viral” in cyberspace and may be contributing to nocebo effects among those living near turbines. GO >

Tags: Wind

Psychogenic aspects of "wind turbine disease"

Is there anything that wind turbines don’t cause? A presentation prepared by Siman Chapman PhD, School of PublicHealth, University of Sydney  GO >

Tags: Wind

Infrasound Measurement Study

Infrasound measurements from many different sources are measured and compared GO >

Tags: Renewable Energy, Wind

Wind Turbine Sound and Health Effects An Expert Panel Review

The panel undertook extensive review, analysis, and discussion of the large body of peerreviewed literature on sound and health effects in general, and on sound produced by wind  turbines. Each panel member contributed a unique expertise in audiology, acoustics,  otolaryngology, occupational/ environmental medicine, or public health. With a diversity of perspectives represented, the panel assessed the plausible biological effects of exposure to
wind turbine sound. GO >

Tags: Renewable Energy, Wind


Photo gallery of Heidi Eijgel's rugged horse farm and the Summerview wind farm - Flickr

What might cause people who live near wind turbines to get sick? Quora

Is the infrasound from wind turbines harmful to humans? Quora

How significant are bat and bird mortalities from wind turbines? Quora

What is the minimum safe distance from a house a wind turbine should be built? Quora

Is Dr. Nina Pierpoint's "Wind Turbine Syndrome" a real medical syndrome caused by wind turbines? Quora

Q&A with Dr. David Colby, the medical officer of health in Chatham-Kent - London Free Press