Turkey Creek Residents Express Concern Over Biomass Noise
Published September 4th, 2013
ALACHUA COUNTY -- It's supposed to generate more energy, but a few residents of the Turkey Creek community in Alachua say the only thing Gainesville's new biomass plant has generated... is noise.
Residents along fairway number 10 in Turkey Creek say they were awakened early in the morning several weeks ago by a loud whining noise, similar to the sound of a jet engine.
When the sound remained steady, the residents say they realized it came from the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, which is currently running a series of start-up tests before it becomes fully operational.
One resident says the noise was so loud, he couldn't sleep in his own bedroom.
"It went continuously for a couple of weeks, and I slept in the living room every night," said Turkey Creek resident Russell Pisano, whose bedroom window faces the direction of the biomass plant.
Two of Pisasno's neighbors also report being awakened by the same noise, including Jim McGinley. "I thought it was a jet plane flying close by," said McGinley. "It started out fainter and then got more intense."
While the noise eventually stopped, the neighbors say they still hear it every now and then. The most recent time, according to the Turkey Creek residents, was last Friday night into Saturday morning, although not nearly as loud as it was initially.
To address the noise, GREC says it has hired contractors to do their own sound level measurements around Turkey Creek. They have also encouraged residents to give them a call anytime they hear the noise.
However, at this point it is not clear whether the noise is the result of a temporary start-up test, or part of the plant's normal energy-generating operation.
Officials from GREC's parent company, American Renewables, did not respond to our requests for comment.
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