It is a known fact that wind turbines produce some level of noise, but the levels reached by most wind turbines, especially small-scaled ones, are very low. In fact, small wind turbines will produce noise that is much lower than regular talking levels.
According to the Acoustical Society of America, a soft stereo played in a residence is louder than most small wind turbines:
Additionally, when noise levels are measured, they are typically done at the site of the wind turbine, and does not consider distance to the closest dwelling and sound travelling through walls.
More townships and counties are taking these elements into consideration when forming their own wind turbine policies. For instance, in Emmet county, located in Michigan, has recently updated its policies regarding wind turbines. The planning commission accepted the recommendations by a vote of 6-2.
Instead of capping the noise levels to 35 decibels, they have increased it to 40 decibels, in all areas except farm-forest 2, which is a rural zone. The location where the noise levels are measured has also been modified to include the edge of neighbouring properties, instead of directly at the wind turbine site itself. Furthermore, the noise levels have to be measured by a professional and the measurements need to be over a 10-minute period.
These sorts of improvements to local policies will only help wind turbines to become a more viable option now and in the future.