Articles filed under Safety from USA

Windmill fire under investigation

Emergency calls flooded the Jackson County Law Enforcement Center last Wednesday morning as passers-by on Interstate 90 in western Jackson County witnessed huge plumes of smoke ascending to the clouds. The fire originated from one of the six power-generating windmills on the Ewington Township Wind Farm, located south of Okabena just north of I-90. ...After the fire was controlled, the scene was turned over to Suzlon officials, who are conducting an investigation. "We are still investigating a cause," said Suzlon Vice President Ken Glazier. "The fire was controlled quickly and brought to a safe stop. There were no injuries and the damage was limited to the one cell."
3 Apr 2008

Palm Springs fire personnel rescue windmill worker

Firefighters rescued a windmill maintenance worker who was having chest pains as he worked more than 150 feet above the ground this afternoon. Palm Springs firefighters were called to the 5400 block of North Indian Canyon about noon regarding a man having chest pains, Battalion Chief Mark Avner said.
26 Mar 2008

Fire ruins turbine at wind farm; Birds Landing blaze gutted 1 of 90

A wind turbine caught fire in Birds Landing early Monday, but investigators have yet to identify what caused the flames. The fire, on the top portion and on the blades of the 200-foot turbine, was discovered around 5:30 a.m. by employees of FPL Energy - High Winds. The turbine that caught fire was one of 90 the company maintains in the 6700 block of Birds Landing Road near Rio Vista. Van Culver, high winds plant leader for FPLE, said by early afternoon the company was still assessing the risk of climbing the tower to get a closer look.
11 Mar 2008

Airport commission takes look at wind farm project

For the first time in more than a year, a group other than the Solano County Planning Commission will be discussing a proposal to install up to 88 wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills. The Solano County Airport Land Use Commission will hear the issue Thursday night, a year after voting against the issue the first time around for fear of the turbines affecting the radar system at Travis Air Force Base. The difference this time is that officials at Travis are no longer objecting to the proposal, as stated in a letter written by Wing Commander Col. Steven Arquiette earlier this month. ...The company proposing the project, enXco, has offered Travis a gift of up to $1 million that the base may use anyway it wishes.
11 Mar 2008

Ice storm damages wind measurement tower

High winds and ice Tuesday are partially to blame for knocking an approximately 20-foot section from the top of a 160-foot Monroe Township meteorological tower, raising concerns among area residents about what could happen to a wind turbine in the event of a more serious ice storm. “Wind Truth Alliance questions why a wind company would erect a structure that cannot withstand Ohio weather,” Linda Hughes of the organization wrote in a prepared statement. “If wind turbines are to be built in Logan County, what will protect residents from the impact of the recent ice storm and more severe ice storms, such as the one in 2005?”
7 Mar 2008

Suzlon to replace defective equipment worth $25 million

In what implies a Rs.1 billion ($25 million) hit on its balance sheet for the current quarter, leading wind power equipment-maker Suzlon Energy will refit wind turbine blades for a project in the US, the company said Monday. “The company will do a retrofit programme to resolve blade-cracking issues discovered during the operations of some of its S88 turbines in the US,” the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange Monday.
3 Mar 2008

Siemens fined over death of wind turbine worker in Oregon

Siemens Power Generation Inc. has been fined more than $10,000 for safety violations in a wind turbine tower collapse that killed one worker and injured another. ...The investigation also found workers were not properly instructed and supervised in safe operations, the technicians each had less than two months' work experience and there was no supervisor on site. The agency says the workers were unaware of the potential for such a failure. Other safety violations included improper company procedures and failure to train employees in emergency rescue procedures.
26 Feb 2008

Turbine talks on the radar; Company offers Travis $1 million in compensation

The company trying to build additional wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills has offered Travis Air Force Base up to $1 million to help solve any potential radar issues caused by the structures. The Solano County Planning Commission again will hear the wind turbine issue at tonight's meeting, but based on a year of discussions and postponed meetings on the issue, a delay may be as likely as a decision. ...Also involved is the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission, which voted against the project in April due to safety concerns regarding interference with Travis' radar. The planning commission must vote with a super-majority to override that decision.
21 Feb 2008

Are wind turbines a nuclear threat?

Two St. Lucie Nuclear Plant employees have raised safety concerns about wind turbines damaging the plant, but Florida Power & Light Co. officials maintain there is no danger. The concerns are raised in internal documents from FPL that were sent anonymously to County Attorney Dan McIntyre on Thursday. ...One of the messages recommends discontinuing the project on FPL property. A manager posted a response to the messages Aug. 23, noting the exact locations of the turbines still was to be determined and a safety study was underway.
8 Feb 2008

Mt. Storm turbine catches fire

According to NedPower Mount Storm spokesperson Tim O'Leary, a wind turbine in Mount Storm caught fire at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. According to O'Leary, the fire occurred during routine maintenance and started in the nacelle of the wind turbine. ...NedPower is currently working on Phase 1 of the Wind Turbine Project - which consist of 82 turbines. Phase 2 will consist of 50 turbines, for a total of 132 turbines.
16 Jan 2008

Helicopter flips on landing, 4 suffer minor injuries

Four people suffered minor injuries Tuesday when their private helicopter crashed trying to land in snowy, foggy conditions near a wind farm in central New York, state police said. ...Simpson said the men were in the area inspecting land they owned and were preparing to return to Syracuse when the weather turned bad and they found themselves in a snow squall and low clouds. "They had zero visibility but they knew from their GPS that they were near those big towers," Simpson said. The pilot, Zachariah Bowers, 51, of Jacksonville, Fla., decided to land the helicopter in a farm field.
15 Jan 2008

Residents question wind farm plans

A meteorological tower felled during last weekend's ice storm has led some residents to further question a wind company's already controversial plans for Shaffer Mountain. "It's a concern for many residents of Shaffer Mountain. What does it say if they cannot maintain one meteorological tower?" said Karin Sedewar of Shaffer Mountain Road. Representatives from Gamesa Energy USA, whose project would build 30 turbines along the Allegheny Front, said the 262-foot tall tower likely fell due to severe weather conditions. ...Company officials stressed that a meteorological tower is very different from a turbine structure. The release described the test towers as having steel tube frames anchored by steel cables.
22 Dec 2007

Gamesa tower knocked down in storm

The discovery wasn't pleasant, nor was it much of a surprise to some Shaffer Mountain residents. Neighbors found a 200-foot tower - erected to measure wind atop the ridge for the controversial 30-turbine farm - lying twisted on ice-packed ground this week. "This tower is aluminum. The turbine's blades are Fiberglas and could project further," said Karin Sedewar of Shaffer Mountain Road. "If it had been real turbines, it could have been a real danger." The fall of the Gamesa USA tower - which Karin and John Sedewar believe was a casualty of last week's ice storm - solidifies their concerns about windmills.
21 Dec 2007

Gear problems shut down windmills in Lackawanna

The windmills — officially called “Liberty 2.5 Megawatt wind turbines” — are the first of their kind to be used commercially. They brought national attention to Lackawanna for its creative reuse of an abandoned industrial site. The state-of-the-art turbines are so new that ClipperWind had anticipated a need for some tweaking here and there. But resolving the problem has been more difficult than expected. “This one’s a pain because you need a big crane,” acknowledged Bob Gates, ClipperWind senior vice president. The work is expected to take several months, Gates said. ...While the gear boxes are being replaced, Gates said a reinforcing bond will be applied to the fiberglass blades to prevent any major damage from tiny cracks that have developed on some.
13 Dec 2007

In hurricane, windmill blades could be danger for nuclear plant

The discussion on the proposed windmills on our coast seems to have ignored the serious potential of devastating damage that these structures could cause. Although they "would be designed to withstand hurricane-force winds" it is doubtful that they could be engineered to be completely secure in a Category 3-4 or 5 hurricane or a tornado. The blades of these turbines are designed to produce optimum benefits from the wind, which means to me that if they were detached in a hurricane or tornado, they would become lethal missiles that could slice through not only nearby homes, but would pose a grave danger to the nuclear power plant facilities as well.
11 Dec 2007

Turbines won't stop air medical transport

We found there are no set regulations for the air medical industry in regards to wind turbines other than they're treated like any other obstacle such as cell phone towers, electrical lines, cranes, etc. in that they are "avoided" in flight. This means you typically don't fly directly over them at low altitudes and don't fly in close proximity. The FAA and the DOT had no specific recommendations, but are concerned about placement near private airports that aren't governed by their agencies. There is also some concern in counties where the plan is to place scattered wind turbines as opposed to a linear placement as you see more in the western part of the state. In a linear placement, the location of the towers is somewhat more predictable, although often only the towers on the parameters of the line are required to be lit.
8 Dec 2007

Wind Turbine Blade Update

It's one of the most visible sights in Madison County; one of the blades on the Fenner Wind Turbines broke in mid-November, and is still not fixed. ...They still don't know, what caused the blade to break; they say that this has happened at Fenner before, and hope to find out why once they're able to remove the blade.
7 Dec 2007

Wind Turbine Break ‘Isolated Occurence'

No word yet on what caused a blade to break apart on a wind turbine at the Waymart Wind Farm, Monday afternoon. Two blades on the three-bladed rotor remained intact, but one delaminated, meaning its fiberglass layers came apart. "This is on private property. No one was injured," says Steve Stengel, a spokesperson for FPL Energy which owns the wind farm. ...A total of 43 wind turbines line the Moosic Mountain Ridge. The 1.5 megawatt Waymart Wind Farm was completed in 2003.
6 Dec 2007

Request declined: Commissioners decline man's bid to limit windmill operations

At the heart of Halgren's complaint are a series of safety setbacks discussed by the PSC report, as well as several international organizations. One of those groups is the Word Bank. Halgren said international standards call for greater setback distances from roads and houses than those being used by NedPower and Shell WindEnergy. He claimed these standards were not included in the project's state permit because they were unknown to the PSC staff at the time. According to Halgren, international standards call for setbacks ranging upwards to 1,025 feet. In contrast, he said six turbine sites along Grassy Ridge Road are located from 123-323 feet from the pavement, and within 500 feet of homes. Halgren said the PSC staff favors an 820-foot setback between turbine towers and homes.
6 Dec 2007
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