Articles filed under Safety from USA
Among the rolling grassy slopes of the Montezuma Hills, statuesque wind turbines loom over wheat fields, cattle and sheep. The approximately 700 turbines, each with three blades atop 400-foot towers, whirl amid the Delta breezes. Thus, a couple thousand blades lumbering through circles of air 200 feet in diameter, are hard to miss. Especially on radar. That detail has Travis Air Force Base officials doing a double take at plans to expand the wind farm, which chews up the air east of the base. Air Force officials say a proposed plan to install more than 100 additonal turbines in the Montezuma Hills could cause problems with future aircraft-control radar at Travis. And they know this because the turbines already whirling away are causing problems.
On April 25, The Hays Daily News ran a fairly extensive news story on the proposed development of the industrial wind power generation plant west and southwest of Hays. That article stated that about 80 local families have expressed their opposition so far, but it did not say much about why there is this opposition. Let me try to explain very briefly some of the multiple sources of opposition. But please understand that this is an extremely brief explanation of each. More information is available at a public meeting being held tonight in the Fox Pavilion, starting at 7 p.m. and sponsored by the Ellis County Environmental Awareness Coalition. (Full disclosure: I am a member of this group.) I would say that the opposition can be divided into three groups, and these groups often overlap.
Five turbines were struck by lightening last Thursday night (April 26, 2007) during a thunderstorm. The electronics were damaged so badly, that all five systems will need to be completely replaced.
Whatever is causing turbine blades made at Gamesa Energy USA near Ebensburg to splinter should be known within weeks, a company representative said Wednesday. Meanwhile, the startup of the Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm - which will become Pennsylvania's largest wind farm - will be on hold until the blade investigation is completed, Ellen Lutz, director of development for Gamesa's Atlantic Region, said Wednesday.
A plan to install more than 100 additional wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills has been shelved for at least six months, and possibly longer. The proposed location of the turbines, which are similar to some 700 currently operating in the hills, is one which would pose problems to the aircraft control radar used by Travis Air Force Base.
DARTMOUTH - One of the many casualties of this weekend's storm was a windmill installed by former state Rep. Mark A. Howland. Arthur Larrivee paid Mr. Howland $16,000 for a windmill and solar panel system for his home at 620 Tucker Road and received everything he asked for: two windmills atop 35-foot-high poles, four solar panels and electrical equipment to convert the power generated into electricity. But on Monday morning, he woke to find that the steel poles of one windmill had snapped clean off about 4 feet above the ground, leaving the windmill lying on the ground. "I honestly couldn't believe it," said Mr. Larrivee, a real estate broker and Republican activist. "It had to be a flaw in the piping."
HARWICH - Community wind energy is facing another setback, the town's utilities and energy conservation commission Chairman Barry Worth told selectmen Monday night. Three months ago, Worth reported to selectmen the town's ability to install commercial turbines in the 400-foot range with a 1,500 kilowatt capacity is seriously limited because of the proximity to Chatham Municipal Airport.
A subject voiced at the March 8 Fairfield Town Council meeting was that a wind test tower located off Davis Road was beginning to fall apart, according to Jim Salamone, a resident living close by. He said he voiced his concerns at the meeting to Town Supervisor Frank Matthews and Codes Enforcement Officer Frank Ceneviva, because he was worried that the area's many children might get curious and investigate the situation. He said he was told that the tower, put up as recently as January, would be inspected by the company that owns it, and others in its vicinity would also be looked at. He said he was also informed that no one should be in the area that the test towers are in.
An Australian company that wants to buy a Cambria County wind farm might walk away if it's not determined what caused seven turbine blades to crack and large pieces of two blades to fly off. The problems at the Allegheny Ridge wind farm are a serious concern, said Neal Emmerton, regional asset manager for Sydney-based Babcock & Brown. Gamesa, the Spanish firm that developed the facility, has been paid, but the deal won't be final until the blade issues are resolved, he said.
A wind turbine near Dodge Center lost one of its blades Friday night when lightning struck it and started a fire.
A wind turbine near Dodge Center lost one of its blades Friday night when lightning struck it and started a fire. The Rochester Fire Deparment was called to the fire because it had the closest long-ladder truck. Its 100-foot ladder was used to help extinguish the fire at 11:15 p.m. One rotor blade was lost, but fire officials were uncertain if the fire reached the generator portion of the device, which could compound the loss.
The U.S. Air Force Space Command said it has checked and rechecked and still believes a proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound would not affect its PAVE PAWS radar station in Sagamore. “Everything that the Air Force Space Command is saying indicates that [the turbines] would not be tall enough to interfere with operations,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Gentry, commander of the Air Force 6th Space Warning Squadron, Cape Cod Air Force Station, the group responsible for running the radar facility. But wind farm opponents, specifically the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, point to a larger study now being undertaken by the Department of Defense, one that won’t be available until spring. That study, says the Alliance, will be more comprehensive and was itself prompted by issues with the Air Force’s initial analysis. “Until we have a written report in hand that we can review to understand the parameters of the study, it would be inappropriate to offer comment,” said Charles Vinick, president and CEO of the Alliance. “It is my understanding that there is a larger study under way and it would be premature to offer conjecture on what that might find.”
Large scale commercial wind power generation suffered a setback in town with a recent study based on Federal Aviation Administration standards limiting the height of turbines in air space on the approach to Chatham Municipal Airport. The study, conducted by Aviations Systems Inc. of Georgia, cites the potential for height restrictions on large wind turbines over much of the town. Barry Worth, chairman of the town’s utilities and energy conservation commission, said this week the report is under study, but it is clear regulations “limit the size and kilowatt ratings to be put up.” The study comes at a time when the board of appeals is scheduled to address a variance request to allow a commercial wind turbine at The Depot, a commercial business located along Depot Street in North Harwich, adjacent to the town of Dennis.
There were no injuries at a crane accident Monday night on a Lee/La Salle County wind farm. “It was an unfortunate accident,” GSG Wind Energy vice president Bruce Papiech said. The accident occurred at a wind turbine site about five miles north of Mendota near West Brooklyn Road. Papiech said the crane was lifting a turbine off a truck when the boom folded over. He could not provide much more detail because of insurance reasons.
White Construction officials are still trying to determine what went wrong at the site, and OSHA was at the scene Wednesday conducting an investigation that could last two weeks to six months.
DRESDEN -- Hikers on Black Mountain reached the fire tower at the summit earlier this month to find a 60-foot wind turbine lying in the snow. Justin Kerner of Clifton Park said it looked like a tree fell on one of the wires that secured the tower and then the turbine fell over. The State Police own the turbine. Spokeswoman Maureen Tuffey said it fell because a guy wire gave way when a bolt sheered off. She said it might be spring before the turbine is fixed.
AMES, Iowa -- Wind turbines generate power, but one was rendered powerless when it was knocked over by wind Friday. Nearly 800 MidAmerican Energy customers were without power on Friday morning in Wright County and school administrators had to cancel classes. There was a flicker of lights before the 100-foot tower supporting a wind turbine came crashing to the ground.
Recent gusts were powerful enough to break off the blades of a wind turbine in Genesee County. News 4's Al Vaughters reports the property owner is still picking up the pieces in Pavilion. Steve Rigoni said, "Well, the blade has got to come from Minnesota, so it'll be four or five days before they get here." This is all that's left of Steve Rigoni's wind turbine: three busted-up fiberglass blades and a 140-foot tower.
(Pavilion, NY, December 4, 2006) - - Recent gusts were powerful enough to break off the blades of a wind turbine in Genesee County. News 4's Al Vaughters reports the property owner is still picking up the pieces in Pavilion. Steve Rigoni said, "Well, the blade has got to come from Minnesota, so it'll be four or five days before they get here." This is all that's left of Steve Rigoni's wind turbine: three busted-up fiberglass blades and a 140-foot tower. The turbine has been blowing away Steve's electric bills, but Friday's wind storm was just too much.
Hikers on Black Mountain reached the fire tower at the summit earlier this month to find a 60-foot wind turbine lying in the snow. Justin Kerner of Clifton Park said it looked like a tree fell on one of the wires that secured the tower and then the turbine fell over. The State Police own the turbine. Spokeswoman Maureen Tuffey said it fell because a guy wire gave way when a bolt sheered off. She said it might be spring before the turbine is fixed. Black Mountain is in Washington County and the view from the top takes in Lake George and mountains in New York and Vermont.