Articles filed under Safety from Washington
In the months since Stringer’s death, neither RES-Americas, the head construction company tasked with contracting out the job, nor Southern Power, which owns a majority stake in the company, have commented on the incident. There’s also been no comment from either company on the state’s investigation. The 38-turbine Skookumchuck Wind Project, originally set to begin operating in December 2019, has undergone multiple setbacks and has yet to be substantially completed.
The Olympian reported this week that the state Department of Labor and Industries is investigating the incident. L&I already has three open investigations with three businesses that have ties to the project: Aerotek Inc., RES America Construction Inc. and Southern Power. A fourth investigation also could be opened with an RES America subsidiary, said L&I spokesman Frank Ameduri.
The man was buried during cabling work for the Skookumchuck project near Olympia, southwest of Seattle, said local police. A second worker was rescued and taken to hospital after the incident on 9 January.
According to the sheriff's office, two employees were working at the Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project when a trench collapsed on top of them. Crews rescued one person who was partially buried. The other person was completely covered and died.
There were approximately 201 people working the fire, including three strike teams, three hand crews, and air resources helped for part of the cycle. Level 3 evacuations were put in place for the Pine Creek Drainage area with 39 structures threatened. As of 6 p.m. Sunday, 242 acres had burned.
Officials say the wind turbine that caught fire is owned by Avangrid and sits on privately-owned land. While 39 homes were threatened by the flames, no structures were damaged.
Fire engulfed the turbine 300 feet above the ground, causing melted pieces to fall to the ground, igniting grass and brush, according to the release. Gusting winds helped spread the wildfire, called the Juniper Fire, to between 350 and 500 acres by Saturday evening.
PSE spokesman Ray Lane said he's awaiting word if wind farm employees can come back to the facility to check on the condition of turbines and associated high-tech equipment that might be affected by soot and ash that's fallen from the fire ...The turbines have been in "paused" mode as the fire approached and are not generating electricity. Lane said evaluation today may allow to go back into operation, or it could be another day before they are operational.
A wind turbine at the city of Ellensburg's Renewable Energy Park toppled over on Monday, buckling under wind speeds of more than 30 mph and gusts as high as 45 mph. Gary Nystedt, city resource manager, said city staff will start going through the turbine's wind speed data to figure out exactly when it came down.
The Department of Defense said today it has asked radar experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory to evaluate whether the huge Shepherds Flat wind farm in north-central Oregon would interfere with signals from a radar station in Fossil if built. The study will take up to 60 days and extend past the long-planned May 1 groundbreaking date for the Shepherds Flat project, which at 338 turbines and 845 megawatts of capacity would be the largest wind farm in the nation and perhaps the world.
The Federal Aviation Administration, with backing from the Air Force, issued a "notice of presumed hazard" in March, barring construction of any towers above "0 feet." The company hasn't been able to resolve the issue, even with Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley trying to run interference. "We're just sitting here in no man's land," said Les Gelber, a Caithness Energy partner.
A potentially "catastrophic" federal moratorium on new wind farm construction is putting large planned projects in Wasco, Gilliam, Sherman and Morrow counties in Oregon and Klickitat County in Washington in jeopardy. "In the short term, for the companies who have been stopped, I'm very concerned," said Paul Woodin, executive director of The Dalles-based Community Renewable Energy Association. "For the long term, I've got to believe that rational thinking will take over."