Safety and Texas
Proposed wind developments in California are similarly causing heartburn for the Defense Department.
"The Navy fully embraces green energy," Bennett said. "But it needs to be compatible development so that we can maintain our training capabilities. That's where the discussion has to start."
The truck with the wind blade, driven by Kinney Acrey, 60, was heading south on U.S. Highway 281 when one of its rear axles came unlocked, said state trooper Brian Korbel. That caused the trailer carrying the blade to swing into the eastbound lane, he said. The trailer then collided.
A man working inside a wind turbine in Nolan County when it was struck by lightning Monday was listed in stable condition at a Sweetwater hospital, according to fire officials.
Gusts of more than 55 mph can damage a wind turbine and become a safety concern, said AJ Swope, the executive director of Class 4 Winds & Renewables.
"The turbines will shut themselves down because they can't handle that amount of wind," Swope said.
The Navy is developing new radar technology and studying wind turbine formations in hopes of finding ways to mitigate the problem.
However, the Navy said it will take time and is asking green energy developers to move slowly.
"I'm watching a turbine on my land on fire, throwing fire balls on my property. I think it needs to be very clearly delineated: if you have property and machinery that is the source of a fire that damages someone land or uses someone's resources who is responsible for the cost," said King. (See video at source link)
Young said firefighters faced hazardous conditions as the turbine began scattering debris on the ground.
"I would gather that the turbine was spraying out debris up to three football fields," Young said. "Especially in an area like that, it was challenging because of the rough terrain. By nature, those are not good conditions for a fire."
It is unclear what caused the wind turbine to catch fire, but this is the second time a wind turbine has caught on fire in the same area in the last five weeks.
ECCA Fire Chief Gary Young said the fire started in the wind turbine tower and then spread to grass around the tower.
A proposed wind farm in the Chapman Ranch area is one of 20 projects that could cause problems for the military, according to a nationwide review of renewable energy projects conducted by the Department of Defense.
Monday, the fire spread into a windfarm and onto a large private ranch, but the ranch owner is not allowing fire crews onto his land causing problems for firefighters.
Snyder volunteer firefighters are still battling this blaze that has spread to a wind farm on top of a plateau.
Debate over the radar issue underscored the growth of an industry that, compared to other energy sectors, largely has gone unregulated by state government. During the past decade, some wildlife and property rights advocates have made repeated calls for checks on wind development.
Officials at Naval Air Station Kingsville have led the charge for new notice requirements, saying wind farms, which look like storms or aircraft on radars, could hamper the base's mission to train jet pilots. The wind industry opposes new requirements.
Some technical solutions are on the horizon. Raytheon has plans to roll out new software algorithms as early as 2012 ...Patrick Paddock, an operations specialist and radar expert at Naval Air Station Kingsville, said those solutions would require years of testing and procurement processes before the military could begin to implement them.
Giant wind turbines dotting the Texas landscape have made the Lone Star State the nation's leader in the development of wind power, but they may also pose a hazard to military installations by interfering with crucial radar operations, state lawmakers were told Tuesday.
The wind turbines could cause false signals on radar and endanger aerial maneuvers or produce erroneous information about storm conditions.
The U.S. military is growing increasingly concerned that proposed wind farms can disrupt or block radar designed to detect threats and protect America's skies, a problem that is stalling the alternative energy projects around the country.
A top U.S. general told Congress on Thursday that federal agencies need to work better together on a formal vetting process for the wind projects.
Construction on a $300 million San Patricio County wind energy facility will move forward on schedule after a compromise between the wind farm's owner and the Federal Aviation Administration was announced Monday.
The project was in jeopardy after the FAA objected to 81 of 120 proposed sites for 109 wind turbines because of potential interference with a sombrero-shaped radio beacon that pilots can use to determine their proximity to Corpus Christi International Airport.
The VORTAC building is located about eight miles west of Portland. A radio beacon that airplane pilots can use to determine their proximity to Corpus Christi International Airport poses an obstacle to a $300 million wind farm under construction in San Patricio County. ...The federal agency has taken issue with the turbines' collective proximity to and potential impact on the radio navigation signal, housed about eight miles west of Portland, according to a notice of presumed hazard filed by the FAA.
A 29-year-old contractor for Global Windpower Services fell 50 to 60 feet inside the shaft of a wind turbine on Wednesday, breaking ribs and a leg, rescue officials said.
His fall was broken by a metal deck about 12 feet above the ground, according to Lt. Greg Goettsch, spokesman for the Abilene Fire Department. The man was conscious when rescuers arrived. ...Global Windpower Services is contracting with FPL Energy to work on the turbines, Stengel said.
The Elm Creek Community Association and Buffalo Gap volunteer fire departments, South Taylor County EMS, the Abilene Fire Department, the Taylor County Sheriff's Office and MetroCare responded to the scene of the accident, Goettsch said.
A truck driver transporting the midsection of a huge wind energy turbine lost his load on the I-37 frontage road near Rand Morgan.
It happened around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. Police say the driver was supposed to be following a state ordered route, but that he got off track and tried to make a sharp turn.