Video by Gerry Myer, town of Byron, Wisconsin. Residents inside this industrial wind farm in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin were told ice throw from turbine blades would not be a problem because the turbines automatically shut down when ice and snow build up on the blades.
The turbines are 400 feet tall, with a blade span wider than a 747. They appear to be turning slowly because they are so large, but the tip speed on the blades ranges from 90 to 180 miles an hour. Even a small piece of ice thrown at that speed presents a hazard. Wind developers downplayed the problem during the permitting process for this wind farm, saying ice throw is not anything to worry about. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin took their word for it. These turbines went on line in March of 2008.