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Gusts Topple Over Wind Turbine

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.

zzz

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.

"Obviously, they heard the noise, looked out and the turbine was no longer there," said Robert Olson, superintendent of the Clarion-Goldfield School District.

Olson said a brake on the turbine that helps slow the blades down was in need of repair. But in order to fix the brake, the district needs to shut down the turbine.

Repair crews never had a chance.

"We couldn't actually stop the turbine until the wind stopped. It has been blowing and we just believe that it probably stressed the tower enough that it caused it to go over. (It was) not the windiest time, but there was still some wind," Olson said.

The school district constructed the tower four years ago as an educational tool and to also save money on its energy bill.

"It saves the district about $9,000 a year, it produces about 150,000 kilowatts per year and so it is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

 zzz

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.

"Obviously, they heard the noise, looked out and the turbine was no longer there," said Robert Olson, superintendent of the Clarion-Goldfield School District.

Olson said a brake on the turbine that helps slow the blades down was in need of repair. But in order to fix the brake, the district needs to shut down the turbine.

Repair crews never had a chance.

"We couldn't actually stop the turbine until the wind stopped. It has been blowing and we just believe that it probably stressed the tower enough that it caused it to go over. (It was) not the windiest time, but there was still some wind," Olson said.

The school district constructed the tower four years ago as an educational tool and to also save money on its energy bill.

"It saves the district about $9,000 a year, it produces about 150,000 kilowatts per year and so it is significant," Olson said.

Officials said the turbine generates electricity but doesn't actually power the school. The turbine hit power lines to the north that left the school in the dark.

"Had the tower fallen the other direction, we would have still had electricity," he said.

The wind turbine is covered by insurance, but Olson said the district will have to decide whether it wants to rebuild.

The school district is still trying to determine how much it would cost to repair.


Source: http://www.kcci.com/news/10...

DEC 8 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/6238-gusts-topple-over-wind-turbine
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