Library filed under Safety from California

Lightning damages East County wind turbines

Lightning struck most of the wind turbines along Interstate 8 on the Campo Indian Reservation Monday night, causing severe damage to at least two of them, an official said. It's unclear how much damage the lighting strikes caused the other turbines, said Neal Emmerton, regional asset manager.
8 Dec 2009

Windmill disintegrates

The windturbine that started spinning wildly on May 3 disintegrated two or three days later, according to the California Highway Patrol. All that is left now is a turbine-less twisted tower. The CHP closed Highway 58 for hours after it was notified that the turbine was spinning out of control on Sunday. The closure snarled traffic in the area.
11 May 2009

58 still closed by runaway windmill

A runaway windmill in Tehachapi closed Highway 58 -- a major east-west freeway connecting California's southern Central Valley to Las Vegas, Nevada and Arizona -- for most of the day Sunday. As of 6:45 p.m., the highway remained closed between Tehachapi and Mojave. Officials had no estimate as to when it might reopen
3 May 2009

Windmill falls over in North Palm Springs

It could be a major safety hazard, windmills near the 1-10 in North Palm Springs crashing down to the ground. It happened yesterday, and now there's an investigation as to why the wind turbine, nearly 200 feet fell. "It went into overspeed, some sort of maintainence or some sort of malfunction," said Jeff Welton of the Palm Springs based Wintec Energy.
1 May 2009

Torrance windmill plan faces headwind

Lewis calls the whole proposal, its implications and its aftermath "just weird." For instance, he didn't receive the letter from Schumacher until July 5 - almost three weeks after the board's decision. "This letter was the first anyone knew about it," Lewis said. "We were just shocked this could happen without notifying anybody." Galvin is mobilizing the neighborhood and hopes people will show up at a school district meeting tonight to complain. "It's imperative we show opposition to this thing. Otherwise it's going to get shoved down our throats, which is what the school district has done already," she said. [EDITOR'S NOTE: has been informed that this project has since been canceled due to complaints filed by residents in Torrance.]
21 Jul 2008

We can't be selective in protecting Travis

The wind turbine issue is another example of misguided leadership. I've criticized Mike Reagan on this, and with good reason. Instead of having a meaningful discussion about the aviation safety problems being caused by wind turbines, Reagan simply dismisses any concerns as a "phony save Travis" issue. And yes, Mr. Reagan did receive a campaign donation from the wind turbine developer.
18 May 2008

Windmill fire causes $750,000 in damage

Fire caused an estimated $750,000 in damage to a windmill on Thursday, the Palm Springs Fire Deparment said today. ...The top portion of the windmill was on fire and several small spot fires happened because of falling debris. The fire is under investigation.
9 May 2008

Kondylis to propose halt on new turbines

After watching and learning from the year-long process of approving new wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills, one county supervisor will ask Tuesday for a temporary ban on such projects. Supervisor Barbara Kondylis will present the issue at Tuesday's Solano County supervisors meeting. The discussion comes after the Planning Commission recently approved 75 new wind turbines in an area east of Travis Air Force Base. ...Now, Kondylis wants to see the approval of similar projects stopped until the kinks of the new radar system are worked out. "I really think it's time for us to stop and give Travis a chance to get their radar in place," she said. "Hopefully they will be able to resolve the problem.
20 Apr 2008

Turbine concern on deaf ears

The general public and public agencies have apparently missed an important story regarding Travis AFB that has occurred over the last year. In an extraordinary show of concern, base officials have issued four letters objecting to the continued addition of wind turbines to the Montezuma Hills wind resource area. Air Force officials almost never make public statements about local land use issues, so these letters are highly unusual and show urgent concern. However, these concerns have fallen on deaf ears with Solano County leadership. ...Simply put, the wind company went over the head of the local commander and went to higher levels to secure a deal. In return for $1 million to study how to mitigate the problem, and stating that 75 new turbines would not increase the damage that the 750 existing turbines have already done, higher HQ then directed Travis to withdraw objections.
7 Apr 2008

Palm Springs fire personnel rescue windmill worker

Firefighters rescued a windmill maintenance worker who was having chest pains as he worked more than 150 feet above the ground this afternoon. Palm Springs firefighters were called to the 5400 block of North Indian Canyon about noon regarding a man having chest pains, Battalion Chief Mark Avner said.
26 Mar 2008

Airport commission takes look at wind farm project

For the first time in more than a year, a group other than the Solano County Planning Commission will be discussing a proposal to install up to 88 wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills. The Solano County Airport Land Use Commission will hear the issue Thursday night, a year after voting against the issue the first time around for fear of the turbines affecting the radar system at Travis Air Force Base. The difference this time is that officials at Travis are no longer objecting to the proposal, as stated in a letter written by Wing Commander Col. Steven Arquiette earlier this month. ...The company proposing the project, enXco, has offered Travis a gift of up to $1 million that the base may use anyway it wishes.
11 Mar 2008

Fire ruins turbine at wind farm; Birds Landing blaze gutted 1 of 90

A wind turbine caught fire in Birds Landing early Monday, but investigators have yet to identify what caused the flames. The fire, on the top portion and on the blades of the 200-foot turbine, was discovered around 5:30 a.m. by employees of FPL Energy - High Winds. The turbine that caught fire was one of 90 the company maintains in the 6700 block of Birds Landing Road near Rio Vista. Van Culver, high winds plant leader for FPLE, said by early afternoon the company was still assessing the risk of climbing the tower to get a closer look.
11 Mar 2008
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