Library filed under Safety from California

Turbine talks on the radar; Company offers Travis $1 million in compensation

The company trying to build additional wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills has offered Travis Air Force Base up to $1 million to help solve any potential radar issues caused by the structures. The Solano County Planning Commission again will hear the wind turbine issue at tonight's meeting, but based on a year of discussions and postponed meetings on the issue, a delay may be as likely as a decision. ...Also involved is the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission, which voted against the project in April due to safety concerns regarding interference with Travis' radar. The planning commission must vote with a super-majority to override that decision.
21 Feb 2008

Pylon snarls Highway 113 traffic

A big-rig's load - a 128,000-pound section of a pylon for a wind turbine - shifted as the rig was headed south on Route 113 south of Dixon early Wednesday, triggering a 10-hour traffic nightmare. No injuries were reported. According to the California Highway Patrol, a section of the support pylon for a wind turbine destined for Montezuma Hills was being transported southbound on Highway 113 ...around 4 a.m. when a stabilizing bar on the 168-foot-long trailer carrying the pylon broke and allowed the cargo to shift.
18 Oct 2007

Calming effect; In radar vs. turbines, Travis must win

Wind turbines and radar systems do not get along too well. At least, they haven't to date. Adding 100 more such machines to the hillsides so close to Travis Air Force Base makes military experts nervous. It should make the rest of us very uncomfortable as well, since the base represents more than a billion dollars a year to the local economy. ...We certainly do not want to close the door forever on this renewable energy supply. But at this point, the peril posed to the air base's radar system seems too risky.
8 Oct 2007

Turbine trouble for Travis

Among the rolling grassy slopes of the Montezuma Hills, statuesque wind turbines loom over wheat fields, cattle and sheep. The approximately 700 turbines, each with three blades atop 400-foot towers, whirl amid the Delta breezes. Thus, a couple thousand blades lumbering through circles of air 200 feet in diameter, are hard to miss. Especially on radar. That detail has Travis Air Force Base officials doing a double take at plans to expand the wind farm, which chews up the air east of the base. Air Force officials say a proposed plan to install more than 100 additonal turbines in the Montezuma Hills could cause problems with future aircraft-control radar at Travis. And they know this because the turbines already whirling away are causing problems.
6 May 2007

Wind turbines plan, Travis radar at odds

A plan to install more than 100 additional wind turbines in the Montezuma Hills has been shelved for at least six months, and possibly longer. The proposed location of the turbines, which are similar to some 700 currently operating in the hills, is one which would pose problems to the aircraft control radar used by Travis Air Force Base.
20 Apr 2007

Permitting setbacks for wind turbines in California

Permitting_setback_requirements_thumb The California Wind Energy Collaborative was tasked to look at barriers to new wind energy development in the state. Planning commissions in the state have developed setback standards to reduce the risk of damage or injury from fragments resulting from wind turbine rotor failures. These standards are usually based on overall turbine height. With the trend toward larger capacity, taller towers and longer blades, modern wind turbines can be "squeezed out" of parcels thus reducing the economic viability of new wind developments. Current setback standards and their development are reviewed. The rotor failure probability is discussed and public domain statistics are reviewed. The available documentation shows rotor failure probability in the 1-in-1000 per turbine per year range. The analysis of the rotor fragment throw event is discussed in simplified terms. The range of the throw is highly dependent on the release velocity, which is a function of the turbine tip speed. The tip speed of wind turbines does not tend to increase with turbine size, thus offering possible relief to setback standards. Six analyses of rotor fragment risks were reviewed. The analyses do not particularly provide guidance for setbacks. Recommendations are made to use models from previous analyses for developing setbacks with an acceptable hazard probability.
1 Nov 2006

Board adopts height rules to help protect military planes

The action comes a year after Supervisor Judy Mikels asked for a study based on concerns that arose in Kern County over proposals for wind generation farms rising hundreds of feet into the air. Not only did the height of the wind turbines threaten the air space, but the devices could also interfere with pilots' radio frequencies, planning officials said.
28 Jun 2006
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