Library filed under Safety from Massachusetts
The Federal Aviation Administration has found that the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm will not be a hazard to air navigation, marking another in a string of wins for the project's developer. Although the FAA previously determined that the 440-foot-tall wind turbines would be a so-called "presumed hazard" to navigation, that finding was considered a placeholder while the agency studied the effects of the wind farm on aviation more closely.
When the 100-foot-tall wind turbine at Bartlett's Ocean View Farm hurled one of its broken blades nearly 200 feet Jan. 18, it was a statistical anomaly. Wind energy experts claim, and statistics seem to show, failure rates are low. But when a second 100-foot-tall turbine, this time in Marstons Mills, shed its blades in a northeaster this Sunday, it seemed to some the start of a troubling trend.
One of the windmill's 40-foot-long blades broke in half in moderate winds some time after dark Jan. 18, the broken piece plummeting to the ground where it landed nearly 175 feet away from the turbine. No one was hurt, but Bartlett's Farm now alleges in Nantucket Superior Court that the manufacturer of the windmill, Wind Energy Solutions (WES), of the Netherlands, knew of a design defect.
Proponents of wind energy state that blade failures, fires and collapse are small in relation to the number of turbines and we should not consider those failures when siting. How does that protect abutting businesses and residents? I witnessed the process steamroll through to develop Port's standards — decreased from what the state models recommended for safe setbacks to property lines for ice throw, blade throw and collapse. Ours is only 150 feet, not even the minimum of 1x turbine height (Mass DOER recommends 1.5x).
Early Monday morning, a 20-foot-plus piece of one of the blades on Bartlett's Ocean View Farm's wind turbine snapped off and fell to the ground nearby. The wind turbine immediately shut down. There were no reported injuries when the blade struck the surrounding farmland, said John Bartlett.
While I am not a resident of your area, I was disappointed to read your article on SouthCoast Today.com of the unanimous decision of the Dartmouth Select Board to go ahead with the installation of two wind turbines on municipal property to be located within less than 1,000 feet from four homes, and in a neighborhood with some 50 residents. ...It is a sad statement on society when a decision is taken that will have such a significant impact on some citizens of your community on the basis of financial gain.
The Select Board delayed a decision on two, 328-foot wind turbines proposed for construction at the wastewater treatment plant off Chase Road until at least Jan. 4, after meeting Monday night for four hours. ...Select Board Chairman Joseph L. Michaud said he wants to take the additional time for board members to get answers to their questions about safety and other concerns. "I think it is important that everyone be comfortable with the issue. I don't want anyone to abstain when we vote," he said.
An automated review of 17 proposed wind turbines at the Massachusetts Military Reservation flagged five more as a presumed hazard to aviation, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said yesterday. But when all is said and done, the reversal on those five turbines, which just one week earlier were considered OK, may be a mere blip on the radar screen, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said.
The Federal Aviation Administration says five wind turbines can't be built at the Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape Cod, six days after approving them. The FAA now says the 400-foot high turbines pose a hazard to air navigation.
The town's chances of becoming greener have been curtailed by its proximity to Logan International Airport, which is 0.2 to 2 miles from any given point in the community. The two locations identified for a turbine are 0.75 and 1.25 miles from the airport, according to the DPW. After submitting a permit application early last year, town officials received a verbal report in November from the Federal Aviation Administration that indicated that a 250-foot structure in the vicinity of the DPW site would create, "a potential concern with sound landing and takeoff procedures and may be within or uncomfortably close to critical surface area zones," Hickey stated in a letter to Winthrop's town manager last year.
The Federal Aviation Administration is saying "not yet" on the proposed wind farm project for Nantucket Sound, issuing a "Notice of Presumed Hazard" Feb 13. "Initial findings of this study indicate that the structure as described exceeds obstruction standards and/or would have an adverse physical or electromagnetic interference effect upon navigable airspace or air navigation facilities," the FAA notice issued Feb. 13 reads. "Pending resolution of the issues described below, the structure is presumed to be a hazard to air navigation."
The FAA's "Notice of Presumed Hazard" warns that the 130 proposed turbines could have an "adverse physical or electromagnetic interference effect upon navigable airspace or air navigation facilities." The report warns the rotating blades of the turbines could cause unwanted "clutter" in radar systems. To correct the problem, the FAA study recommends an upgrade of the radar system located at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, where regional air traffic control is conducted.
HYANNIS, Mass. -- After five years of strong objections by the Barnstable, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket airports and others on the safety of the 400,000 flights per year over Nantucket Sound, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today formally issued a Notice of Presumed Hazard for the Cape Wind project. Cape Wind is proposing a 44 story, 25 square mile wind project centered under the flight paths between Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. The project would affect FAA radar sites in North Truro, Nantucket, and Otis Air Force Base that provide detection of aircraft for Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Federal aviation officials issued a report today finding that the Cape Wind project, which calls for erecting 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, would pose a "presumed hazard" for airplanes because of interference with air traffic control radar systems. "Initial findings of this study indicate that the structure as described exceeds obstruction standards and/or would have an adverse physical or electromagnetic interference effect," the Federal Aviation Administration said in the report.
Last April the Federal Aviation Administration approved a proposal submitted by Notus Clean Energy LLC to erect a wind turbine in Falmouth Technology Park, determining that the structure would not be a hazard to air navigation. On Christmas Eve, the FAA sent an e-mail to Daniel H. Webb, owner of Notus Clean Energy, notifying him that the approval had been revoked.
Something awful happened in a conference room at a hotel in Falmouth on Dec. 18. The U.S. Coast Guard revealed itself to be totally politicized in its review of radar and safety issues arising from the plan of a Boston energy entrepreneur (Jim Gordon) to build a wind farm covering 25 square miles of Nantucket Sound.
This 292-foot wind turbine recently erected in Newburyport, MA is located just 319-feet from the public pedestrian rail trail, 350-feet from heavily-traveled U.S. Route 1 (in the foreground), and 800-feet from the nearest residence. See: http://www.windaction.org/faqs/18868 for information on potential safety risks.
This photo of the Newburyport wind turbine (292-feet tall) was taken from at the rear property line of a nearby residence. The residents in the area have expressed their concerns to the city about noise, flicker, ice throws and other safety issues.
The Coast Guard report, which is not yet released, reportedly considers the 130-turbine project in Nantucket Sound "doable" but some in the audience found the simulated radar scenarios more than a tad confusing as they tried to pick out the boats from the false echoes and turbine blades. ...There are short periods of time when the vessels are subsumed into the turbines," Rugger concluded. "Inside the wind farm there are a lot of secondary reflections, and often times it's hard to pick out the vessels from that."
In a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthome dated Thursday, the congressman [Rahall D-WV] requests that the federal Minerals Management Service delay issuing its final environmental impact statement "until the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has provided the public 60 days to review and comment on a third-party review of the radar study submitted by the Cape Wind project developers."