Library filed under Safety from Oklahoma
Renewable energy developer, Innergex, will not be building wind farms near Sheppard Air Force Base ...[wind energy development] continues to be an ongoing issue in Texas and Oklahoma. In fact, Sheppard Air Force Base has already lost three low-level training routes in Oklahoma due to wind turbines.
After information campaigns from the base and Sheppard Military Affairs Committee (SMAC) about how the developments would negatively impact Sheppard’s training routes, the company removing themselves from the permitting process – meaning their interest in the area is essentially over.
Oklahoma Forestry Services reports that on March 28 a wind turbine two miles south of Weatherford caught fire, throwing sparks to the ground. The sparks caused a grass fire that was contained after growing to approximately five acres. Eight fire engines responded to the scene and were able to contain the fire.
"This legislation goes a long way toward protecting and enhancing our number one asset, which is our airspace," Cooper said. "It wasn't about having no wind power. It was about protecting our airspace." Cooper said the bill was crafted with close cooperation between the military, wind industry and Legislature.
Several residents near Weatherford caught video of a wind turbine on fire on Wednesday afternoon.
Thick, black smoke fills the sky as a turbine burns in Weatherford Oklahoma. The turbine is part of NextEra's Weatherford Wind Energy Center commissioned in 2005. The project consists of 98 GE1.5sle (1.5MW) turbines for a total nameplate capacity of 147 MW.
WOODWARD, Okla. — A wind turbine caught fire Tuesday morning near Woodward, Oklahoma.
Speaking Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Lee Levy, commander of Air Force Sustainment Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Tinker, said wind turbines that rise hundreds of feet into the sky are encroaching on the flight corridors. Some of those turbines now are in the paths of low-flying planes, requiring the Air Force to abandon routes or take other evasive action.
Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a bill that would require new wind farms to get approval from the aeronautics commission, which is pushing for more oversight. Another proposal would require the state's military commission to sign off before new wind farms break ground.
The turbine appears to be part of EDP Renewables' Blue Canyon Wind facility. There were four phases to the project totalling 424 megawatts and located in Caddo, Comanche, and Kiowa Counties. The project uses a combination of Vestas and GE model wind turbines. The news report did not cite the make or model of the burned turbine. The initial turbines (phase 1) were placed in service in 2003.
The problem, Cooper said, is the DoD’s Siting Clearinghouse is largely ineffective. “The clearing house has only stopped one development,” he said. The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission agrees ...“Unfortunately the way ahead with respect to protecting Oklahoma’s military training airspace has been temporarily put on hold,” said Victor Bird, OAC director. “The wind energy industry rallied and, frankly, was just simply able to outman us at the Capitol.”
We would encourage NextEra to release its finding when they determine what happened that caused the turbine blade to break. We realize they are a private company, but this is a big project that people see every day. We think the public deserves to know what the problems are.
Here’s another problem with wind farms. They are too tall. They are so tall, in fact, that they interfere with military aviation training with bases in Oklahoma.
"The turbine sits in the cornfield, but the blade broke off and flew about 100 yards north of the turbine ," recalls Carpenter. "It flattened the corn, destroyed it." Since the May 31 incident, the turbine's blade has been replaced by General Electric and it has resumed to normal operations.
The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission head says wind farms in western Oklahoma are having a negative impact on military flight training.
No details have been released yet as to what caused a wind turbine to collapse Monday afternoon east of Hooker, Okla.
A turbine at Nextera Energy's Breckinridge wind energy facility suffered a catastrophic blade failure which threw the blade at least 300 feet from the base of the tower. The Breckinridge facility which was place online in August 2015, uses 57 GE 1.7 megawatt XLE turbines. The site has a nameplate capacity of 98.1 megawatts.
The broken blade sits about 100 yards behind the wind turbine, crushing all of the corn that surrounds it. The cornfield belongs to Ken Carpenter, who declined to comment. Cleaning up the blade and wind turbine could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to two months, and will involve bringing a large crane near the field to take the blade off, McIntyre said.
The Altus Chamber of Commerce wants Oklahoma lawmakers to give a state military commission siting approval for wind farms near military installations, saying the turbines can affect radar and disrupt training routes.