Articles filed under Safety from Oklahoma
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 Since the May 31 incident, the turbine's blade has been replaced by General Electric and it has resumed to normal operations.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.
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.
The National Transportation Safety Board blames the pilot and the sun for a crash in which he died last August. But the NTSB also says the incident demonstrates how dangerous temporary meteorological towers can be. Jason Martin, 34, died when his single-engine crop dusting airplane hit a temporary meteorological tower, or MET, on August 5, 2013.
“There are airplanes, there’s farm planes,” he said. “What if you have med flights to somebody that’s a farmer or somebody in that area that’s had health problems? They would be in trouble flying into those without their blinking lights.” Atlantic Power owns and operates this wind farm and their crews are currently working on restoring the damaged power lines and poles.
The problem is the 150 foot-long blades spinning atop a wind turbine and the undulating, ominous clouds that accompany severe weather look the same to the computers that digest and display weather radar data, says Ed Ciardi, a meteorologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Anderson Trucking Service, a Minnesota-based trucking company, and DMI Industries Inc., a company that manufactures and transports wind turbine parts, are also defendants. Crawford and Lethiot were working for the companies at the time of the crash, the suit says.
What could possibly go wrong working with a structure that is 375 ft tall with 270 ft blades? George Manning, E-911 Coordinator for the Grady County Sheriff's Office, said that there are a number of potential emergencies.
The industry of building and operating wind turbines is "going big guns." That's Rocky Waller's perception as his agency and others create programs to keep workers in this emerging industry safe. ..."There are people going into this industry that have never worked around a wind farm construction site or within the turbines themselves," Waller said. "We are talking shoe salesmen, burger flippers and police officers. "They don't realize the dangers."
[W]ind farm neighbors are worried, however, about the safety of the turbines, which can leak chemicals if they aren't maintained properly. Those who live in the hills say it happens, and they are worried that the chemicals could leak into their watershed. Bill Cunningham says he has contacted Horizon Wind Energy, and they have been extremely cooperative. He says they hired a private research company to study the wind turbines, and found they indeed were leaking. Although the company says it wasn't a large enough amount to be concerned with, they still hired private crews to clean up. Now, with more turbines being erected, locals continue to worry about future maintenance.