Articles filed under Safety from Texas
Traffic was snarled Monday afternoon on U.S. 59 in northeast Houston after a piece of a wind turbine fell off a big rig during a crash.
The turbine, located south of Loving Road in the Cox Mountain vicinity, part of the Senate Wind Farm, burned as firefighters monitored it.
Captain Mark McLaughlin is a consultant with the Department of Defense, and he appeared during public comment at Tuesday's council meeting, where they had planned a final vote on the southside annexation. McLaughlin said the base had problems with many of the current wind farms in the area, and he thinks the Chapman Ranch wind farm would create even more problems for air traffic controllers in the Coastal Bend.
The future of the Delaware Mountains wind farms – for years, a source of more than a dozen high-paying local jobs – is in limbo, six weeks after a powerful ice storm took down transmission poles and other crucial infrastructure at the facility. The wind farms have been off-line since the ice storm, which struck the weekend of Nov. 23 and dealt a serious blow to electrical infrastructure across the region.
HAMBY, Texas - A wind turbine north of Hamby sparked a small grass fire after going up in flames. Firefighters estimate the grass fire to be about ten acres. The fire started around 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
"They (GE officials) won't know for a while (what caused the fire) because they wait until it cools down and check the structural stability before they even go up (the turbine)." Madden said. "The fire went down a hill a little bit. It was right on the edge of the mesa so the wind did blow some of the fiberglass down a little bit on the face of the hill there."
SWEETWATER, Texas - A wind turbine fire had Sweetwater and Trent fire crews busy fighting a grass fire Monday morning.
Black smoke was highly visible between Trent and Sweetwater Monday as a wind turbine at the Trent Wind Farm caught fire. "We don't get near the turbine when it's burning because pieces fall off and sometimes big pieces fall off," Madden pointed out. "I doubt it was two acres that burned.
Proposed wind developments in California are similarly causing heartburn for the Defense Department. "The Navy fully embraces green energy," Bennett said. "But it needs to be compatible development so that we can maintain our training capabilities. That's where the discussion has to start."
The truck with the wind blade, driven by Kinney Acrey, 60, was heading south on U.S. Highway 281 when one of its rear axles came unlocked, said state trooper Brian Korbel. That caused the trailer carrying the blade to swing into the eastbound lane, he said. The trailer then collided.
A man working inside a wind turbine in Nolan County when it was struck by lightning Monday was listed in stable condition at a Sweetwater hospital, according to fire officials.
Kingsville officials oppose a planned wind farm near Rivera. They are concerned about potential interference with Navy radar. I say these concerns are well founded. The turbines north of Nueces Bay definitely interfere with FAA radar right here in Corpus Christi.
Gusts of more than 55 mph can damage a wind turbine and become a safety concern, said AJ Swope, the executive director of Class 4 Winds & Renewables. "The turbines will shut themselves down because they can't handle that amount of wind," Swope said.
The Navy is developing new radar technology and studying wind turbine formations in hopes of finding ways to mitigate the problem. However, the Navy said it will take time and is asking green energy developers to move slowly.
Comptroller Combs will hear criticism from the Texas Wind Industry folks and green energy advocates, but she made the right call in recommending against the tax abatement application with Bishop ISD. Until technical mitigation is proven, it would be unwise to allow the construction of wind turbines within 25 miles of NAS Corpus Christi, NAS Kingsville and the Corpus Christi International Airport.
"I'm watching a turbine on my land on fire, throwing fire balls on my property. I think it needs to be very clearly delineated: if you have property and machinery that is the source of a fire that damages someone land or uses someone's resources who is responsible for the cost," said King. (See video at source link)
Young said firefighters faced hazardous conditions as the turbine began scattering debris on the ground. "I would gather that the turbine was spraying out debris up to three football fields," Young said. "Especially in an area like that, it was challenging because of the rough terrain. By nature, those are not good conditions for a fire."
It is unclear what caused the wind turbine to catch fire, but this is the second time a wind turbine has caught on fire in the same area in the last five weeks.
ECCA Fire Chief Gary Young said the fire started in the wind turbine tower and then spread to grass around the tower.
A proposed wind farm in the Chapman Ranch area is one of 20 projects that could cause problems for the military, according to a nationwide review of renewable energy projects conducted by the Department of Defense.