Articles filed under Safety from Texas
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.
Monday, the fire spread into a windfarm and onto a large private ranch, but the ranch owner is not allowing fire crews onto his land causing problems for firefighters. Snyder volunteer firefighters are still battling this blaze that has spread to a wind farm on top of a plateau.
Debate over the radar issue underscored the growth of an industry that, compared to other energy sectors, largely has gone unregulated by state government. During the past decade, some wildlife and property rights advocates have made repeated calls for checks on wind development.
The proliferation of wind energy projects has raised concerns about the long-term viability of Naval Air Station Kingsville's mission to train aviators. In an attempt to protect the Navy base, state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, and state Rep. J.M. Lozano, D-Kingsville, filed a bill to require notification of plans to build turbines within 25 miles of a military installation.
Officials at Naval Air Station Kingsville have led the charge for new notice requirements, saying wind farms, which look like storms or aircraft on radars, could hamper the base's mission to train jet pilots. The wind industry opposes new requirements.
Some technical solutions are on the horizon. Raytheon has plans to roll out new software algorithms as early as 2012 ...Patrick Paddock, an operations specialist and radar expert at Naval Air Station Kingsville, said those solutions would require years of testing and procurement processes before the military could begin to implement them.
Giant wind turbines dotting the Texas landscape have made the Lone Star State the nation's leader in the development of wind power, but they may also pose a hazard to military installations by interfering with crucial radar operations, state lawmakers were told Tuesday. The wind turbines could cause false signals on radar and endanger aerial maneuvers or produce erroneous information about storm conditions.
The U.S. military is growing increasingly concerned that proposed wind farms can disrupt or block radar designed to detect threats and protect America's skies, a problem that is stalling the alternative energy projects around the country. A top U.S. general told Congress on Thursday that federal agencies need to work better together on a formal vetting process for the wind projects.
"Is anyone looking at wind farms from a pilot training standpoint?' was the question and stunned silence was the answer. The question came during a discussion on encroachment last month at the Department of Defense (DOD) Community Conference in Orlando, Fla. For example, did you know that placing wind turbines between 5 and 8 miles from an airfield creates "blind spots" due to the clutter created on the radar screen?
Construction on a $300 million San Patricio County wind energy facility will move forward on schedule after a compromise between the wind farm's owner and the Federal Aviation Administration was announced Monday. The project was in jeopardy after the FAA objected to 81 of 120 proposed sites for 109 wind turbines because of potential interference with a sombrero-shaped radio beacon that pilots can use to determine their proximity to Corpus Christi International Airport.
The VORTAC building is located about eight miles west of Portland. A radio beacon that airplane pilots can use to determine their proximity to Corpus Christi International Airport poses an obstacle to a $300 million wind farm under construction in San Patricio County. ...The federal agency has taken issue with the turbines' collective proximity to and potential impact on the radio navigation signal, housed about eight miles west of Portland, according to a notice of presumed hazard filed by the FAA.
A 29-year-old contractor for Global Windpower Services fell 50 to 60 feet inside the shaft of a wind turbine on Wednesday, breaking ribs and a leg, rescue officials said. His fall was broken by a metal deck about 12 feet above the ground, according to Lt. Greg Goettsch, spokesman for the Abilene Fire Department. The man was conscious when rescuers arrived. ...Global Windpower Services is contracting with FPL Energy to work on the turbines, Stengel said. The Elm Creek Community Association and Buffalo Gap volunteer fire departments, South Taylor County EMS, the Abilene Fire Department, the Taylor County Sheriff's Office and MetroCare responded to the scene of the accident, Goettsch said.
"One windmill will not put out much noise, but when you put a cluster of them together and get the blades all spinning at the same rate, then it begins to emit noise -- enough that our radar can 'hear' the noise." You could tell the radar to ignore that frequency, but if there's a thunderstorm with the same frequency, it also would be ignored. "The use of wind energy has become a big problem not only in the meteorological world, but also to the military community as airplanes could fly low under a wind farm and one would never know the difference as to whether they are looking at false returns from the wind farm or an enemy plane."
A truck driver transporting the midsection of a huge wind energy turbine lost his load on the I-37 frontage road near Rand Morgan. It happened around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. Police say the driver was supposed to be following a state ordered route, but that he got off track and tried to make a sharp turn.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Marc Owen, Tidwell was spraying a pesticide over the field Thursday morning when he crashed into a wind tower. The tower, a 400-foot structure erected to collect wind data, sheared off a piece of the plane's wing.
Investigators believe the plane hit a wind tower and clipped the left wing and then crashed the plane about a quarter mile North of the tower. They say a farmer saw the plane and noticed it didn't complete the last circle of crop dusting. He then looked to see smoke coming from the field.