Articles from Texas
Shortly after the firefighters arrived, Roye said, one of the burning blades broke loose and fell to the ground, causing a pendulum motion where the wind turbine began to sway back and forth. A second burning blade then broke loose and fell to the ground.
The development of the wind farm has sparked significant debate in the community. Among the most contentious points has been disagreement on whether its construction would interfere with the Navy's radar and in turn, whether that would jeopardize the Navy's pilot flight training.
"No one is talking about banning wind turbines, but we do have to be careful when we talk about their proximity" to bases, said Cornyn, R-Texas. "We're just trying to make sure it's safe for our pilots, both those in the military and those who use civilian aircraft."
Many environmentalists who support alternative energy sources are conflicted by the giant turbines' impact on birds. To the human eye the majestic turbine blades make a slow circle as they are set in motion by gulf breezes. The reality is the tips of the blades are really moving as fast as 170 mph, and can lead to fatal encounters for migratory birds and bats.
We have both taught problem-solving approaches to science and engineering students emphasizing that identifying the real problem may be the more difficult task since getting the right answer to the wrong problem is at best misleading and can be counterproductive. Simplistic solutions to complex problems rarely lead to the desired result, but complex problems can often be broken into smaller entities that lead to appropriate solutions provided that each segment recognizes and takes into consideration the other parts of the problem.
Among Noble Environmental’s most valuable assets, according to court papers, are $691 million in so-called net operating losses, which a reorganized company can use to offset future taxes. The company is hoping for a quick trip through bankruptcy.
Sheppard Air Force Base has asserted that proposed wind developments in nearby Clay County would interfere with its radar operation and flight training missions. If erected, wind turbines in a 25-mile radius of the base could cause Sheppard's mission to be moved to another military installation, a move that likely would be a crippling blow to the Wichita Falls economy.
Some operators and project developers have complained that getting authorization for future expansions will be too costly and time-consuming. “Some of the renewable energy folks are making it sound like the world’s coming to an end,” says Kenneth Anderson, one of the three members of the state’s Public Utility Commission. In fact, future transmission projects will have to prove they are economically viable and/or necessary to maintain the grid’s reliability. The original CREZ system granted a blanket authorization by legislators in Austin; going forward, future projects will have to be approved on a case-by-case basis.
The increasing case number may be a harbinger of a new trend — in Texas and other states, legislators are moving to create buffer zones between military installations and new energy developments. That means more reviews are being sent to the clearinghouse for rulings.
While at least two Texas legislators are drafting proposals that would limit the construction of wind turbines near military bases, a similar effort is underway in North Carolina.
Two possible wind farm developments in Clay County could threaten flight training missions and radar operations at nearby Sheppard Air Force Base, according to base officials and wind energy opponents. The worst case scenario, officials have said, is that Sheppard's missions are moved elsewhere and Wichita Falls loses an estimated $750 million in annual economic impact.
ENEL sent a message to Mylea Bayless of Bat Conservation International notifying the group that ENEL has made the decision to NOT move forward with the Mason County facility.
Alterra and their developer, Horn Wind PM LLC, also are entering into informal talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and a Department of Defense agency overseeing obstructional analyses for the military. No construction plans have been sent by Horn Wind or Alterra to the FAA, which would trigger a formal analysis of potential hazards.
There are still questions about the cumulative impacts of wind farms — the proposed site, combined with existing and future sites — on the radar system, as well as the proximity of the planned wind farm to the airport, said Kim Bridger-Hunt, spokeswoman for the airport. The airport plans to petition the FAA to review its findings, she added.
The thing holding the project back is a financial security filing with the transmission service provider to interconnect with the Texas grid and a full interconnection study.
Firefighters on scene said there wasn’t much they could do except let it burn out.
Greer told attendees of a presentation he gave last week that it doesn't make fiscal sense for property owners to enter into agreements with the wind power industry. Payments to landowners through lease agreements are negligible, and the towering structures could make property unsalable should residents decide to move, he said.
He started his talk by addressing what he called myths perpetuated by the industry: that wind energy is a clean source of power, that it reduces dependence on imported fossil fuels and that it reduces greenhouse gases. Instead, Greer said, the wind industry swindles landowners, gathers federal tax credits and causes fluctuations in Texas' power grid. ...it's just not fiscally smart to sign a lease allowing wind turbine construction on your property. Payments to landowners are negligible and the towering structure could make your property unsalable should residents decide to move.
New York State can’t allow the installation of these wind turbines to threaten Air Force pilot safety, and Cuomo can’t run the risk of giving the base closing commission any reason to shut down NFARS. Lives are at risk; jobs are at risk; the future of the air base is at risk.
Along with the oil and gas industry, manufacturing companies and the university, Sheppard Air Force Base was identified in the study as one of the primary drivers of the area economy. The loss of any of those employment hubs "is going to have a profound impact on the surrounding counties," Martinez said in an interview.