This week, utility giant National Grid teamed up with Nantucket High School in Massachusetts to erect a 100 kilowatt wind turbine on school property. The 158-foot turbine  is located immediately adjacent to the school's football and baseball fields and by the road that runs behind the school.
WindAction Editorials filed under Safety
In the last ten years, wind industry representatives have successfully laid the groundwork for expedited project review and approval in many States in the US. Reaching out to legislators and State agency directors, the industry argued that existing laws governing siting of electric power plants were unduly onerous when applied to wind facilities. After all, operating wind turbines do not produce air emissions or use/discharge water, the basis for these stricter laws.
Late last year, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), the state's development agency for renewable energy, awarded a $474,340 grant to Mark Richey Woodworking and Design, Inc. of Newburyport MA, for the construction of a single 600KW (292-foot) industrial-scale wind turbine to be sited adjacent to the business.
Last month, Barrington, RI voters approved plans to fund and erect a $2.4 million wind turbine to power the local high school. Town leaders anticipate the 600 KW turbine to supply a substantial portion of the school's energy demand. Windaction.org tried to determine a cost breakdown, expected electric generation, and suggested payback period but documentation on the Town's website showed numbers to be inconsistent and difficult to reconcile. For example, documents put the turbine cost at $1.4 million installed with published annual capacity factors varying between 19% and 25%. Further, no wind studies were done to gauge whether the marginal area winds meshed with periods of high demand.
Last month, Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) released its report on the wind turbine collapse at the Klondike III wind facility that left one worker dead and another seriously injured. Oregon OSHA fined Siemens Power Generation Inc. $10,500 for safety violations and multiple errors in Seimens' training and procedures.