Articles filed under Safety

Winds howling, but Thumb windmills still can’t catch a breeze

DTE Energy unveiled two ‘’solutions'’ Friday for turning windmills back on at Laker Elementary School, but neither option will work, school officials say. Laker leaders say DTE officials don’t seem to understand how windmills work and the coal-burning utility continues to drag its feet on the project. A DTE engineer is supposed to be back at the school on Monday to study the turbines.
14 Oct 2006

Wind farms look set to go ahead - with warning lights for aircraft

Two of the 300ft turbines at a controversial wind farm to be built near Harrogate will have to carry aviation lights, planning councillors have overwhelmingly decided. Originally, there were no plans to erect warning lights on any of the eight turbines which will shortly make up the Knabs Ridge Wind Farm by Npower Renewables Ltd between Skipton Road and Penny Pot Lane at Felliscliffe. But when Npower sought planning permission to move two of the turbines because they would interfere with a British Telecom link across the site members of Harrogate Borough Council Planning voted to ensure warning lights would be erected by backing an amendment. They insisted a condition of planning must be that two turbines being re-sited would carry warning lights.
13 Oct 2006

Barge smashes into wind turbine

Vital maintenance work on Scroby Sands windfarm, off the Norfolk coast, has been interrupted after an accident involving the giant jack-up barge Sea Energy. While manoeuvring off the Yarmouth coast on Friday, one of the vessel’s huge legs, which provides a stable working platform by anchoring itself to the seabed, clipped a blade on one of the 30 turbines. Windfarm owner E.ON UK and the Health and Safety Executive immediately launched a full investigation into the incident that has put the turbine out of action. Company spokesman Jamee Majid said: “It was only a light touch but about 20cm was broken off the tip of the 40m blade.
6 Oct 2006

Defense Department Cites Potential Radar Interference from Wind Farms

Pentagon officials are calling for additional studies to determine whether the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound would impair a crucial missile detection radar system located on Cape Cod. In a special congressional report released last week, the U.S. Department of Defense found that wind turbines located within the line of sight of military radar can adversely affect its ability to track aircraft and other aerial objects. The results were based largely on military tests conducted by the U.S. Air Force and United Kingdom Ministry of Defence between 2002 and 2005.
6 Oct 2006

New report raises questions on wind turbines, radar

A report recently issued by the Department of Defense indicates that commercial wind turbines have the potential to affect radar installations. The same report, undertaken at the request of U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Quincy, calls “overly simplified and technically flawed” a 2004 U.S. Air Force analysis which found that a proposed wind farm on Nantucket Sound would have no effect on its PAVE PAWS radar installation on the Upper Cape. The report further calls for a more exhaustive study of the wind farm and its relation to PAVE PAWS. Delahunt said Monday the issue of radar first came to his attention through Yarmouth resident Cliff Carroll, a vocal opponent of the wind farm project. Those concerns, Delahunt said, were reinforced by a short briefing on the subject by defense officials. That briefing prompted Delahunt to request a study, the findings of which were released last week. “I just wanted to have it done,” said Delahunt, who added that questions about the wind farm’s possible effects on such topics as military radar, commercial air traffic, fishing and navigation should be asked by everyone regardless of their stance on the controversial project. “This [report] is preliminary but it clearly ratchets up the concerns,” said Delahunt, who also opposes the project. “We need some reassurances.”
6 Oct 2006

Wind Greenies Sue Defense Dept.

The Department of Defense is being sued by environmentalists for delaying the approval of several wind farm projects. According to a press statement by the Sierra Club, the environmental organization has filed a lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld and the Department of Defense for failing to carry out the approval process after missing two deadlines.
5 Oct 2006

Mihos misses mark on wind farm status

The Cape Wind proposal reared its head in last night's gubernatorial debate, the second of four meetings among the candidates before November's election. While it came as little surprise that the issue would emerge as political sniping fodder, a comment made by independent candidate and Cape businessman Christy Mihos received an icy reception from Cape Wind officials reached after the debate. ''The government has put a moratorium on it,'' Mihos said of the 130-turbine offshore wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound. Mihos framed his comment at the Springfield debate around a U.S. Department of Defense report released last week that raised questions about the effect of industrial-sized wind turbines on military radar.
4 Oct 2006

American Wind Energy Assn. chimes in on DOD radar report

The U.S. Dept. of Defense (DOD) last Wednesday issued its report on the effects of wind power systems on military radar. Concerns that wind energy systems might interfere with radar prompted the DOD, through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to put several wind energy system projects on hold until the study was completed. The American Wind Energy Assn. (AWEA) on Thursday voiced its disappointment with the DOD study, claiming that it "only cursorily mentions existing and emerging ways to mitigate wind turbine radar interactions."
3 Oct 2006

Barcia wants windmills back on at Thumb elementary school

The recent shutdown of three windmills at an elementary school in Michigan’s Thumb has put state regulators on the hot seat. Putting heat on the Michigan Public Service Commission in Lansing will hopefully help get three windmills at Laker Elementary School near Pigeon turned back on, and make it easier for future wind developers to locate here, said State Sen. Jim Barcia, D-Bay City. Barcia said he plans to send a letter, likely today, ‘’requesting that the PSC play a stronger leadership role'’ in resolving the Laker school issue without putting an undue financial hardship on the school. Two weeks ago, the school windmills were shut down by a contractor after DTE Energy raised safety and reliability concerns about the turbines, including whether the electrical grid can handle additional generation and whether line workers could be injured by power from the turbines during an outage.
2 Oct 2006

Do your part to protect conservation land from Energy Unlimited

The “Penobscot Wind Park” is clearly an inappropriate and incompatible use of county conservation and recreational land. We support the efforts of the current Bear Creek supervisors as they attempt to bring order to this project, which was given a free reign by the previous township administration. For our part DOW, with our partners from Bear Creek Township, will continue to fight for taxpayers rights in court. Concerned sportsmen, and Luzerne County residents should demand that the majority Luzerne County commissioners begin to protect this property and the rights of the taxpayers who will ultimately pay for it.
2 Oct 2006

DOD report says wind farms will affect military readiness

MILWAUKEE - Large turbines generating electricity in a radar line of sight can harm the ability of air defense radars to detect and track aircraft or other aerial objects, the U.S. Department of Defense said Thursday in a new study. The only way to make sure that U.S. forces can perform their air defense missions is to avoid putting the wind turbines in the line of sight of the radars, said the report submitted to the Senate and House Armed Services committees. Efforts have started to find other ways but they "require further development and validation" before they can be used, given that some turbines with rotating blades reach 500 feet high, the report said. "The numbers, height and rotation of these wind turbines present technical challenges to the effectiveness of radar systems that must be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure acceptable military readiness is maintained," the report said.
29 Sep 2006

U.S. report: Windmills fool radar

Defense officials say large, industrial wind turbines such as those proposed for Nantucket Sound can interfere with military radar systems if built in the radar's line of sight, according to a report released yesterday. Based on the report's conclusions, the officials have asked for more analysis about whether the proposed 130-turbine Cape Wind project would interfere with an Air Force radar station in Sagamore. The 62-page report, prepared for Congress by the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, specifically concludes that previous analysis of the effects on the PAVE PAWS radar station were ''overly simplified and technically flawed.'' The report calls for a more comprehensive study ''on an expedited basis.''
29 Sep 2006

Public get a chance to have their say on windfarm development

Local residents will be given the opportunity to view proposals for a 12-turbine windfarm on the outskirts of Stonehaven this weekend. Renewable Energy Systems, the company behind plans for the scheme at Meikle Carewe, near Netherley, is holding a public exhibition in the town on Saturday. The firm announced last month that it was going to resubmit a planning application for a windfarm on the site, which lies four miles north of Stonehaven. An earlier application for a 10-turbine development was rejected by Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee in 2001 due to the possible interference with radar and TV and a perceived loss of amenity to area residents.
29 Sep 2006

Wind projects OK'd

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration has given approval to two Wisconsin wind power projects that were stalled by concerns that the turbines may interfere with military radar. Permits have been issued for the Forward Wind Energy Center in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties and the Butler Ridge wind farm in Dodge County, said Bruce Beard, the FAA manager in Texas responsible for the office that issues permits. "The (permits) are through. We are absolutely through with them, and they have got clearance to start building them," Beard said Friday.
29 Sep 2006

Fears wind farm will scare horses

Plans to build 16 wind turbines across a historic bridleway could decimate a local stables business. Up to 120 horses and ponies use Three Shires Way at Nun Wood, near Lavendon, Bozeat and Harrold but, if approved, the 125m high turbines would surround the animals. Milton Keynes Council is currently listening to objections to Npower’s application, including the concerns of the family-run Lower Farm Stables, on Castle Road. There are fears that horse riders would no longer be able to use the bridleway as the noise and light disturbance from the 90m blades would create a potential safety hazard. The British Horse Society recommend that turbines should be no nearer than 375m from bridleways but at Nun Wood some would be as close as 215m.
27 Sep 2006

Second wind farm project halted

The wind has been taken right out of a second wind energy project in the Thumb Area. Last month, Michigan’s first wind farm near Ubly was put on hold until next year. Now a smaller wind energy project in the Laker School District near Pigeon has been shut down by DTE Energy. The utility company says safety is the reason, but others disagree.
26 Sep 2006

Airport move plan hits windfarm snag

According to chiefs at Cambridge Airport, wind farms can interfere with radar across a distance of up to 40 miles. The two feasible locations for the aerospace giant’s move away from Cambridge are Wyton and Mildenhall but wind farms are planned in the vicinity of both. David Buckley, airport director, highlighted the issue at the latest meeting of the Cambridge City Airport Consultative Committee.
25 Sep 2006
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