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Dangers from above

You may not be aware of this but across America each year thousands of birds of prey are killed at wind farms. The public perception of wind turbines is that of slow moving blades turning in the wind on a ridge line. The power and danger of the prop design wind turbine is not well understood. Probably the hardest aspect for the public to grasp is that of "tip speed." The killer of eagles and all birds at wind farms is blade tip speed. This is what kills and this is what the wind industry does not publicize or put in their environmental documents.

I read your recent article about the wind turbines planned for the town of Arkwright ("Deadline set for residents to respond in Arkwright," April 14). Being an expert on birds of prey I thought I would give you another perspective on wind power.

A recent report from Spain published by SEO/BirdLife claims that as many as one million birds a year perish at the wind farms in Spain. The report also claims that as many as 64 birds are killed by each prop style wind turbine per year. This report strongly contradicts the published mortality figures reported by the wind industry in America. Environmental data in this country claims that at most 10 birds a year are killed by each prop style turbine. These same understated figures will be put in any Arkwright Environmental impact reports. I know they were put in the Environmental Impact Report used to sell the Hatchet Ridge Wind project to Shasta County, California. Another example of the gross deficiencies of the environmental review process can be illustrated in the Environmental Impact Report used for Hatchet Ridge in Shasta County. It did not even mention 12 species of birds of prey that use this habitat and that will end up on the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

I read your recent article about the wind turbines planned for the town of Arkwright ("Deadline set for residents to respond in Arkwright," April 14). Being an expert on birds of prey I thought I would give you another perspective on wind power.

A recent report from Spain published by SEO/BirdLife claims that as many as one million birds a year perish at the wind farms in Spain. The report also claims that as many as 64 birds are killed by each prop style wind turbine per year. This report strongly contradicts the published mortality figures reported by the wind industry in America. Environmental data in this country claims that at most 10 birds a year are killed by each prop style turbine. These same understated figures will be put in any Arkwright Environmental impact reports. I know they were put in the Environmental Impact Report used to sell the Hatchet Ridge Wind project to Shasta County, California. Another example of the gross deficiencies of the environmental review process can be illustrated in the Environmental Impact Report used for Hatchet Ridge in Shasta County. It did not even mention 12 species of birds of prey that use this habitat and that will end up on the mortality list. One of particular note is the critically endangered Great Gray Owl.

Many including myself have been claiming an industry wide conspiracy exists to cover-up the staggering number of birds that are killed at wind farms each year. When the tens of thousands of turbines planned for America are placed in all the wind corridors, Spain will end up looking like a picnic by comparison. The wind industry has spent millions and millions on a "Green Energy" campaign that is nothing but a lie. Don't get me wrong; wind power has great promise and it is the future, but the archaic prop style turbines are not the answer. New turbine designs must be used that birds see as an obstacle to fly around instead of trying to fly through them.

You may not be aware of this but across America each year thousands of birds of prey are killed at wind farms. The public perception of wind turbines is that of slow moving blades turning in the wind on a ridge line. The power and danger of the prop design wind turbine is not well understood. Probably the hardest aspect for the public to grasp is that of "tip speed." The killer of eagles and all birds at wind farms is blade tip speed. This is what kills and this is what the wind industry does not publicize or put in their environmental documents. The Hatchet Ridge Wind Farm in Northern California that was recently approved is going to construct three different size wind turbines. According to the specifications given, each blade on the proposed turbine towers will be 126 feet, 151 feet, and 156 feet long. They will rotate at approximately 20 rotations per minute. The diameter of each rotation is 252 feet, 302 feet and 312 feet. What is hard to comprehend is that at 20 rotations per minute the tip speed of the blades for the three turbines is 264 feet per second, 316 feet per second, and 326 feet per second. If this is converted to miles per hour it works out to 180 mph, 215 mph and 222 miles per hour.

The speed and power of these blades is what amputates the wings and heads off flying Eagles. From miles away the blades look rather slow but up close these huge blades move faster than a guillotine.

In contrast, an industrial $1,000 24-inch high velocity fan used to cool warehouses, only rotates at 125 feet per second at the maximum 1,200 rpm. This tip speed equals 85 miles per hour. The fan is caged with a wire frame that meets government product safety standards. You would not dare put your finger into these rotating blades because they would be cut off.

This is the danger that is facing bird life all across this land. High velocity fans without cages. In Europe, the Red Kite has almost disappeared from the Italian countryside because of these prop style turbines. A woman from Nebraska called me the other day because a wind farm is now planned for the habitat of the critically endangered Whooping Crane. This planned wind farm is no different than the Hatchet Ridge setting near my home which is surrounded by some of the best Spotted Owl habitat left in the Northwest. It is such a shame because all of this is more about Wall Street reaping profits from outdated wind turbine technology than being honest about the true consequences. New wind turbine designs are available and can be developed that will eliminate the dangers of the current prop design promoted by multi billion dollar industries like Boeing, Vestas, and GE.

It's time for people to tell this industry "go to Hell" unless they start promoting new non-prop wind turbine designs.


Source: http://www.observertoday.co...

MAY 10 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/20224-dangers-from-above
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