Articles filed under Safety from California

Settlement reached In accident involving unmarked meteorological tower

Allen was never made aware of the existence of the tower by Bouldin Farming Company, and it was clear he never saw it before he struck it. Allen's death isn't the first time an agricultural aviator has had a fatal collision with an unmarked and unlit MET during daytime operations. An analysis of FAA and NTSB accident data by the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) shows that 10 fatal agricultural aircraft accidents in the past 14 years (2000–2013) involved collisions with towers—including three with unmarked MET towers.
11 Sep 2014

California's Smoke Signals: San Francisco's power emergency is a warning about green mandates.

To hit the renewable mandate, utilities are building long transmission lines to deliver power from distant solar and wind projects to population centers. Most large-scale solar plants in California are being built in dry, sunny desert and valley regions. Wind farms are concentrated in the mountains. Both are fire-prone. ... Southern California is "vulnerable to brownouts during heat waves" or "if a wildfire took out a key transmission line."
26 Aug 2013

Massive dust storm strikes Ocotillo

With multiple industrial-scale wind and solar projects proposed to scrape bare agricultural lands in San Diego's East County, the potential to create dust storms is an issue that Supervisors and planners have failed to address to date, blowing off concerns raised by residents. For Pattern Energy, the dust storm is the latest in a string of serious problems at its Ocotillo Express Wind Facility in Imperial Valley since its opening in December 2012.
23 Aug 2013

170-foot blade breaks off wind turbine

The mystery behind a fallen turbine blade at the Ocotillo Wind power plant east of San Diego has led the manufacturer to curtail operations at select wind farms around the world. ...The fallen blade ignited new safety concerns among critics of the plant, who posted photos and videos to the internet of the crumpled white tube.
21 May 2013

Company Shuts Down Wind Turbines Worldwide After SoCal Accident

Siemens does not yet know the root cause of this incident and is working to determine if and how this is related to a recent similar incident in Iowa. Today, Siemens is taking the step of curtailing all turbines with the B53 blade type globally. These turbines will remain curtailed until it can be determined they are not at risk of a similar malfunction. The Iowa incident took place in April at MidAmerican Holdings' 200-megawatt Eclipse wind farm.
17 May 2013

Wind turbine blade throw incident at Pattern Energy's Ocotillo Wind Project

This wholly avoidable public health and safety hazard occurred just one day after San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved the revised Wind Energy Ordinance & Boulevard Community Plan to remove community protections to allow 500 foot tall industrial wind turbines on private land in previously protected areas near homes, recreation areas, and sensitive wildlife.
16 May 2013

Contra Costa County looks for clarity on adding lights as part of tighter rules for meteorological towers

The state approved legislation last fall in response to the January 2011 fatal crash of agricultural pilot Stephen Allen after his airplane struck a 198-foot tower on Webb Tract that he likely did not see. The tower was erected in 2009. The county's proposed ordinance, which mirrors the state law, would require that all meteorological towers 50- to 200-feet tall are marked.
27 Mar 2013

Southern California Edison must pay $4 million to Knob Hill stray voltage victim

A Torrance courthouse jury ruled Monday that Southern California Edison must pay Simona Wilson $4 million, including $3 million in punitive damages, for its negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress relating to the stray voltage that escaped its Topaz substation and entered her home on Knob Hill in Redondo Beach. ...SCE indicated an appeal is under consideration. It faces two more lawsuits from Knob Hill residents, the first which is scheduled to go to trial in September.
20 Mar 2013
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