Wind Turbine Fire in Nova Scotia

What happens to neighbours’ properties when they have toxic material strewn all over their fields?  When livestock graze on their shard-like pieces or walk on them?

CBC News|Wind turbine catches fire in West Pubnico|Mar.19.2019

Huge turbine threw burning hunks of material 100 metres to the ground

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A wind turbine in West Pubnico caught fire late Friday afternoon. (Frankie Crowell)

CBC News · Posted: Mar 16, 2019 10:08 AM

A wind turbine in West Pubnico caught fire late Friday afternoon. (Frankie Crowell)

A wind turbine caught fire in West Pubnico, N.S., late Friday afternoon, throwing huge, burning pieces of material to the ground.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 5 p.m., but West Pubnico fire department Chief Gordon Amiro said there was little firefighters could do to douse the flames.

“We couldn’t get nowhere near because the blades was still turning, so, and pieces was breaking off the blades,” he said. “So if a piece was to fall off, it would go a long ways with the wind and that. So it wasn’t safe to go nowhere near the tower at all.”

No one was injured.

Amiro said when the blades turn, the tips are more than 100 metres up in the air — too high to fight the fire from the ground.

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Firefighters say there was nothing they could do to put out the fire on the turbine because it was too high in the air for them to reach. (Frankie Crowell)

“There was nothing we could do more than watch what was falling down and if the ground was to catch fire, just to put it out on the ground.”

Firefighters say there was nothing they could do to put out the fire on the turbine because it was too high in the air for them to reach. (Frankie Crowell)

Amiro said two of the blades were completely burned and the nacelle, the gearbox at the centre of the blades that’s “almost as big as a school bus” was also seriously damaged.

Firefighters stayed at the scene for about an hour to ensure no one got too close.

Amiro said it’s a good thing it was raining and the ground was covered with snow.

“If that would have been August, we’d still be there trying to put wood fire out,” he said Saturday morning.

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Firefighters kept people away from the area during the fire due to falling pieces of burning material. (Frankie Crowell)

Firefighters kept people away from the area during the fire due to falling pieces of burning material. (Frankie Crowell)

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/wind-turbine-fire-west-pubnico-1.5059425

FIRE SAFETY SCIENCE-PROCEEDINGS OF THE ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM pp. 983-995

COPYRIGHT © 2014 INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR FIRE SAFETY SCIENCE/ DOI: 10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.11-983984

“The fire problem in wind turbines arises as a result of large amounts of highly flammable materials (hydraulic oil and lubricants, composite materials, insulation, and polymers) contained within the nacelle of the wind turbine and packed in close proximity to potential ignition sources such as overheated mechanical components (hot surfaces) and electrical connections that could fail [8-12].

Once a fire is ignited in a wind turbine, the situation rapidly escalates because the high wind favoured by turbine locations enhances the supply of oxygen and, hence, the fire growth. In over 90% of wind turbine fires reported, a total loss of the wind turbine, or at least, a severe structural failure of the major components (blades, nacelle, mechanical or electrical components) has been reported[8].

Moreover, even in the case of rapid detection, the fire brigade cannot intervene because of the turbine height[9, 10, 12], and for offshore wind turbines it is impractical to send response teams to fight the fire[9]. Under high wind conditions, burning debris from the turbine may fall on nearby vegetation and start forest fires or cause serious damage to property (see Fig. 4)[10]

The nacelle can house a huge amount of flammable liquids including gearbox oil, transformer oil, hydraulics fluids and other lubricants. For example, in a single 1.5MW wind turbine, up to 900 litres of lubricating oil including cooling and cleaning fluids can be stored inside the nacelle”

https://www.iafss.org/publications/fss/11/983/view/fss_11-983.pdf

 

 

NextEra Facing Potential Class Action

nextera xNextEra Energy is on the receiving end of a proposed class action lawsuit in which a Nebraska homeowner alleges the electricity provider’s wind turbines placed near residential communities are a “nuisance” and effectively deprive homeowners of the use and enjoyment of their property.

READ MORE AT: ClassAction.org

Kohmetscher_v_Nextera_2019-03-01

Hidden Dangers of Wind Towers

calf frighten

February 27, 2019

Dear Publisher:

On Jan. 12, after a big snow, I was feeding my 83 feeder calves as I’ve done every day since I weaned them in October. I was also sorting out a few as I planned to sell the majority the next week.

It was in the late afternoon and the sun was shining on the snow. All of a sudden the calves stampeded out of the feed lot, hitting the gate, breaking off the corner posts and flattening another fence. By the grace of God I was out of the way or I’d been fatally injured as the stampede was quick and fast. The calves calmed down and came back to eat, but soon stampeded again. This time I noticed the cause. Since the sun is lower in the winter and the wind turbine was just barely turning, a big black shadow from the wind turbine blades was quietly and slowly moving up behind the calves on top of the snow, spooking them. One was killed and two were crippled.

Besides the loss of these three calves, I will have the expense and labor of fixing my fences when the weather is fit. I noticed the same thing happening again with the shadow. Conditions have to be just right – snow on the ground, sun low in the sky, and a light breeze from the southwest slowly turning the turbine blades. Since the calves I had confined in the lot before had been sold, there wasn’t a stampede. In the “Successful Farming” magazine, February 2019, there’s the article, “Ways to Stay Safe While Handling Cattle” by Libby Eiholzer, Specialist. In it is stated, “Cattle also have poor depth perception, which can cause them to be nervous in the dark, around shadows, and skittish of foreign objects.”

I have fed and sorted cattle on this concrete floor for over 50 years and have never had a problem with them stampeding. I had nothing to say about this wind tower causing the problem as it isn’t on my land, but I shouldn’t have to take this loss. I feel this is an injustice to me as I was here long before the wind turbine. I can’t get insurance coverage on my cattle for this type of loss as it is a man-made hazard. I raise cattle on my land without infringing on the rights of others and I believe this should be the same with those who produce energy.

Iowa agriculture has an exemption to county zoning in the Iowa Code (Iowa Code 335.2). Yet a few years ago I was threatened by the Madison County Zoning Commission that I could be fined $750.00 a day. They wrote that I must obtain a county permit, something I didn’t need under the Iowa Code as a farmer erecting a farm shop to be used for farming purposes on a farm zoned for agriculture.

The wind tower southwest of my farm was erected on land zoned only for agriculture and which never has been rezoned. This tower was also erected without notifying me of any hazards it might cause. The stampede as a result of the wind tower shadow could have caused my death or the death of a helper, since it was an unforeseen occurrence. The shadow from the tower blades will be a hazard to me and any future owners of this farm as long as the wind turbine is in its present location.

The only solution that will correct this situation is the removal of the turbine.

Art Knutson

Letter published| Winterset Madisonian, Wednesday, February 27, 2019