Category Archives: The problem with Wind Turbines

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

 

 

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

Magical Wind Power: Illusions versus Reality

weather witching
Photo Credit: Weather Magic

Source: American Thinker| By: John Droz| Published June 20, 2018

The number-one challenge of our times is to separate the wheat from the chaff. To assist in this task, we are blessed with more information than ever before – but we are also simultaneously burdened with more misinformation than any prior generation has ever had to deal with. We look back and wonder how trusting citizens were so easily victimized by snake oil salesmen, but today, in the golden age of cons, we are being duped on a daily basis.

As a representative matter (and a national issue of great significance), let’s look at what’s happening with industrial wind energy.

The primary reason why wind energy has been a success has nothing to do with wind energy! Instead, its success is 100% due to the fact that wind energy proponents are masterful lobbyists. If one reads The Business of America Is Lobbying, it’s apparent that the wind industry has used every trick in the book, and then written some of its own.

For example: Wind lobbyists have successfully infiltrated our language with totally inaccurate and misleading terminology, such as “wind farms” and “clean energy.” Neither exists.

For example: Wind marketers have successfully portrayed their product as “Free, Clean, and Green” – despite it being none of those. The reason they have coined these malapropisms is simple: those who control the words control the narrative.

For example: Wind salespeople have successfully convinced financially distressed communities that hosting a wind project will be a economic windfall – even though numerous studies from independent experts indicate that the net local economic impact could well be negative.

For example: Wind-peddlers have successfully sold technically challenged local representatives that the wind-developer is their friend and business partner – even though these sophisticated and aggressive entrepreneurs typically look at these rural people as rubes and marks, and their number-one focus is to make as much money as possible, at the rubes’ expense.

For example: Wind developers have successfully persuaded much of the public that wind energy is an inevitable matter, so fighting it is a lost cause. The reality is that in many cases, local communities can effectively defend themselves by simply passing a proper wind ordinance.

For example: Wind-supporters have successfully imparted the belief that a certain wind project will power 20,000 homes – even though that project will not actually power a single home 24/7/365.

For example: Wind advocates employ a sleight-of-hand tactic to dismiss noise complaints by claiming that “wind turbines don’t make any more noise than a refrigerator.” The fact is that the main acoustical concern with wind turbines is the infrasound generated (which is below our level of hearing). So discussing the audible part of turbine noise purposefully distracts from the serious inaudible (but still very much experienced) noise issue.

For example: Wind propagandists say that wind energy is saving the environment – even though the evidence indicates that it is environmentally destructive on multiple fronts.

For example: Wind-promoters have successfully conveyed the idea that wind energy is a low-cost option of electricity – even though when all its costs are fully accounted for, wind energy can be three to five times as expensive as traditional electricity sources.

For example: Wind advocates have successfully communicated the notion that using more wind will directly result in the closure of coal plants – even though 10,000 wind turbines could never equal the performance of even a single coal facility.

For example: Wind-boosters have successfully disseminated the impression that wind is a major and essential contributor to preventing climate change – even though there is no empirical scientific proof that wind energy saves any consequential CO2.

For example: Wind champions have successfully relayed the conviction that the DoD Clearinghouse assures us that wind projects will not adversely affect the mission or operational readiness of our military or our national security – even though the DoD Clearinghouse was set up to accommodate wind energy (not the military), and the actual process is much more about promoting political correctness than protecting our national defense.

I could go on and on, as the list of wind lobbyists’ deceptions is distressingly long. That said, there is an additional major falsehood that needs to be exposed: that there is such a thing as wind energy by itself. This seemingly innocuous deceit is actually extraordinarily important.

The fact is that there is no such animal on the grid as wind energy by itself. What actually typically exists is a “Wind+Gas” package. This is mandated by the inescapable reality of wind energy’s unrelentingly unpredictable and uncontrollable output. No conventional source of electrical energy has these characteristics, so none need this special augmentation.

The importance of understanding this reality is that when we are talking about wind energy economics or environmental consequences, the only truthful analysis is objectively and comprehensively looking at the results of the Wind+Gas package.*

For example, it should be apparent that wind energy (i.e., the Wind+Gas package) is not a CO2 zero-emitter. In fact, due to other technicalities (never acknowledged by wind lobbyists) some studies have concluded that gas (combined cycle) by itself produces less CO2 than the Wind+Gas package.

Let me restate that extraordinary finding: gas can produce less CO2 than wind energy does!

Is the success of wind energy due to the sophistication of the con artists they’ve engaged or to our gullibility? In either case, the takeaway is that lobbyists are not reliable sources of information, especially when it involves significant money, our health, or our national security. The bottom line is that wind energy is palliative pabulum, not suitable for prime time.

*Some sample studies and reports about the Wind+Gas package: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven.

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Ontario Blind, Deaf & Dumb to Turbine Effects & Violations

 

house surrounded by wind turbinesThe following is from a presentation by Anne Dumbrille, Chair of CCSAGE at the Annual General Meeting held at Bloomfield Town Hall, Saturday, May 5, 2018

SOURCE: CCSAGE

Welcome everyone, special welcome to our MPP Todd Smith, Acting Mayor Dianne O’Brien and Councillor Steve Ferguson.
I am giving an update on what is happened in Ontario regarding turbines in the last year.   The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – not always in that order.
Good
Slide 3

  • In 2017, the media has been more outspoken about adverse impacts of turbines e.g.,
  • Two major networks, Global News and Radio-Canada, carried multi-part investigative reports this past year. The three-part Global News feature spurred questions in the Legislature and forced the then-minister to act on noise complaints for several Huron County families.
  • Fraser Inst. Publication Mid- April. They published Understanding the Changes in Ontario’s Electricity Markets and Their Effects criticized the GEA, speaking to it causing high energy costs, losing manufacturing jobs, and not improving the environment.
  • Auditor General criticized Liberal accounting practices re energy costs, fair energy plan; it was well covered in major newspapers

Slide 4
Noise from turbines consists of audible and low frequency noise/ infrsound –these affect brain waves but may be inaudible.

  • A team at University of Waterloo has created a special chamber in which infrasound can be produced, in the hopes that health researchers can determine unequivocally effects of infrasound at levels produced by turbines on people.
  • Australian Court (similar to our ERT) linked wind turbine generated LFN and infrasound noise with possible diseases including hypertension and cardiovascular disease, possibly mediated in part by disturbed sleep and/or psychological stress/distress – it found an established association between annoyance (used as a medical term) and some diseases that result from prolonged stress. They say effects of LFN include motion-sickness-like symptoms, vertigo, and tinnitus -like symptoms.

It was also established that the current method adopted by windfarms to measure noise (including in Canada) — the dB(A) scale, is not suitable for the task, as it does not measure the lower frequency range. The dB(A) scale averages out the sound levels, masking the highest levels and rate of change of noise that could be causing harmful health side-effects.
This is consistent with what the UK noise association said in 2006. 12 years ago.
MOECC still will not address infrasound.
Slide 5
The Environmental Commissioner’s office wrote a report criticizing the government for approving 100% of turbine company permits to kill harm and harass endangered species.
Slide 6
But – BAD they followed that up with one that makes superficial and false statements on the health impacts of wind turbines. She says there is no link between wind turbine noise and health effects — based on ERT conclusions. She does not say that it is next to impossible to win an ERT appeal on health. She said that noise impacts are controlled through setbacks and noise limits in the REAs.
What of the over 4500 records of health/noise complaints filed by people living near turbines in Ontario with the government since 2006? And the out-of-compliance turbines. This is important as if the local turbines are built, they may not be noise compliant.
Slide 7
Bad-Turbines have been out of noise compliance with poor-to-totally lacking government response:
Port Elgin has one (Unifor) turbine – and have been complaining for years about the noise. Finally MOECC said that noise testing did show that it was out of compliance. A noise abatement protocol has to be put in place. The engineering report was filed with the MOECC in January, and then to the wrong Municipality in March – and finally to those affected. There is to be repeat testing in June–if it is out of compliance again -then what? Unknown.

Complaints regarding the Huron-Bruce Turbines in K2 Wind power project led to noise testing a year ago. Turbines were found to be out of compliance with Ontario regulations (April 2017). Since then, MOECC has done nothing.

Kincardine area has made multiple noise complaints over years, have been told testing is ongoing, but somehow, the tests are never completed, and the problem continues. In December they were told by MOECC that nothing was being done. And MOECC will not respond to complaints during an audit. The audit process started in December 2011 and is still not complete.

Slide 8

  • Last summer, a Brinston area resident wrote to Minister Murray about the complete lack of response to her reports of excessive noise (she has had to sleep in her basement on occasion because of the noise and vibration). An officer telephoned her and said:
    • Ministry staff were completely unprepared for wind turbine noise complaints.
    • They still don’t really know what to do.
    • They “lost” her records — even though she had so many reports that the MOECC actually installed equipment and did noise measurement for several days.
    • Last, it was too bad they lost everything pertaining to her situation and reports but it didn’t really matter, she was told because “You’re the only one complaining.”
    • With thousands of noise complaints recorded with the government unresolved, MOECC still refuse to acknowledge the problem, and refuses to look for causes.

Slide 10

  • Good: The MOECC finally admitted previous guidelines resulted in underestimating the noise at nearby homes – the modelling used to predict these impacts was wrong.
  • Last April 21, MOECC released a new protocol intended for “assessing noise from wind turbines that have already been built. It is used by industry and ministry staff to monitor compliance.” And compliance documents are to be publically available.
  • The result of non-compliance is: 1 – Remodel turbines; 2 – conduct a receptor audit at worst affected receptor from that turbine –or mitigation is required

Slide 9 Bad: However:

  • Still no recognition of low frequency noise. And, it hasn’t resulted in any effective changes.
  •  Still – when WCO complained about the lack of response regarding noise and lack of a posted compliance report, they were told that the report cannot be posted as the turbine company’s documents are incomplete. (The turbines had been running for 3 years)

Slide 11

  • Although the government knows the modeling done by wind companies is wrong, they are allowing 5 new large-scale wind projects to follow the old guidelines. If they followed the new guidelines, about 3/4 of these turbines would have to be relocated or removed as they are predicted to be out of compliance with the new noise guidelines. At one project 11 of 12 would be out of compliance.
  • So in January, 5 affected communities filed a JR application against MOECC as surely, Ontario regulations and directives that limit the amount of noise any residence in the province should have to be followed. The claim is – transition provisions were put in place by the ministry to allow those wind turbine companies to use the old regulations without having to provide evidence that they were unable to comply with the new noise modelling guidelines (Dutton Dunwich, North Stormont, La Nation, and Wallaceburg)

Slide 12
Brilliant:

  • Wind Concerns Ontario taking Minister Murray to court May 18 for violating the Environmental Protection Act for permitting noise that causes adverse health events. According to WCO Access to information requests, of 4500 complaints noise/sleeplessness and other health-related effects received, few were followed up – only ~7% in 2015-16.

Slide 13
Ugly

  • In SW Ontario, in an area with sedimentary rock similar to that here, during and after IWT construction, well contamination has been reported – such that some wells are completely clogged, some failed simultaneously from pile-driving during construction. Some have not used their well for 4 years.
  • Before and after tests sent to Laboratories in Michigan show an exponential increase [in] turbidity among the affected wells, including [a] large proportion that can be attributed to black shale particles that are known to contain heavy metals, including uranium, arsenic and lead.
  • An ERT had warned that water wells in that area could be damaged.
  • A professional geologist said: the relationship between the installation of wind turbines and the contamination of wells is obvious. When you have a [pure] water source for years and [transforms] a few days after the construction of an industrial facility. You do not have to be a genius to see that there is a link of cause and effect.
  • He had agreement from geoscientist and geological engineer.
    The project’s owner claims it has nothing to do with the problem.

MOECC’s response — While there’s been an admission that wells have indeed been contaminated, contamination can only be attributed to “unidentified factors.” They maintain that pile-driving activities associated with wind turbine development are not to blame. This conclusion was based on evaluations prepared by the power developer’s consultant.

MOECC say that you should only test your water for bacteria.

Quinte Region Proposed Source Protection Plan Version 8.1 Aug 2012: Section 2.4: “Due to the shallow soil conditions, the entire Quinte area was identified and mapped as a highly vulnerable aquifer. This designation was a direct result of the ease with which a contaminant can move into the underlying fractured bedrock aquifer.” 

Slide 14

  • In 2017 alone, reported in the media:
  • 181 accidents.* Note that there is massive underreporting. RenewableUK confirmed that of 1500 wind turbine accidents and incidents in the UK alone between 2006 and 2011, only 9% are on the global report. So there may have been more like 1800 accidents.

*  http://www.caithnesswindfarms.co.uk/fullaccidents.pdf 

But it gives information on a cross-section of accidents: –

  • Of the 181, there were 17 fatal accidents, 13 injury accidents, 16 blade failure (blade or partial blade throws, travelling up to 1 mile), 24 fires, 14 structural failures (storm damage, tower collapse), 19 transport – related (biggest cause of public injury/fatalities, e.g. ram through a house, turbine parts falling off).

Slide 15

  • Turbine collapse in Chatham-Kent January
  • And in Germany, bits of blade travelled over 500 m –yes, the distance to neighbouring houses by Ontario regulations.

Slide 16
CONCLUSION

  • MOECC, MNRF – Apparently – still blind, deaf and dumb regarding turbine effects and violations
  • All rules and regulations can be broken for the precious GEA
  • Compliance is only met only if citizens fight (and pay) for it
  • Feds (Health Canada, Environment Canada) – no better

Wind Turbine Damage Closes Access to Road

Wind Turbine Damage Closes Access to Bruce Road 20

Bayshore Broadcasting|Tiverton | by Kevin Bernard|May 8, 2018 

Repairs are ongoing, and should be finished this week.

page_WIND_TURBINE_DAMAGED_2018_PHOTO_BY_WILL_SQUARE_PATERSON

Those high winds last Friday that knocked down tree limbs and power lines, also damaged a wind turbine at Bruce Power.

Gusts of about 100 km/h rolled in off Lake Huron around 3pm that day, and one of the tips on a turbine was broken.

Bruce Power Manager of Communications and Media Relations, John Peevers says as soon as the issue was noticed, the 5 wind turbines jointly owned by Bruce Power and its partners were turned off.

Bruce road 20 was also closed in the area of the Visitors Centre, which is close to the turbine that was affected.

~~~~~~~~

“The turbines remain idled while workers investigate whether the 4 others are safe, and while repairs are done to the one wind turbine.

Peevers says Bruce road 20 remains closed and won’t likely open until later this week.”

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Wind Warning & Broken Blade in Ontario

High winds raced bucking and veering across Ontario and lead to high wind warnings.   A wind turbine blade failure was reported in Huron County.  The trailing edge of the turbine blade was  seen detaching itself when the alert was raised.  The wind project was built in 2002 consisting of 5 Vestas V80.

The failure happened during high winds experienced on May 4, 2018.  Local wind speed monitor at the location (about 10 km west of the failure site) showed a maximum of 27 m/sec at 7 metres elevation.

Wiarton weather station showed 10 metre wind speed max as SW 53 km/hr, gusting to 82 km/hr (23 metres per second)

Goderich weather station showed 10 metre wind speed max as 51 km/hr, gusting to 78 km / hr (22 metres per second)

Adjacent roadway to the turbine was reported as closed. It was not clear if any pieces of the blade were on ground at the time the photos below were taken.

Wind turbine damaged near Bruce Power Visitors Centre|By Troy Patterson, Kincardine News and Lucknow Sentinel|Friday, May 4, 2018

Note the failure of the turbine blade as the edge becomes detached in the following photos. 

 

Turbine collapse in Chatham Kent

chatham kent turbine 2018
A collapsed wind turbine in Chatham-Kent is renewing calls for wind projects to be stopped. (Monte McNaughton/Twitter)

Turbine snaps in half in Chatham-Kent, MPP calls for halt of wind projects

‘The blade is wrapped around the bottom of it and the engine is on the ground’

By Dan Taekema, CBC News Posted: Jan 19, 2018

A wind turbine in Chatham-Kent, Ont. has snapped in half, leading to calls from one area MPP to halt area wind projects.

The turbine in Raleigh Township, near the corner of Drake Road and the 16th Line, collapsed on itself Friday.

“As we were getting closer you could see in the distance that it was snapped in half .. it’s actually one of those ‘Oh my goodness [moments],” said Chatham-Kent Ward 2 councillor Karen Herman. “I was so surprised to see something like this. The blade is wrapped around the bottom of it and the engine is on the ground.”

No injuries reported

The Turbine is owned by TerraForm Power. The company confirmed one of its turbines collapsed Friday and that crews are investigating the cause.

“The issue did not cause any injuries or impact to the broader community,” wrote spokesperson Chad Reed in a statement emailed to CBC News.

Chatham-Kent’s Fire and Paramedic Chief Bob Crawford said the turbine has been disconnected from the grid.

“With safety being a priority, workers are currently putting up safety fencing around the broken turbine and Chatham-Kent Police are also present,” he added.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton shared a photo of the mangled turbine on Twitter and used it as an opportunity to renew calls to stop two upcoming wind projects in the area.

“The Liberal government should put a halt to the Otter Creek and North Kent projects immediately, put a moratorium on them so we can look into the safety issues of turbines,” he explained.

 

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