These days, the spontaneous combustion of wind turbines is an occurrence so common that STT is thinking about opening a sub-branch that deals exclusively with their terrifying pyrotechnic-melt-downs.
Giant fan conflagrations are 10 times more common than the wind industry and its parasites will ever admit (see our post here).
And these unscheduled fireworks shows have the potential of literally setting the world on fire. Overheating bearings and brakes turn 1,000 litres of gear oil, and a couple of hundred litres of hydraulic fluid, plastics etc into an exploding, toxic fireball (see our post here).
As such, these things make the perfect incendiaries: putting the lives of rural residents at risk – not only because bushfires are a mortal threat, but because the presence of paddocks full of these 160m whirling monsters rules out the use of aerial water bombing to douse the flames, and bring raging infernos under control (see our post here).
The latest flaming-fan-tale comes from Ocotillo, in the Californian desert.
STT has covered some of the blade-chucking, sonic torture turbine torments dished out to locals in our posts here:
- IWTs or WMDs?
- Wind Farm Victims – Ocotillo, California: Wind Turbine Noise is a “Horror Beyond Words”
And we’ve had a look at the desert-destruction dealt out there by wonderful ‘clean’, ‘free’ wind energy in our post here:
Here’s The Eco-Report with the latest ‘red-hot’ scoop, as well as a rollicking-round-up of the real ‘wonders’ of wind power.
Wind Turbine Fire at Ocotillo
Roy L Hales
24 January 2015
On January 15, there was a wind turbine fire at Ocotillo, CA. The incident might have been less significant anywhere else, but this wind project has been having problems ever since it went online.
Six months after the project officially went online, a 173 foot-long-blade flew off one of the turbines.
The project is now two years old and, according to Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley:
- the developers have replaced 10 blades;
- they have replaced the “Yaw Gear Drives” on about 3 different turbines;
- There is no known tally of the number of turbines leaking oil, but Pelley believes that it is around 70%;
- The wind speeds at Ocotillo are usually slight, in most videos he reports somewhere between 0 and 4 mph, and the turbines do not even produce much energy.
You don’t have to take his word for it, because he and his neighbour Parke Ewing have documented everything.
Pelley has a youtube channel called Save Ocotillo where he has posted hundreds of videos recording the day’s wind speeds, any significant events and personal observations.
Parke Ewing has a well visited Facebook page called Ocotillo Wind Turbine Destruction.
Their documentation is so extensive that anyone interested in wind energy, regardless of your opinion, should visit it.
Some might argue that they are “nimbys,” but that is really the point. They do not want their town to be surrounded by 438 foot high wind turbines that come within half a mile of many dwellings.
They hate the noise, when the turbines are working, and flashing lights at night. Ever since the surface of the desert was scraped clear of vegetation, to make way for the wind project, Ocotillo has been inflicted by gigantic dust storms when there are strong winds. On two occasions, the rains carried a strange white foam from the turbines into Ocotillo.
The real issue for Southern Californian communities fighting industrialization is social license, not Climate Change!
They are against massive behemoths which often have negative impacts on their environment, but usually also endorse rooftop solar. Do they have a voice in their future? Or is this something to be decided by outsiders: governmental and corporate? Why can’t industrial scale development be put on land where it is not disrupting their lifestyles?
According to the account in East County Magazine, the fire in turbine #110 was isolated to one turbine and “self extinguished.” A spokesperson from the manufacturer (Siemens), said there were no injuries and an investigation is underway to determine the cause.
He said, “We have a strong fire resistance track record with very few isolated incidents affecting our global fleet of more than 6,800 of this type of turbine in operation.”
I phoned Siemens with my own questions. Some were about the fire in #110, but others were designed to get a better perspective on the overall situation. After listening for a couple of minutes, they suggested I write them an email. I asked:
- Do they know what caused this fire?
- How often turbine fires occur?
- Are they, for example, as common as traffic accidents are for automobile drivers?
- What about the oil leaks? the blade replacements? the three replaced yaw gears? Is this normal for a two year old wind farm?
- There are also some extreme conditions at Ocotillo. I have seen videos of those incredible dust storms. There are good winds at times, but they are more often 0-4 mph and there are occasionally incredible blow ups. Is this a an exceptionally difficult location?
I sent that email on January 19 and, when there was no response, asked how it was coming on the 21st. It is now January 24 and I no longer expect an answer.
Recently, we slaughtered a series of lies pitched up by Australia’s most notorious wind power outfit, Infigen (aka Babcock and Brown) in our post here: Australia’s Most Notorious Wind Power Outfit – Infigen – says “Move Over Pinocchio, Here We Come”
Infigen’s merry band of spin-doctors keep running the furphy that wind power is as cheap as chips to produce and, as part of that pitch, include the wild claim that turbines last for “25-plus years”.
But the little catalogue of turbine troubles at Ocotillo, suggests otherwise.
Bearing in mind – so to speak – that Siemen’s 112 noisy little desert smokers are barely 2 years old, having 70% of them spewing out oil at a rate the Saudis would envy; needing to replace 10 blades; and the need to replace 3 “Yaw Gear Drives”, one wonders what time scale the wind industry and its spkuikers are working on?
Their pitch about wind turbines running on the smell of an oily rag, and lasting a generation, without so much as an oil change, starts to run a little flat, with real-time, real-world results, like that detailed above.
But, Siemens have had worse elsewhere. The ‘top-flight’ German fan maker booked a €223 million write down (ie loss) last year, due to the fact that it had to replace bearings in a fleet of turbines on its home turf that, like those at Ocotillo, are less than 2 years old.
Siemens talking about the loss said: “The charge is related to inspecting and replacing bearings due to the early degradation in certain turbine models. We believe this is related to recent batches of bearings and we are in discussions with the supplier” (see our post here).
Wind turbines tend not earn much for their owners when in flaming, crumpled heaps; or when they’ve chucked their blades off into the ether; or gearboxes and generators have ground to a halt.
If any more evidence were needed to show that wind power is the greatest Ponzi scheme of all time, then this is it. Anyone with so much as a penny invested in wind power would be well-advised to get out while they still can. And anyone still keen to leave their hard-earned with Infigen, should consult their mental health specialist asap (see our post here).