Wind Turbines: Safe, Clean & Green? Yeah, Right …

The spontaneous combustion of 300 tonne wind turbines, showering the earth with a toxic cocktail of molten-fibreglass and flaming lubricants is one of those tricky PR problems for big wind.

On every occasion that one of these whirling wonders burst into flames, locals are told them it’s a rare and unusual event, never likely to occur again. Except that …

Here’s a roundup of just the latest run of ‘extremely rare events’ from the US of A.

Wind turbine catches fire, sparks grass fire in western Oklahoma
Fox 25 News
Austin Prickett
28 March 2018

WEATHERFORD, Oklahoma – A wind turbine caught fire, causing a grass fire Wednesday in western Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Forestry Services reports that on March 28 a wind turbine two miles south of Weatherford caught fire, throwing sparks to the ground.

The sparks caused a grass fire that was contained after growing to approximately five acres. Eight fire engines responded to the scene and were able to contain the fire.
Fox 25 News

Here is a video of the fire courtesy of the Oklahoma Forestry Services.

Things to note:

  • The turbine fire caused a grass fire
  • Some of the turbines are still turning
  • A nice big chunk falls off the turbine near the end of the video.

 

 

UMPI wind turbine catches fire Easter night
The County
Anthony Brino
2 April 2018

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — An investigation is underway into what caused a fire in the generator of the University of Maine Presque Isle’s wind turbine, which led to a brief campus power outage Sunday.

Around 10:45 p.m. April 1, the Presque Isle Fire Department responded to a fire at UMPI’s wind turbine. The fire occurred in the turbine’s nacelle, the covered section that houses the motor, generator, gearbox and other mechanics, according to Rachel Rice, UMPI community and media relations director.

University of Maine’s Presque Isle turbine engulfed in flames.

 

“It appears that the turbine generator caught on fire and the overload from it subsequently tripped the campus breakers,” Rice said in a statement. “This caused most of campus to lose power, though with help from Emera, power was restored at around 1:30 a.m.”

Rice said that the cause of the fire was not clear as of Monday morning and that an assessment of what happened and the extent of the damage is underway. Technicians from Vestas, the Danish company that manages the turbine’s maintenance, were set to be on site Monday to start a damage assessment, Rice said.

It is not clear if the turbine was damaged beyond repair.

Rice said that no one was near the turbine as the fire occurred. The turbine is located at the edge of UMPI’s athletic fields and is more than 1,000 feet from student dormitories and other university buildings.

Burt blades still turning after the blaze.

 

The 600 kilowatt turbine was installed in 2009 at a cost of $2 million.
The County

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Wind turbines are big business now — all the power companies are putting them up, and even the oil companies are digging up deep-pocket dollars investing in them — for example Exxon-Mobil — https://lubes.exxonmobil.com/Lubes/sustainability_productsandprocesses_diversification.aspx and Shell Oil — https://www.shell.us/energy-and-innovation/shell-windenergy.html …. now that the big oil companies are the ones putting up wind turbines, well, good luck stopping that.

    • No one will build another wind turbine, once the subsidies stop, and they will stop. Power consumers vote and in places like Australia, where they pay the highest prices in the world, the push is on to kill the subsidies. Watch this space.

    • Watching the streaming of the The Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting in Omaha this morning I'm reminded of Warren Buffet's comments about wind farm investment, at a similar gathering back in 2014:
      “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

      As STT went on to explain:

      Iowa has enacted an additional state PTC of $10/MWh. Buffet gets a total PTC of $31.5/MWh from both federal and Iowa taxpayers. YE2014, BH’s MidAmerican Energy, had 2953MW of Iowa wind capacity. Warren Buffet wind farms are receiving $253 million of annual tax credit from Iowa wind generation on an investment of $5.6 billion (2953 MW * 0.31CF * 8766 hr/year *$31.5/MWh). BH’s effective tax rate last year was 31%. Those wind credits are equivalent to earning (253/0.31) $816 million on his $5.6 billion wind investment—a 15% return before any operating profit from selling electricity. That is a good deal for the Nebraska billionaire, but not for the rest of us.

       

  2. Peter Pronczak says:

    China’s fusion program offers optimistic future
    By Jeremy Beck AAS 1May2018 1800 636 432 to request free copy.

    China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) promises to provide scientists with the breakthrough needed for commercial fusion power. In April the BBC’s Stephen McDonell was given rare access to the facility in Anhui province, and he did seem impressed. “Around the globe”, writes McDonell, “they are trying to master nuclear fusion—in the United States, Japan, Korea, Brazil and [the] European Union—but none can hold it steady for as long as the team in Anhui. Right now that’s 100 seconds and it gets longer every year. Here they’re already talking about goals which are 10 times as long, at temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius.”
    Song Yuntao, deputy director at EAST explained the ambitious mission to McDonell: “The demand for energy is huge in every country and China has a roadmap for fusion-generated power. We want to complete the design for a test fusion reactor within five years. If we succeed it will be the world’s frst fusion reactor.”
    Although China is contributing to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) based in southern France, McDonell explains, it is also “making leaps and bounds on its own”.
    The Chinese government sees fusion as a priority and although significant funding is necessary, the long-term rewards will be worth it. Mr Song explains: “Fusion is going to require huge breakthroughs from scientists and engineers as well as a lot of financial backing from the government. It’s a project which costs so much but personally I think it’s going to be great for the sustainable development of mankind.”
    Fusion will be sustainable development in the true sense, in that mankind will be able to sustain genuine development, creating economic growth through ever-expanding applications of higher energy ?ux density. None of this is possible with diffuse and intermittent power sources, such as wind and solar power. Such power in fusion is achieved through replicating and controlling the known physical principle which powers our sun, or for that matter, every star in the universe. Isotopes of hydrogen and/or helium (the two lightest elements in the universe) can fuse together to form heavier isotopes and in the process release enormous energy.
    The Hefei Institutes of Physical Science is directly responsible for EAST, working under the direction of the government-run Chinese Academy of Sciences. Such government direction and funding has been emblematic of China’s amazing economic growth over the past generation, which would never had occurred were it left to self-interested participants of the “free market”.
    Certainly the Chinese government has an intention to build the world’s first experimental nuclear fusion power station; they announced this officially on 5 December 2017. The following day Shanghai’s Communist Party secretary, Li Qiang, and the city’s mayor, Ying Yong, led a delegation to the EAST facility to discuss “matters of cooperation” with scientists. This follows on from China’s interest in helium-3, an isotope of helium that is most suited for fusion, but extremely rare on Earth. Helium-3, however, is relatively abundant on the Moon, and the Chinese leadership has already begun an ambitious program to acquire it, through its space program.
    Just eight tonnes of helium-3 in fusion reactors would provide the equivalent energy of one billion tonnes of coal, burned in power stations. Professor Ouyang Ziyuan, the chief scientist of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP), has said that the Moon is so rich in helium-3, that this could “solve humanity’s energy demand for around 10,000 years at least.”
    The title of McDonell’s article is: “Will China Beat the World to Nuclear Fusion and Clean Energy?” His ending answers his question: “It may be some way off but Beijing is taking the challenge very seriously meaning that, if it can get it to work, China could end up having the edge over all others when it comes to the power generation of the future.”

    My comment: All we have to do in Australia is stop subsidising banks!

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