Will Iberdrola bring 400-500 foot ‘sparklers’ to NW Ohio?

Iberdrola Turbine 2014

Iberdrola wants to expand their current industrial wind facility beyond Van Wert, Ohio and head Northeast. Will they bring these sparklers to our state? What would happen if such a fire occurred during our dry summer months and ‘lit up’ a field below? At least, they spin very little during the dog days of summer…

Iberdrola wants to build an industrial wind facility in McCain Valley. The company has claimed that the odds of one of its turbine catching fire are infinitesimal.  But on March 15, a wind turbine at Iberdrola’s Locust Ridge wind facility in Mahonay City, Pennsylvania caught fire, sending flames arcing out until ultimately the fire burned itself out, as shown on video. This is the latest in a long string of fires involving Gamesa turbines including some at Iberdrola facilities.

What would happen if this occurred in McCain Valley, amid fire-prone brush in a hard-to-access area where campgrounds are located at the end of a canyon with only one access road, set to be lined by wind turbines?  And why aren’t Supervisors taking steps to protect public safety by barring fire-prone wind turbine products in our region?

The valley is in the path of the 2007 Harris wildfire, which was fueled by 100 hurricane-force winds.  Each turbine is set to be filled with hundreds of gallons of flammable lubricating oil.  Firefighters can’t fight fires under whirling, burning turbine blades and aerial drops don’t work at heights over 300 feet or so.  The turbines are 500 feet tall.

The turbines at Iberdrola’s Locust Ridge project were made by Gamesa,  Gamesa has had numerous wind turbine fires, including the turbine fire at the Kumeyaay Wind facility in Campo, as ECM reported.  Our story also recounted Gamesa’s troubled history of wind turbine fires elsewhere.