We can’t believe the industry continues to get away with stating that the ‘average’ life of a turbine is 20-25 years. IF, and that is a big IF, a turbine lasts that long, it is probably plagued with some serious maintenance issues and expense. Maintenance that is well hidden from the public. Just look at Van Wert county, where the industrial wind sites are less than 10 years old…we have blogged pictures of dozens of blades, lined along a railroad, where they await replacement. These machines are complex, complicated, and require a lot of maintenance. In addition, how often do you drive by a wind site and and see ‘all’ of the blades spinning on a windy day? There are always some locked down for problems…When are the environmentalists going to see that there is incredible usage of fossil fuels, oil, steel, fiberglass and rare earth elements in these machines? When are they going to realize that wind turbines are cost prohibitive to our pocketbooks and environment?….
…But wind turbines don’t last forever, said Xcel Energy spokesperson Mark Stutz.
“Wind farms, at the end of the day, are equipment. And equipment wears out over time,” he said.
The lifespan of the average turbine is 20 to 25 years. While new wind farms are going up, America’s first generation of wind farms are reaching retirement age, like the Xcel Energy’s Ponnequin Wind Farm on the border of Colorado and Wyoming. The farm of 44 turbines recently retired at the average age of 18 years old. In October of 2016, Xcel Energy plans to dynamite the turbines and cart off the waste to a landfill….
Unlike coal mines, wind farms aren’t required to set aside funds for clean-up…There are no binding federal regulations to mandate cleaning up after a wind farm.
And when the giant turbines come down, they can leave a lot of waste behind. The steel towers can be recycled, but the fiberglass blades typically end up in landfills…