Against the backdrop of an upcoming election and a diminishing legislative calendar, the wind lobby is working overtime to press its case for reduced setbacks. President Trump is a broken record on fake news but what about “no news”? A blade failure occurred at Avangrid’s Van Wert County Blue Creek project on August 26th. The turbines in the project are 476’ and a 10-foot section was documented by the local people via use of a drone to have flown approximately 825’. Neither a 1.1x turbine height from the property line nor a 1.2x distance as suggested in H.B. 114 would have protected the neighbors, children or livestock from the thrown fragment.
In this recent case, it appears the “systems” designed to stop the turbine did not work. The rotor continued to spin for at least ten minutes after the blade fragment was thrown. Neighbors called 911. The Avangrid representative arrived two hours after the failure. As far as we know, there has been NO media report or statement from the Blue Creek operator.
Likewise, in Texas where a blade failure caused an overspeed situation and possibility of fire, a family of five was evacuated from their home. There has been almost no press coverage of this event which occurred on the same day as Blue Creek Lack of access to timely, actual failure reports is one more compelling reason for statutory protective setbacks measured from property lines. As seen in the story below, the mechanical safeguards intended to prevent the Texas overspeed situation, did not work. ….