What would Ohio farmer do with this ‘rare’ BigWind event?

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Why is it that something, BigWind touts as ‘RARE’, seems to be occurring so darned often?? We have blogged about countless fires. This nacelle (middle of machine) is described as being as large as a school bus and we know the blades to be longer than a football field.  People, mistakenly, do not realize the size and danger of these machines.  We liken it to walking the strip in Las Vegas.  A casino may ‘appear’ to only be a block away, but our view is distorted because of the size. The walk ends up being much farther away.  Turbines ‘appear’ to be small machines, from a distance, but in reality, they are very large industrial machines.  Such machines do NOT belong next to a child’s playground or a home! Imagine if this fire had occurred in Ohio during a summer? The fire would have spread like a wildfire out West!…..

A wind turbine caught fire in West Pubnico, N.S., late Friday afternoon, throwing huge, burning pieces of material to the ground.

Firefighters were called to the scene…there was little firefighters could do to douse the flames.

“We couldn’t get nowhere near because the blades was still turning, so, and pieces was breaking off the blades,” he said. “So if a piece was to fall off, it would go a long ways with the wind and that. So it wasn’t safe to go nowhere near the tower at all.”…

Amiro said when the blades turn, the tips are more than 100 metres up in the air — too high to fight the fire from the ground….

Amiro said two of the blades were completely burned and the nacelle, the gearbox at the centre of the blades that’s “almost as big as a school bus” was also seriously damaged…

Amiro said it’s a good thing it was raining and the ground was covered with snow.

“If that would have been August, we’d still be there trying to put wood fire out,” he said Saturday morning.

Original article

OFF= BigWind production during PolarVortex

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It is beyond absurd when environmentalists call for 100% renewable energy. The reasons why are endless, as we discuss them regularly, but our recent Polar Vortex is a great reason. Had it not been for our reliable coal/gas/nuclear energy production, millions of us would have frozen to death. In fact, BigWind TOOK ENERGY FROM THE GRID during the blizzard cold temps….

As residents of the Twin Cities awoke on Jan. 29, the first of three straight days of subzero temperatures, about half of the region’s electricity was coming from wind farms dotting the Upper Midwest….

But grid operators would watch as electricity from wind steadily tailed off during the next day and a half…

That dip in wind output during last month’s deep freeze is now fueling debate about the nation’s embrace of renewable energy. The polar vortex arrived as calls grew on the left for a “Green New Deal” to transition to renewables and tackle the threat of climate change, all while various state-level proposals to increase renewable energy penetration circulated across the country.

It was also fresh ammunition for a fossil industry and other critics of renewable energy mandates that have long sowed doubts about the ability to maintain reliability on a grid growing increasingly dependent on intermittent energy sources….

Other turbines across the Upper Midwest shut down due to plunging temperatures.

Output from wind farms — a technology dubbed as the new baseload energy in the Upper Midwest — fell off even faster than anticipated starting the night before as temperatures fell below minus 20 F, the cutoff point below which turbines automatically quit operating.

A MISO presentation released ahead of the committee meeting today shows that when the grid operator declared a “maximum generation event” just before 3 a.m. on Jan. 30, only about half of the almost 14,000-MW forecast of wind generation to be available was actually producing energy.

Brian Draxten, manager of resource planning for Otter Tail Power Co., said wind turbines across North Dakota shut down because of the extreme temperatures. In fact, he said the wind farms went from a power producer to a 2-MW load on its system because they required heat to avoid being damaged….

Extreme cold takes a toll on various parts of a turbine, from electrical cabinets to the gearbox, the generator, lubricants and steel components, which can become brittle if the temperature goes low enough, Skjoeth said.

While turbines can be equipped with de-icing systems to help operate through snow and ice, that isn’t the problem seen in extreme cold, such as what the Upper Midwest saw during the polar vortex, he said.

Meanwhile, Skjoeth said there’s been little focus in the industry on developing turbines to operate below minus 20 F because the economics of producing energy in such extreme conditions wouldn’t justify the additional cost.

“Historically, the really cold weather comes with a decline in wind speeds,” he said. “When you get that low, you don’t get that much wind, normally.”…

Within days of the polar vortex, a lobbyist for Dairyland Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission cooperative, told a Minnesota legislative committee hearing on the bill that wind energy didn’t show up when it was needed.

The lights stayed on “only because of fossil fuel power plants that could be called upon and dispatched,” he said…

Original article

BigWind graveyard or birthplace? Van Wert, Ohio

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On Hoaglin Center Rd in Van Wert, Ohio this BigWind graveyard and birthplace exists. Some believe it is a graveyard because damaged blades seem to appear, regularly, as if they are being changed out at night. This is also a birthplace, as the replacement blades regularly move in/out of this lot (via train).  The Van Wert industrial turbine site is a mere 5 years old, to have this problem. Although the gear box is an achilles heel of this industry, it appears as though blades are a problem, too.  This seems mighty expensive, doesn’t it, for regular maintenance??????? Unfortunately, for the resident who posted the ‘noisy turbine’ in Van Wert, these blades have not gone to fix her backyard problem….

How Big will the turbines be, planted next to you, in Ohio? Bigger than you think…

 

No sooner had we written about the prospects for the Clean Power Plan, Justice Scalia died and now there is much speculation about his successor and whether the U.S. Senate will hold hearings on any nomination that might be made by President Obama. We cannot speculate on what will happen but thought you should know the constitutionality of the Clean Power Plan hangs in the balance. In some states, including Michigan and Wisconsin, the Governor has ordered that no further work on the CPP be undertaken while in Kansas and Missouri, the legislatures are working to halt activity. Ohio waits to hear what happens next.

In advance of a major Wind Operations and Maintenance conference coming up in Texas, a report has been issued reviewing issues that are arising as the fleet of wind turbines deployed across America age. The numbers are sobering and should give any community thinking about approving a wind facility second thought. Principal findings include:

• Bearing failure/ repair & maintenance focus set to double by 2017

• Original Equipment Manufacturers could lose 15% share of the O&M market by 2020

• Condition Monitoring Systems & Analytics investment to increase 1/3 by 2017

• Optimization of power generation, not cost cutting the real driver of investment (63/37%)

This means among other things, the noise from turbines is going to get a lot louder as the turbines age and are in need of gearbox repair. Also, repowering existing turbines with longer blades will increase. Moreover, those turbines that cannot be viably repowered will be decommissioned (or left to rust in the fields). Finding Q13 “What is the single biggest focus for you over the next 12 months?” was decommissioning.

What does “optimization of power generation” mean? It means taller turbines and longer blades and it should mean longer setbacks. We think the giants are coming to Ohio. The FAA reviews all potential structures that exceed 200 feet in height for possible air traffic obstruction. Recently, they have reviewed a wind development planned for Bellevue for turbines listed at 660 feet! Bellevue straddles Erie, Huron and Sandusky Counties. We include an article about this sort of monster below with a link to the monster movie showing its construction.

Going back to the Operations and Maintenance issues, our colleague, Tom Stacy, advises us to think about them in the context of annually increasing renewable energy mandates. Tom says, “Consider the implications of annually ratcheting energy market share mandates with a total schedule term longer than the lifespans of wind turbines. The deployment rate must increase markedly in later years of the program when new turbines are required to meet both replacement of old machines as well to meet annual benchmarks. And all this to produce randomly timed energy without firm capacity – dictating redundant infrastructure that includes necessarily underutilized conventional power plant assets. “

With respect to the setbacks defined in law, the notion of having the minimum be defined as a formula like 3xtower height plus blade length would be more desirable than a fixed number like 1,250 feet from a property line. In the case of the 660’ turbines, the minimum would then be 1,980’. That is a significant difference.

If you haven’t read the blog from, yesterday, please see that Kevon Martis, Director of Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, has teamed up with Senator Seitz to challenge those who would seek to override the property line setback law through HB 190. They coined the phrase “trespass zoning” and have written a terrific opinion piece for the Ohio media. They conclude by saying: “Good neighbors don’t trespass. If Big Wind wants to be a good neighbor in rural Ohio, it needs to abandon its demand for trespass zoning.” The Lima News has printed the article and we hope the papers in Van Wert, Bellefontaine, Urbana and Springfield follow suit. We believe it was distributed to all of them.

Notwithstanding all of the above, on February 18th, Trishe Wind filed an Amendment to the next phase of the Blue Creek project in Paulding County proposing larger turbines and seeking to be considered under old rules that measure setbacks from homes even though Amendments to previously approved projects are supposed to be subject to the revised setbacks.  Looks like that ole “optimization of power generation”! Attention! Trespass Zoning coming to Paulding County…again!

  Enercon E126 – The Most Powerful Wind Turbine in the World

 

 

BigWind leaks OIL? No! They are supposed to be GREEN!

Impossible!  All we hear from the media is that BigWind is GREEN and turbines will reduce our dependence on foreign oil! We have told you before that each gearbox could contain 200 gallons of oil, liquid gold.  Oil that gets dirty and needs to be changed, just like in your car. Additionally, there are thousands of parts inside that need to be lubricated. BigWind doesn’t reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it INcreases our dependence on it….

A Summary of Violations has been issued to Ocotillo Wind Express OWE (California) for alleged violations of state law due to hydraulic oil leaks observed during a complaint investigation…

Residents have documented oil leaks at over 40% of all turbines on the project. Now, they are voicing concerns voice concerns that oil leaks could contaminate the town’s only supply of drinking water.

“We worry that in time it’s only going to get worse as these turbines age,” said engineer and Ocotillo resident Jim Pelley.  He fears that in the future, turbine leaks could pollute the federally protected aquifer, or underground water source.  “No water – no town.  If the water gets polluted, all homes in Ocotillo could be red-tagged,” said Pelley….

Ewing added, “I believe all of the turbines leak oil,” though not all are doing so presently since some have been repaired or recently had new gear boxes installed. “The oil is very clear and normally becomes easily visible when the blowing sand and dust sticks to the oil.”…

Residents also allege that workers for Siemens, the turbine manufacturer, attempted to cover up the leaks….

Pelley said he and other residents have complained to “just about everybody we could think of” including the county, federal BLM officials, an environmental justice task force, and the state environmental agency. “Typically, we don’t get any replies back from our e-mails.”

Though the complaints have been well-documented with photos and videos now for many months, still the turbines remain in operation, spewing oil into the environment and white sludge with seemingly every major rainfall—all atop the town’s only source of drinking water….

via INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED INTO HYDRAULIC OIL LEAKS AT OCOTILLO WIND FACILITY | East County Magazine.