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Out-of-control wind power  

In what is surely to become the most-viewed YouTube clip among wind-energy critics, a 60-meter turbine was filmed exploding in Denmark during a strong gust.

The Copenhagen Post reported that Vestas made the turbine. The company defended its products by describing its other 35,000 turbines installed worldwide as operating properly. The exploding turbine was reported to be 10 years old.

Nearby residents are quoted in the article as being scared by the event, and the video shows debris hurling from the shattered turbine that certainly could cause harm.

The video clip says that a braking mechanism meant to slow the thing down failed.

But compared with the impacts of other energy generation – mining coal, drilling for natural gas, refining uranium – the video hardly seems like an indictment against wind power. It’s probably not good for public relations though, either.

Arizona doesn’t have any wind farms, but Arizona Public Service Co. and Salt River Project buy wind energy from New Mexico. And several wind projects have been proposed in the state, including one from the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona and another by Clipper Windpower near Bisbee.

If they ever get built, it might be wise to avoid any turbines that seem to be spinning wildly out of control.

Ryan Randazzo

The Arizona Republic

20 May 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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