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Wind Power News: February 2009

These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.

February 28, 2009 • IowaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind catches blades, crashes turbine

A 50-ton structure fell 246 to the frozen ground when the blades of a turbine under construction east of Waverly, Iowa, caught wind and started rotating at a speed reaching 60 rpm. The nacelle, the hub housing the generating components, and the blades collapsed after spinning for hours at the mercy of the wind, says Waverly Light and Power General Manager Diane Johnson. Prior to the lifting, the blades were not turned in a way that would have prevented them . . . Complete story »

February 27, 2009 • MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

Tilting at windmills

Newburyport has its own laser light show, or an equivalent thereof, from an unlikely source: the new industrial-sized wind turbine that recently was turned on in the industrial park. At night, from the middle of the northbound lane of Route 1, the twirling blades catch the red beacon light atop the massive structure, and the light shoots out along the blades. It’s pretty spectacular, but not if the light is shooting right into the window of your home. Residents of . . . Complete story »

February 27, 2009 • Editorials, MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

A 292-foot mistake

Newburyport – There’s no doubt that Mark Richey had nothing but good and green intentions when he erected an industrial wind turbine to generate electricity for his wood-working factory in the city’s industrial park. And there’s no question that city leaders who ushered in that project – first with a wind turbine ordinance and then with a Zoning Board of Appeals special permit – believed they were putting Newburyport in the lead of local communities that support alternative and renewable forms . . . Complete story »

February 24, 2009 • MassachusettsPrint storyE-mail story

Council agrees to take another look at turbine law

NEWBURYPORT – The City Council will re-examine the ordinance they passed last summer that regulates the installation of wind turbines in the city. Councilor Greg Earls raised questions about setbacks allowed under the law, density and how the public is notified about the possibility of a structure going up in their neighborhood. Councilors unanimously agreed to send the measure back to its Planning and Development subcommittee after about 15 neighbors from the Back Bay neighborhood spoke in favor of having the . . . Complete story »

February 23, 2009 • IowaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbine causes turmoil over weekend

A wind turbine’s blades and rotor fell to the ground Saturday afternoon. Homeowners near the site were evacuated as a precaution and no injuries were reported, according to a Waverly Light and Power Co. press release. ICS, the company constructing the wind turbines, discovered shortly after building the turbine Friday that the blades were not feathered, or turned correctly, and therefore the wind was causing the blades to spin. According to the Waverly Light and Power Co. press release, “the . . . Complete story »

February 22, 2009 • CaliforniaPrint storyE-mail story

Don Quixote battles windmills — and so do the folks in Boulevard

Part III of a three-part series: HEALTH, SAFETY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF WIND FARMS February 22, 2009 (Boulevard) – Our country has jumped on a high-speed wind-energy bandwagon, as if the costs of developing and producing wind energy are as invisible as the wind itself. Are benefits commensurate with the costs? Can developers mitigate any risks and impacts? Our panoramic look at wind-farm issues continues, rendering potential fire risks, alleged health hazards, and environmental impacts of wind-development more visible, alongside wind . . . Complete story »

February 21, 2009 • IowaPrint storyE-mail story

Part of wind turbine breaks and lands in open field

Part of a wind turbine under construction broke apart Saturday morning. The problem started Friday when construction crews were installing a second wind turbine for Waverly Light and Power. During the process, a construction error caused the rotor and blades to start moving in the wind prematurely – spinning uncontrollably and unable to stop until it broke. Wesley Cark with the turbine manufacturer said the blades weren’t in the proper position during installation. “Once the blades are feathered, then remove . . . Complete story »

February 19, 2009 • NevadaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbine project rallies valley residents

More than 20 miles to the closest shopping center in Spanish Springs, driving north on Pyramid Highway is a dirt road that winds around corners created by boulders in the pathway. Nestled behind rolling hills and jagged peaks are a mix of new and older homes, ranches with horses and goats. The Palomino Valley streets are labeled Wilcox Ranch Road, Quaking Aspen, Microwave Road, but each street narrows from a two-lane unpaved track to a narrow lane in which someone . . . Complete story »

February 17, 2009 • ItalyPrint storyE-mail story

Mafia wind farm operation busted in Sicily

ROME – Italian police on Tuesday arrested mobsters, businessmen and local politicians who allegedly used corrupt practices and bribes to gain control of a project to build wind farms in Sicily. Operation “Aeolus,” named after the ancient Greek god of winds, netted eight suspects, arrested in the Trapani area of western Sicily, as well as in Salerno on the Italian mainland and in the northern city of Trento. Police in Trapani said the local Mafia bribed city officials in nearby Mazara . . . Complete story »

February 16, 2009 • Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Nimby wars

Just off I-39 lies rural El Paso, Ill. But it’s hardly a quiet place. Some of its 2,700 residents got pretty worked up in 2007 after learning that Navitas Energy of Minneapolis wanted to build a wind farm in their back yard. It proposed 40 turbines, each peaking at 2 megawatts of electric output. Sitting in Woody’s Family Restaurant on the town’s main drag, roof truss salesman Kevin Moore explains that he worried the proposed windmills could hurt property values, . . . Complete story »

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