[ exact phrase in "" • ~10 sec • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]



LOCATION/TYPE

News Home
Archive
RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links

Alerts

Press Releases

FAQs

Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics

Videos

Allied Groups

Wind farms spark debate  

Credit:  Tasmanian Country, 30 September 2011 ~~

With more wind farms proposed in Tasmania, bush fire brigades need to plan for the increased fire hazard, particularly when wind turbines are proposed to be sited near forest or timber plantations.

Lake Echo is the western boundary of the proposed Cattle Hill Wind Farm and east is predominantly cleared, open grazing land, but north of the wind farm is a rugged area with forested gullies. To the southeast of the site the forested areas have been logged and are being established as plantation forests.

Eucalyptus forests are typically fire-prone, but the Central Highlands is only susceptible to bushfire for a few months of the year due to the relatively cold and wet climate. However, other sites in Tasmania, including Spring Hill, are being assessed for wind farms.

Last October, fire destroyed a turbine at the Starfish Hill Wind Farm ( south of Adelaide) and fire-fighters could do little but watch the blaze because burning bits of the blades were flying off the structure. The situation was considered too dangerous to get closer than one kilometre.

From ground to blade tip the turbines can be more than 100m tall and fire units simply do not have pumps capable of directing water up that high.

But even if they could be reached, water cannot be used to extinguish a turbine fire because the turbines hub contains a large electrical network.

There are also restrictions on the operation of aerial water bombers in the vicinity of wind turbines. With smoke reducing visibility, high towers pose a hazard to low-flying aircraft.

Modern wind turbines are lightning protected and are said to meet the highest possible standards for electrical safety. However, a fire risk always exists when electronics, flammable oils and hydraulic fluids exist in the same enclosure.

This risk is heightened on high fire danger days and, in the event of a turbine fire, strong winds could carry embers, burning oil and burning debris over a wide area.

If fire crews are unable to approach a turbine fire, spot fires may spread quickly to form large fronts and dangerous conditions for fire crews.

Typically, wind farms are built in open pasture land such as at Woolnorth, and access roads help as firebreaks.

Considering the high combustibility of eucalyptus, dry summer pastures and stubble, substantial setbacks from national parks, plantations and the like should be mandatory.

Louise Cameron

Launceston

Source:  Tasmanian Country, 30 September 2011

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

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate

Share:


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook

Share

CONTACT DONATE PRIVACY ABOUT SEARCH
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.
Share

 Follow: