November 10, 2012

EverPower employee asked about shadow flicker, blade failure

NICK WALTON, Staff Writer | Urbana Daily Citizen | 11/9/2012 |

COLUMBUS – Cross examination of EverPower director of government affairs and permitting Mike Speerschneider continued Friday during the second day of the Ohio Power Siting Board’s (OPSB) adjudicatory hearing for the proposed Champaign Wind LLC project.

Attorney Jack A. Van Kley, representative for Union Neighbors United (UNU), continued to ask Speerschneider questions pertaining to his written testimony and EverPower’s application to build the second wind turbine project. The areas of focus included shadow flicker, blade failure and other safety concerns about turbines.

In his testimony, Speerschneider cited a shadow flicker report completed for the application of Buckeye Wind II stating the report utilized “industry standard modeling methodologies and provides an accurate representation of the potential occurrence of shadow flicker at residential locations.”

Asked what the industry standard model methods for shadow flicker evaluation were, Speerschneider responded that a wind probe modeling set that takes a number of inputs to create an estimation of potential exposure.

“With respect to your statement that you believe this type of modeling is very reliable, have you personally ever done any shadow flicker measurements to confirm the results of a shadow flicker model using wind-probe?” Van Kley asked.

“I’ve never run the wind probe model myself,” Speerschneider said. He added the basis for his confidence in the model were industry standards and discussions with consultants.

Van Kley continued to ask questions about blade failure, how adverse conditions such as lightning would affect the turbine and about safety systems for the turbines.

When asked if he had any discussions with other wind companies about blade failure, Speerschneider said they typically do not have that kind of discussion. He said he spoke with the owners or operators of the Timber Road II Wind Farm a couple of times over the last two or three months about their blade failure, but stated he did not learn anything more than what was already publicly available.

In the incident at the Paulding County wind farm, a Vestas turbine suffered a blade shear in the spring. EverPower informed the OPSB that it eliminated the Vestas brand turbine as a potential company from which to purchase turbines for the proposed Champaign Wind project.

Cross examination for Speerschneider was scheduled for the afternoon portion of Friday’s hearing. The hearing is scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

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