The letter from Abel Collins of the Rhode Island Sierra Club (“In support of a wind farm,” South County Independent, July 4) shows that the organization has abandoned its original goal of protecting the environment. It has become a special interest that promotes topics such as offshore wind that have solid proof of ecological harm. There are errors in almost every paragraph of the letter.
Offshore wind turbines use thousands of gallons of diesel fuel during construction. Once they are constructed, wind turbines need thousands more gallons of diesel fuel for maintenance and repairs. Why is this huge use of fossil fuel ignored by wind farm enthusiasts? Repairing an offshore wind turbine probably uses 50 times more fossil fuel than repairing a land-based wind turbine.
Disposing of broken wind turbine blades and other components made out of carbon fibers or fiberglass is a new ecological problem that is growing by leaps and bounds. Europe has thousands of these blades piling up with no good way to recycle them. How would the Block Island wind farm dispose of broken blades and other components?
The reliability of both land and offshore wind farms is low. A five-year study of every wind turbine in the United Kingdom showed that failures occurred somewhere approximately once a day.
Every Rhode Island taxpayer should read a revealing large-scale statistical analysis of all wind farms in England published in the British newspaper “The Telegraph” Dec. 11, 2011, by Edward Melnick and Robert Mendick.
This alarming article included five years of statistical data. It showed a total of 1,500 accidents and failures – almost one a day. Approximately 300 of these accidents injured workmen and there were four deaths.
Among the problems cited in this article were wind turbine blades blowing off in winds of 150 miles per hour; wind turbine blades throwing clumps of snow and ice for long distances; wind turbines falling over in strong winds; mechanical failures and instances of faulty engineering by wind turbine manufacturers. Clumps of snow and ice thrown by wind turbine blades are heavy enough to sink small boats such as repair boats.
To view this important article, visit http://goo.gl/55Mez.
The state of Hawaii has flatly rejected offshore wind as being harmful to the ocean floor and to local fish. Electromagnetic radiation and vibrations can disturb navigation of fish and marine mammals, and European data indicates it can be as long as 15 years after offshore wind turbine construction before local fish stocks begin to recover.
Wind turbines are susceptible to lightning strikes: approximately 17.5 percent of insurance claims for damaged wind turbines seem due to lightning. Once damaged, the costs of repairing off shore wind turbines are huge, and a lot of fossil diesel fuel will be burned by the repair ships and boats. Why isn’t this topic discussed by wind turbine enthusiasts?
I used to be a proud member of the Sierra Club, but it is clearly on a downward spiral from its original goals of environmental protection. Today, it seems to be just another special-interest group promoting harmful causes without performing due diligence or actual research on the topics.
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