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Expert says turbines can be turned off during fires  

Credit:  ABC News | 15 July 2013 | www.abc.net.au ~~

A wind power industry spokesman says switching turbines off during fires would negate concerns about their impact on aerial waterbombers.

The Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia, which represents volunteer fire fighting pilots, says it has written to the Federal Government asking for more research into wind farms.

It is concerned wake turbulence from the structures could impact low flying water bombing aircraft.

Nick Valentine is an environmental consultant for a wind project in the Upper Lachlan Shire, and says wind farms can be switched off in a matter of minutes.

“There is an unknown there in terms of what indeed are the wake effects of wind turbines and how they interact with aircraft,” he said.

“However, in the situation of a bush fire event, the simple solution would appear to be for the wind farm to be shut down.

“I would expect the operator would do that as a matter of course and that would negate the turbulence issue all together.”

Mr Valentine does not think turbines need to be switched off as a precaution during catastrophic conditions.

“It’s a matter of responding to particular bush fire events,” he said.

“The threat from wind farms themselves is relative very low in terms of them causing a fire.

“So on a catastrophic fire danger day, you would expect all stake holders would be on stand by.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of automatically shutting down, but it’s a matter of it certainly being on stand by.”

Source:  ABC News | 15 July 2013 | www.abc.net.au

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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