There are more questions than answers currently regarding the recent collapse of a wind turbine at the Raleigh Wind project in South Kent.
People are speculating wildly on the cause of the collapse on social media, with theories that range from the ridiculous – a meteor hit it – to the chilling ideas of inferior materials and government kickbacks.
Some people obviously involved in the wind industry in manufacturing or construction of the turbines have some very technical analysis of what may have happened to cause the tower to basically fold in half.
What is important now, however, is to make sure the collapse site is safe for the public and livestock, to get confirmation the municipality and Terraform Power are making sure other towers in the wind farm aren’t in imminent danger of collapse, and that a thorough investigation will be done with the results revealed to the public.
Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton has asked for an immediate moratorium on the Otter Creek wind farm project currently in the permit stage north of Wallaceburg and the current North Kent Wind 1 project close to completion north of Chatham. He’s not wrong. With all the problems experienced by well owners in proximity to turbine sites, the sensitive nature of the underground aquifer which sits on Kettle Point Black Shale, and now a turbine collapse, it’s time for our municipal council and the province to put people before lucrative contracts.
Our water is a resource we can’t afford to ruin. So are family farms that are quickly losing value. The Ministry of the Environment and Mayor Randy Hope need to stop sitting on the sidelines and get in the game. Trusting wind power companies to police themselves is naïve at best and criminal at worst.
The MOE has said they will investigate if someone has a complaint, which leaves the public to do the job we elect and hire people to do. Water Wells First and its members have done more to protect and oversee the turbine construction than any official has done, and group members are paying out of their own pockets to do it.
Some oversight and accountability are desperately needed from our elected officials and government employees.
Paul Lacina, Director of Building Development Services for the municipality, said the Terraform has taken the steps needed to secure the site and it will need to go through the building permit process for repairs or rebuild of the turbine.
Let’s hope the next turbine lasts more than seven years and no people or animals are around if one does fail again.
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