UPDATES: LATEST WIND TURBINE ACCIDENT : 3/6/09: Click here to read "Wind turbine collapses in Altona"
T is for Turbine: What goes up sometimes crashes to the ground.
February 22, 2009
Over the week-end, two Iowa families were asked to evacuate their homes when an industrial wind turbine began spinning out control due to a 'catastrophic error' made during construction. A third family was contacted as well, but were not home at the time.
There was no way to stop the turbine blades, which continued to spin wildly throughout the night until the blade assembly and 50 ton nacelle broke away from the tower, fell from a height of -246 feet--nearly 25 stories-- and crashed into the ground.
No one was hurt.
In the video below, the general manager for this project says no property should be closer than 400 meters (about 1300 feet) from the turbines. She said for this project there are no homes closer than 600 meters (about 2000 feet) from the turbines.
What is the setback in Wisconsin?
1000 feet from a home.
That is, unless you sign-on with the wind developer. In that case you can have a turbine as close as 440 feet to your door.
[Click on the image below to watch an interview with the project manager about the accident]
There appears to be no available footage of the Iowa turbine breaking apart, but a nearly identical accident happened last winter in Denmark when the turbine brakes failed during a wind storm. This slow motion video shows how far the blades were thrown and what it looked like when the 50 ton nacelle hit the ground.