By Miriam Raftery
November 25, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – When a multi-ton blade fell off a wind turbine at Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility, the company claimed such accidents are rare. Now another Pattern Energy wind project has hurled off dangerous debris. This time, a turbine in Canada hurled off an 18-inch chunk of serrated blade, which flew 400 feet before landing in a field, the Chatham Voice reported.
Could Vestas' fire-prone turbines be installed in East County?
By Miriam Raftery
October 31, 2013 (Netherlands) – Two young mechanics, ages 19 and 21, died when a fire broke out in a wind turbine where they were performing routine maintenance. The tragedy occurred at Deltawind’s Piet de Wit wind farm in the Netherlands, but highlights the hazards associated with fires caused by wind turbines.
According to the Netherlands Times, “because of the height, the fire department initially had trouble extinguishing the fire in the engine room.” The fire started in the afternoon, but it took until evening for a special team of firefighters to arrive and ascend with a large crane.
By Jim Wiegand, wildlife biologist
September 27, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- While Altamont Pass operators have been hiding most of their wind turbine mortality with search intervals of 30-90 days, the rest of North American wind farms hide mortality by using search areas that are far too small. By using only 50 meter search areas for their huge new turbines, the wind facility operators can easily hide over 90% of fatalities caused from turbine blade strikes.
By Sierra Robinson
May 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A new generation of bladeless wind turbines now in testing offers promise for designs that could reduce risk to birds, reduce noise, require smaller footprints and lower heights, thus less view disturbance.
For example, the slogan on the SheerWind website is “Changing the Course of Power Generation” and with the company’s new wind turbine design, it just might. Sheerwind began creation of a new energy technology three years ago, when founded by Dr. Daryoush Allaei. Since then, SheerWind has created a bladeless, funnel-shaped wind turbine that it claims is a ‘revolution.’
By Miriam Raftery
Photo and video by Jim Pelley
February 15, 2013 (Ocotillo) – A turkey vulture narrowly escaped death as it soared between moving blades at a wind turbine at the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility on February 12. ECM photographer Jim Pelley documented the close call on video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo7fLJ9uSew
December 31, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – A photo is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. East County Magazine’s photographers and readers have compiled an impressive portfolio of dramatic images this year. These are our editor’s picks for the photos that create an emotional chord, from inspiration to anguish. We deeply appreciate our professional photojournalists and citizen photographers who helped document the images that defined the news and character of our region this year.
Tule Wind project’s turbines on ridgelines will be “deadly” for Golden eagles in San Diego County, wildlife biologist predicts
October 29, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Wildlife biologist Jim Wiegand, vice president of Save the Eagles International, has sent a letter to Bureau of Indian Affairs’ regional director Amy Dutsche warning that the Tule Wind project will be “deadly” for eagles in our region.
by Terry Weiner
August 31, 2012 (San Diego)--Ocotillo California is an apron of desert fanning out broadly from the base of the rugged Jacumba and Inkopah Mountains, ninety miles east of San Diego and 60 miles west from Yuma Arizona. After winding down 16 miles of Interstate 8 from the agricultural town of Jacumba at 3,000 ft. to the desert floor at 500 ft., you will be treated to a view of a spectacular and relatively uncluttered Colorado Desert landscape. On a rare clear day, you can see the blue of the Salton Sea about 40 miles away. Mexico is just south on the other side of the Jacumba Mountains.