Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wind turbine explodes, sparks brush fire in Campo

December 16, 2013 (Campo)A wind turbine on a ridge overlooking the Golden Acorn Casino exploded today, sparking several spot fires in surrounding brush that collectively charred about a half an acre.
David Elliott, a Manzanita tribal member, lives about quarter of a mile from the wind facility on the neighboring Campo reservation. At first, he mistook the fire sounds for gusty wind. Then he walked outside and saw the turbine burning. “The turbine did start several spot fires,” he said. “If the wind had been coming from the northwest or west then my home, one of the closets homes to the turbines, would have definitely been in danger because we have brush on this side of the turbines and we would have had a major fire.” Hear audio of his interview with ECM:
Elliott says in recent days, he and his wife have been hearing unusual turbine noises. “Sounds like the bearings are going out on many of them…They screech and they howl…It sounds like many of them are pretty much ready for an overhaul,” he stated.
A spotter plane, two bomber planes and a helicopter responded, Elliott said, adding that the fixed wing aircraft “weren’t able to do a real good job because of high winds…The helicopter came in and actually saved the day.”
Gamesa refused to accept liability in five legal actions filed by U.S. wind projects over warranty disputes for hefty repairs and lost production, ECM reported back in August 2012 in a story documenting numerous problems with wind turbines. That includes $34.5 million in turbine repairs at the Kumeyaay Wind Farm in on the Campo Indian reservation. A witness told ECMthat he saw a blue flash that radiated out through the wind farm during a storm in December 2009 before the project went dark. All 75 blades on all 25 turbines were replaced and the facility was offline for three months.
Most recently, a wind turbine sparked a wildland fire in the Netherlands on October 30, 2013
Source:  By Miriam Raftery and Nadin Abbott | Photos by Jim Pelley, Michael Kurtz, Jim Colby, J. Rummler | East County Magazine | December 16, 2013 | eastcountymagazine.org
This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.