No Danger zone’ bylaw for wind turbines

By Jennifer Schleich, Shoreline Beacon
Town of Saugeen Shores staff have been unable to locate an available expert in the field of wind turbine safety, not associated with the wind turbine industry, to help draft a defendable bylaw prohibiting public access to the area immediately surrounding wind turbines, it revealed at last Monday night’s council meeting.

As a result, the town has, for the time being, given up on drafting such a bylaw.

“It’s very disappointing,” said deputy mayor Luke Charbonneau. “My hope is that as further studies are done … hopefully with time we’ll be able to revisit this issue.” Read article

10 thoughts on “No Danger zone’ bylaw for wind turbines

  1. Council could issue some advice/recommendations to the public about IWT safety measures based on already known information about safe distances. They have references for safety issues they can use and a recommendation to keep clear of IWTs in threatening weather. Also not safe for children to be near. Council could run into problems if they don’t call peoples’ attention to IWT safety issues in at least an informal way. This way people can make their own decisions.

    • Exactly my thoughts. Use the goddamn information that the industry gives to its employees. Turn their own information against them.

    • That’s what I don’t understand. Why does Council need an expert to come in on this when the manufacturer’s own manual advises of a safety zone.
      Bunch of coward on that council.

  2. Well, there are numerous instances of ‘throws’ of various items off turbines including failed turbine blades. It should not be that difficult to find a record of the furthest distance that a part has been thrown and start asking questions…. 1. What was the ground to nacelle height of that turbine? 2. What was the height to the peak of the blade at its maximum elevation. 3. What was the wind speed and direction at the time of the failure? Etc. Then a projection would have to be made based on failure data as to how far a piece could be thrown in a worst case scenario of speed, height, trajectory, optimized projective shape, maximum wind etc. Then once that distance is determined, add at least a 100% safety margin on to it. Sounds like some very basic physics. Finally, make it mandatory that no one, absolutely no one enter into that radius around the entire IWT and that includes everything that could have people on it…. roads, farmers who might be working the fields nearby etc. As a matter of fact, the maintenance workers for the IWT shouldn’t even be allowed to enter that ‘zone of hazard’ unless they are riding in a tank that can handle the impact of the entire IWT crashing down on it…. or perhaps, they can build a tunnel to the base of the IWT so that they come up inside. That would work too. Of course, for this latter scheme to work, the IWT operator would also have to demonstrate that they have a foolproof method of locking up the propeller remotely in an absolutely failsafe manner.

    The foregoing might seem extreme but compare it to the safety procedures at any typical industrial facility. Of course there will be a spectacular failure at some point and at that point, the new ‘rules’ will be introduced. Life boats for everyone where not mandatory until the Titanic went down….. and as we all know, it only hit one iceberg.

    • There is plenty of this already on the Wind Watch website
      “Therefore, based on Figure 3 (Exhibit A, p. 120) and given the Applicant’s
      proposed 82 meter rotor diameter wind turbine (and pro rata scaling), and the
      recommended risk level of 10-6 (10 to the exponent -6) (one (1) ice throw event per million square
      meters per year) in Heavy Icing conditions, the required minimum safety
      setback is 656 meters (2,152 feet).”

      10-6 should be (10 to the exponent -6) it doesn’t show in print properly here.

  3. Seems to me the council here is lacking a spine… As stated, all kinds of industry documentation is available by the manufacturers of those eyesores that limit safe distances, for one.. How much more of an expert do you need??? I don’t know what the hell the council is afraid of??? Lawsuits if they get it wrong??I don’t think the legal team advising them is very competent either, in my opinion…Get a grip !!!!Geez !!!!

  4. The council is probably not aware of all of the information. Maybe someone from the area will see this and let them know.

    • Fact is that council is VERY aware of the information. Something is going on here. I have a feeling that the CAW is threatening to leave a hole in the tax base and kill jobs. Council has both barrels pointed at them over another serious issue involving democracy right now. I know how informed they are on all the issues of turbines, this does not make sense. Those that do not know what this is about….council wanted to erect a safety fence around the turbine that would close about 50% of parking and the sports fields and an access road through the complex. When I hear council refer to their lawyer, it sounds like they are passing the buck. There is a lot more to this story and I am not counting on local media to get to the bottom of it. Time for some phone calls.
      ( council knows the determination of the people around here, so they must also have calculated the losses to their businesses over this….or maybe not)

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