Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs
Wind-turbine farms are springing up across the country and they pose unique threats to fire and rescue agencies.
Wind-farms have been around for several decades in Europe, but only in recent years have we seen them appear in the United States. The United Kingdom has experienced a dramatic increase in wind-turbine incidents resulting in a number of civilian injuries and deaths in the past decade, according to a report by Caithness Windfarm Information Forum 2012.
As more communities are using wind energy, many fire departments likewise across the United States are seeing wind-farms being built within their response areas. And as with most new advances in technology new challenges also arise for the fire service.
According to the trade group, American Wind Energy Association, there are utility-scale wind turbines in 38 states, 14 of those states generate at least 1,000 megawatts of power. And growth in this industry seems likely.
AWEA reports that U.S. wind turbines generate 48,600 megawatts; the on-shore potential is estimated at 10.4 million megawatts. To narrow that gap, there are nearly 100 projects in 31 states and Puerto Rico to add wind-generated capacity.
To increase their situational awareness regarding this growing trend, firefighters need to understand the top three types of wind-turbine failures. It is equally important to know the life-safety guidelines to consider when facing this new challenge. Read article