By TOM GANTERT | April 12, 2017
One safety issue centers around ice forming on spinning turbine blades.
A report issued by General Electric in 2006 warned about “ice shedding” and “ice throw.” It states: “Any ice that is accumulated may be shed from the turbine due to both gravity and the mechanical forces of the rotating blades.”
A wind industry opponent called the Industrial Wind Action Group Corp.has posted testimony on its website from Will Staats, a wildlife biologist for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. In his testimony to a New Hampshire Senate committee, Staats explained the dangers of ice that come from wind turbines.
He said, “The danger of ice throw cannot be overemphasized. I have often worked near these turbines on our research projects in the winter and witnessed the large divots in the snow where ice has been flung from the turning blades. I have seen the steel stairs leading to the doors of turbines bowed and broken by ice falling from the nacelle. And, on one terrifying occasion, my truck was struck by flying ice that, had it hit me or anyone else close by, could have killed or caused serious injury. One operator of a wind installation told me these machines will throw a 400-pound chunk of ice 1,000 feet.”
In a phone interview this week, Staats said he has seen large chunks of ice debris on the ground that had been thrown from wind turbines into the woods.
This video filmed by Larry Wunsch of Brownsville, Wisconsin who lives inside of Forward Energy wind farm there. He was out plowing his driveway when he saw a piece of ice the size of a bedsheet come from the turbine.