News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Wind turbine collapses on UK hillside, large spike remains impaled in earth-BBC

1/3/15, "Fintona, County Tyrone: 80-metre wind turbine collapses," BBC




"An 80-metre wind turbine has collapsed on a mountainside [80 metres=262 ft.] near Fintona in County Tyrone. The turbine was one of eight on the Screggagh wind farm on Murley mountain.

It is not clear what caused the giant structure to collapse, but people in the industry said it was a highly unusual event especially as winds were light at the time.

The turbine, valued at over £500,000, [$780,000 US] collapsed on Friday evening, scattering debris over a wide area.

People in the area said the rotor blades were spinning out of control on the evening the turbine buckled.

The sound of the failing mechanical structure was heard more than seven miles away. Some people said the sound was like thunder. Others report grinding and the sound of metal against metal.

There are no reported injuries.

Debris from the stricken turbine is scattered across the mountainside and a large spike remains impaled in the earth several hundred yards from the turbine site.

The turbine is one of eight on Screggagh farm which was commissioned in April 2011.

The site operators have fenced off the site and and are investigating the cause of the collapse." 

Image above from BBC. via Free Rep.


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1/2/15, "As Britain Freezes, Wind Farms Take Power From Grid to Prevent Icing," Breitbart London, Donna Rachel Edmunds

"As Britain shivers under a blanket of snow and ice, it has emerged that offshore windfarms have been idling to prevent icing up and drawing electricity off the national grid to do so. Critics have pointed out the “folly” of having windfarms idle in a cold snap, but industry experts insist that all forms of power generation involve some electrical input.

The issue has been raised by Brian Christley, a resident of Abergele, Wales, who wrote to the Daily Telegraph to say: “Over the weekend just gone, the coldest of the year so far, all 100-plus off-shore wind turbines along the North Wales coast were idling very slowly, all using grid power for de-icing and to power their hydraulic systems that keep the blades facing in the same direction.

“Thanks to Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, we will be subsidising these follies for the next 30 years. And then, if we continue to vote for technically naive green politicians, for further periods after that.”

The energy firm which owns the 30 turbines off the North Wales coastline has countered that, on the days in question, the turbines were actually a net contributor to the grid. A spokesman said: “Our turbines were not idling but generating electricity during each of the days in question, contributing a positive balance of energy into the grid. All energy generators use a small amount of electricity to keep their systems running smoothly, in the case of wind farms drawing power from either an adjacent operating turbine or the grid.”

John Constable, of the Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity which promotes sustainable development through the use of renewable energies, said: We know that in Denmark there are days when their wind farms are net consumers of electricity, so in some ways this is not surprising. It’s another example of how wind power is difficult and expensive to manage.”

Theoretically, Britain’s wind farms, both onshore and off, have a combined capacity of 12.1GW, enough to power 8.8 million homes. However, a report published last October by the Scientific Alliance and the Adam Smith Institute found that the chance of all Britain’s windfarms running at full capacity together was “vanishingly small”, meaning that actual output is often far lower. Rather, they found that the average output was just eight percent of the headline figure.

Moreover, they can only produce energy if the wind is blowing at between 10 and 50 mph, above which they automatically shut down to prevent damage. And in freezing conditions they must draw on the energy grid to rotate their blades slowly to prevent them icing, and to power the system which turns the blades into the wind. It also costs about twice as much to produce offshore wind energy as it does to produce traditional coal fired energy."...

[Ed. note: UK offshore wind leases are owned by the UK monarchy which receives $10s+ of millions yearly in lease payments.]

(continuing): "Roger Helmer, energy spokesman for the UK Independence Party, who want to see wind farm subsidies scrapped, told Breitbart London: We’re familiar with the layers of subsidy necessary to make wind farms viable. We’re familiar with the inefficiency of the necessary back-up fossil fuel generation, for when the wind doesn’t blow. Now we learn that on windless days these wind turbines are cannibalising power from the grid merely to help maintain them. Will the folly never stop?”"

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Two citations for UK monarchy income from offshore wind turbine leases, key to Prince Charles' financial future:
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10/24/10, Queen’s £38m a year windfarm windfall, This is money, by Martin Delgado and Christopher Leake
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"The Royal Family have secured a lucrative deal that will earn them tens of millions of pounds from the massive expansion of offshore windfarms. 
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Under new measures announced by Chancellor George Osborne last week, the Royals will soon get 15% of the profits from the Estate's £6bn property portfolio, [$9.36 billion US] rather than the existing Civil List arrangement. 

“Experts predict the growth in offshore windfarms could be worth up to £250m a year to the Crown Estate 

There are already 436 turbines in operation around the UK's 7,700-mile coastline – but within a decade that number is set to reach nearly 7,000. 

Prince Charles is a vociferous campaigner for renewable energy sources such as these, but is opposed to turbines being erected on land – particularly near his own homes.... 

The canny boost to Royal finances was quietly slipped through as part of last week's Comprehensive Spending Review.... 

A spokesman for Republic, which campaigns for a more accountable Royal Family, said: It is wholly inappropriate that the Palace should have such a direct interest in a subject like windfarms, given Prince Charles's obsession with renewable energy. It raises the question as to whether he is seeking to increase his own investment portfolio each time he makes a favourable reference to wind power.’...

Clarence House declined to comment on behalf of Prince Charles."


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12/31/10, One’s in the money! Why Prince Charles’s secret 20-year campaign could make him the richest king in history,” UK Daily Mail, G. Levy

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