Halt Current and Future Wind Farms and Demand Accountability!
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Sometime during the overnight hours of January 18 and January 19, 2018, a wind turbine that is part of TerraForm Power's Raleigh Wind Power project (located in South Kent in the Municipality of Chatham Kent, Ontario) collapsed, virtually snapping in half. According to a spokesperson at CanWEA (Canadian Wind Energy Association), this is the second time an incident of this nature has occurred in the history of the Canadian fleet of 6,400-plus wind turbines. This information from CanWEA is questionable though as two wind turbines have previously collapsed in Nova Scotia. A wind turbine in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia that was built in 2010 collapsed on August 17, 2016. Another wind turbine in Grand Étang, Nova Scotia that was built in 2002 collapsed on January 3, 2017. In light of this recent collapse of this wind turbine and the fact that it is the THIRD occurrence of this kind in three consecutive years in Canada and due to the safety concerns of:
- the environmental impact (spills);
- surrounding nature and wildlife;
- the land owners;
- the residents within and surrounding any and all wind farms and;
- the commuters travelling on roadways that are within 150 meters of operational wind turbines,
we demand that all current operating wind turbines be halted in Ontario and the rest of Canada in order to be thoroughly inspected for engineering defects before they are returned to service to prevent future disasters like this or worse from happening. We also demand that any current and/or future construction on wind farm projects be halted until this matter can be fully resolved.
This windmill is part of the 78 Megawatt Raleigh Wind Power project that was previously owned by Invenergy Wind LLC and became commercially operational in January 2011. It was later purchased by TerraForm in December 2015. This collapse occurred to a 160-tonne wind turbine that was in service for only 7 years. Currently, while the incident is being investigated, this wind farm with 52 wind turbines is shutdown with the expectation that a portion of the Raleigh facility is to return to regular operations within the next two weeks. NO PART of this facility should return to online status until the investigation of this incident is COMPLETE, a cause for the collapse is determined AND the rest of the wind turbines thoroughly inspected for defects.
Since there could be a defect in the engineering of the wind turbine towers that could cause another collapse, it is imperative to know the result of the investigation, including the company or companies that built them and the manufacturers of the materials used for construction. This concern is not limited to this wind farm alone as Invenergy Wind LLC is responsible for 5 wind farms across Ontario and Quebec with a combined total of 232 wind turbines including the contracted Strong Breeze wind farm project (2020) in the Municipality of Dutton/Dunwich, Elgin County, Ontario. The manufacturers (of the parts installed on the wind turbine) have produced construction materials for more companies than just Invenergy Wind LLC. Wind turbine collapses haven't just happened in Canada, they have been occurring all across the globe. With this in mind we want assurances that other wind turbines across the province of Ontario and also any wind turbine across the rest of Canada's provinces will not topple over. We want accountability before a catastrophic incident occurs where people are severely injured or killed. Several wind turbines, owned by many different companies, located near Highway 401 in Chatham-Kent are located just over 100 metres from the highway. It would be very tragic if one were to fall down towards the 401. We want every wind turbine that has been constructed across Ontario and Canada thoroughly inspected for defects. We also want any current or future wind turbine projects halted until this collapse issue and other issues, including the impacts on individuals health and impacts on area water wells, are dealt with.
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