Anglesey Against Wind Turbines

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Buffer Zones

AAWT, in common with an increasing number of governments, councils, specialists and communities is calling for a Buffer Zone of 1.5km (about 1 mile) between any houses and the nearest turbine. This isn’t simply about the view. It recognises the several dangers which turbines present and is attempting to put them sufficiently far from habitation to reduce the risk to residents. The safety regulations for the Vestas V90, (300-ft rotor span and a total height of 410 feet) tell operators and technicians to stay 1,300 feet from an operating turbine, which doesn’t seem to be a bad place to start.

There is no clear safety standard for the UK. Back in 2008 the Guardian asked the HSE what legal requirements exist for turbines' strength. The HSE suggested they ask the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform ... which said it was probably an HSE issue!

TheGuardian

Turbine disintegration

Blade throw or turbine collapse where wind turbines are sited at schools, hospitals etc” are identified as specific risks to the public by the Health & Safety Executive.

As well as throwing blades away, turbines have been known to despatch shards of ice, the bodies of birds and, as shown in the photo, occasionally entire turbines. On small turbines, blades can be cast off at over 100 mph and blade tips have been found up to 1300m from the pylon. That’s close to the buffer zone being sought by AAWT - and many others.

National Wind Watch (NWW) has a selection of illustrative videos.

NWW

Unspecified Risks to the Public

Various parts of the world are taking action to safeguard its citizens, - as identified by Caithness Windfarm Information Forum. (CWIF).

“In New Zealand, the government is set to change planning rules to give residents the right to veto wind turbines from being built within 2km of their homes. In Australia, the Victorian government has set guidelines forbidding wind turbine construction closer than 2km to houses. In Scotland, a 2km guideline is also in place between large wind farm developments and communities, though the guideline is often disgracefully ignored by the Scottish government planners. And in Canada, the Ontario Government has declared a moratorium on offshore wind projects and has proposed a reduction of noise from wind turbines from 40dB to 30-32dB, which would effectively extend the setback distance from homes.”

This excellent website has investigated turbine accidents, from any cause, since the early 1970’s and its findings make compelling reading.

Year

70s

80s

90s

00

01

02

3

4

05

06

07

08

09

10

11

12*

No.

1

8

15

3


1

4

4

4

5

5

10

7

7

13

9

Fatal Accidents

Source: CWIF

Photograph: Windfarm Action

CWIF