Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Farmers warned to beware of flying parts from wind turbines

Farmers in the Sarnia area have been warned to stay away from wind turbines when they harvest their crops this fall.

Canadian Press reports from the Ontario legislature in Toronto that the Progressive Conservatives are demanding a safety audit of all industrial wind turbines in Ontario after reports of sensors flying off some of the huge blades.

Tory environment critic Lisa Thompson says farmers in Bluewater near Sarnia are being advised not to harvest crops near the giant turbines until they notify the wind farm owners so the blades can be slowed down.

The Bluewater municipal council has asked its staff to investigate the reports, and Thompson wants the province to look into the situation as well.

Environment Minister Glen Murray says wind power is among the safest forms of energy technology and he insists it would be premature to suggest there's a problem.

NextEra Energy Canada did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the potential safety threat from sensors coming off the giant wind turbines or say how big the devices actually are.

Murray dismissed Thompson's call for a safety audit of industrial wind turbines, but says he takes the reports of parts flying off very seriously, and his ministry will look into the complaints to see exactly what is happening.

"There are sometimes issues with every form of energy and we always send out inspectors," he said. "We've had issues before where people have attributed things to wind turbines that were in fact not to be the case."

That sounds pretty lame, Mr. Murray.