By Roy L Hales
A number of questions have risen since a 173 foot-long-blade flew off turbine 156 at the Ocotillo Wind Farm. Ocotillo resident Parke Ewing emailed me that, “The blade was blown off last night during low wind speeds of around 18 mph. This project is not safe for residents, visitors, hikers, off roaders or anyone traveling on the Interstate 8 freeway or Imperial highway…. How can we live here with problems like this?”
Jim Pelley, who lives half a mile away, wrote that the new Siemens 2.01-108 blades “are light weight structures and were designed for areas with low winds. We have very violent gusts at times in Ocotillo. I believe this is something they may not have accounted for …”
In this morning’s broadcast from “Save Ocotillo, which you can watch above, Pelley revealed that the turbines have been undergoing “maintenance” checks for months. He questions whether the real problem is the lack of wind at Ocotillo? Pelley has kept a video log of the project since construction began and on most days the winds speed is between 0 and 4 mph (Check them out at Save Ocotillo). That is not enough wind to power a wind turbine.
Another Ocotillo resident, and lawyer, Bill Pate recently revealed that the Windfarm has an average of 10.7 mph (which includes many days when the wind was too slight to power turbines, as well as those when it was too violent) and probably generates enough power for around 10,000 homes, rather than the 125,000 that is being claimed in news releases.