Saturday, April 16, 2005

The hole gets bigger

One problem with ever-larger industrial wind turbines is the size of the foundation they require. In Bureau County, Illinois, 19 of the 33 turbines of the Crescent Ridge wind power facility near Tiskilwa have started to lean since the first was noticed last December. The holes dug for the foundations were already 30 feet deep, filled mostly with sand and topped with 6 feet of concrete and steel. Now they're injecting 16 5-foot-diameter columns of soil and grout into the hole to interlock under each existing concrete slab. The article (linked in the title of this post) mentions that in the west dynamite is used to blast out the holes for wind towers, as John Zimmerman, Enxco representative, has said would be required on the mountain ridges of the northeast U.S. as well. Many advocates claim that when wind turbines are no longer needed (or proved to be useless) they can be removed to leave the sites exactly as they were (ignoring the new or widened and strengthened roads, the clearcutting of forest, and new substations and transmission lines). That is obviously not so.

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