October 5, 2004

Wind power creates a job!

Here are some excerpts from the story linked to in the title, which is about "windsmiths" -- the people who maintain wind turbines.
Roughly 100 windsmiths, mostly men, work at the various wind energy companies in Tehachapi.

CalWind Resources has 10 windsmiths on staff to service its 350 turbines. Oak Creek Energy has six to maintain its 100 turbines.
There are more than 4,600 turbines in the Tehachapi area. That's an average of 1 maintenance job per 46 turbines. CalWind's ratio is 1 per 35, and Oak Creek's 1 per 17. Typical wind "farms" are within this range, so they are unlikely to "create" more than 1 or 2 jobs each, despite the promises of the developers.

More items of note from the article:
"Turbines break every day," ... [operations manager at CalWind Resources Ed] Bullard said. ...

Bullard agreed with [windsmith Clayton] Swan that the most challenging part of working in the field is dealing with the elements, especially in the winter, when huge ice formations build up on turbine blades.

If those chunks fall, Bullard said, some of them could kill you.