Wind Power “Is Not so Clean and Not so Green”

(p. 4B) WALNUT, Iowa (AP) — At a western Iowa wind farm, a demolition crew saws through red slashes marked on 120-foot turbine blades, cutting them into thirds before stuffing the thinnest piece inside the base’s hollow cavity, making more room on a flatbed trailer.

The work is part of MidAmerican Energy’s efforts to “repower” almost 110 turbines, updating towers with longer blades, new hubs and refurbished generators.

. . .

MidAmerican’s retired blades, destined for the Butler County Landfill near David City, Nebraska, about 130 miles away, are among hundreds that will land in dumps across Iowa and the nation. Critics say the blades’ march to a landfill weakens the claim that wind is an environmentally friendly energy source.

“This clean, green energy is not so clean and not so green,” said Julie Kuntz, who opposes a wind project in Worth County in north-central Iowa. “It’s just more waste going in our landfills.”

. . .

The difficulty in reusing blades adds to the complaints of wind energy opponents. Some who live near the turbines complain that low-frequency noise and flickering light from the blades make them ill. And the spinning blades can kill migrating birds and bats.

For the full story, see:

The Associated Press. “As Wind Farms Age, Many Old Blades Are Going to Landfills.” Omaha World-Herald (Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019): 4B.

(Note: ellipses added.)

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