University of Delaware Spins a Web of Lies about broken Lewes Wind Turbine

Still many Lewes turbine questions hanging

They say they were upgrading the Turbine, but fact is it was destroyed by Lightning.

Cape Gazette By Jerry Lechliter | Sep 21, 2012

 When something happens that might tarnish the image of a large organization, its leadership usually acts immediately to control information and to protect its image. The news media has the responsibility to investigate and present an accurate picture to the public. Recent articles about UD’s wind turbine outage omit important essential facts and implications related to credibility, public safety, and liability.

The Cape Gazette (CG) ran the following article

     UD wind turbine gets new generator for U.S. market

        By Henry J. Evans jr. | Jul 30, 2012


                LEWES — The University of Delaware’s wind turbine in Lewes is being used as the test site for the first generator specifically manufactured for power production in the   United States.   

      The two-megawatt generator is built by Gamesa Technology Corp., one ...

This was the positive "spin" about the outage: Anyone reading it would conclude the turbine outage was due to new equipment installation. This reason was BOGUS, however, and the true reason might have caused public concern.

Right after the article appeared, I ran into the Cape Gazette publisher. We talked, and I told him the article was a misleading UD spin and the real reason for the outage was a late June lightning strike. He was very skeptical, but agreed to question UD about it.

Next week’s story, “UD wind turbine struck by lightning,” divulged for the first time publicly the reason for the long outage. Mr. Ohrel, the director of the Marine Public Education Office at UD's Lewes Campus, was the source for this article, according to the newspaper. No reason was given for the long delay in making the lightning strike public.


Finally, in the last week of July, a University representative told a group of state-wide educators at its Lewes Campus the outage was due to installation of a new generator. By then, the lightning strike was common knowledge in UD circles and, as the publisher stated to me later "common knowledge around town."

Lightning may strike a turbine and cause serious damage, according to professional literature I provided the paper and mentioned in the article. Many questions remain unanswered however. How do we know the internal blade assembly isn’t damaged? Is external visual inspection sufficient to determine the extent of the damage? Were other turbine components damaged? Could lightning cause a turbine fire? Is there a plan to contain it? These are not insignificant issues and involve credibility and public safety which brings us back to the connector road.

DNREC’s August 2009 Regulatory Advisory Service established a minimum setback for the future turbine of about 615 feet from a public road. The last UD connector road realignment, approved by DNREC in April 2009, places the turbine at a point 555 feet from it, according to an engineering plan in UD’s December 2009 turbine building permit application, and less than 600 feet from the existing road. DNREC and UD evidently didn’t take the setback and public safety seriously.

The turbine public road setback is not trivial. Another jurisdiction has a 1,600 feet public road setback from a large turbine. A March 2012 accident with a smaller turbine threw two blades more than 1,000 feet from the turbine. Surrounding open fields precluded any damage to people or private property. The question remains: Is the public road too close to the turbine?

Liability is the last issue. UD created a third-party limited liability company (LLC) that owns the Turbine which is located on state-owned open space and was projected to earn $500,000 per year. Dr. Firestone publicly stated UD's insurance would cover any accident. Why then create an LLC? To earn money and avoid liability. Despite a request, UD never provided any documents to verify coverage and argued in federal court it is immune from suit since the LLC owns the Turbine. The question remains: Who is liable for an accident?

Let the reader now judge whether UD has been honest with the public and whether the news media has done a credible job?

Jerry Lechliter

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Comment by Long Islander on September 26, 2012 at 12:24pm
UMass turbine sits idle 6 months after installation
Comment by Mike DiCenso on September 21, 2012 at 9:08pm

Blades were thrown 1000 ft? How would Angus sugar coat that?

Comment by Long Islander on September 21, 2012 at 11:22am


UMPI and University of Delaware to meet in the "Rose Colored Glasses Bowl"



Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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