Humboldt Wind Project Faces Tough Scrutiny Despite Local Goal of 100% Renewable Energy by 2025

For the second time in ten years, Humboldt County’s environmental community in coordination with neighborhood groups in the area hope to kill a wind power project proposed for Monument and Bear Ridge area south and west of Rio Dell in the most northerly part of California’s Lost Coast. While Friends of the Eel strongly believes that an accelerated transition to clean energy is needed to stem the worst impacts of climate change, infrastructure project siting is critical to a project’s suitability, and one of this size at this particular site could have dire impacts on imperiled wildlife and their habitat.  You may remember that Shell Energy had a similar proposal for the same site many years ago that was withdrawn in the face of strong community opposition. The potential of Earth’s temperature crisis to altogether eliminate endangered species juxtaposed with environmentalists resistance to green power’s impacts on the local environment underscores the complexity of transforming a global power grid from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources and takes the scope of the conversation out of Humboldt County alone and joins it to the global effort to maintain a livable planet. Just und...

Failure-analysis experts investigate transformers that die an early death and try to determine what went wrong

Failure-analysis experts investigate transformers that die an early death and try to determine what went wrong and why. When it comes to big ticket items, power transformers near the top of the list. So, when they fail prematurely, it is a painful experience with damages that can far exceed the cost of a replacement unit. These added expenses may include the loss of priceless production time, damaged credibility, or regulatory fines and civil lawsuits. While numerous facilities have had to endure this sting, others are learning from those mistakes thanks to failure-analysis experts who investigate transformers that die an early death. The job is a lot like that of a detective on a TV crime show: The investigators show up at the “scene of the crime” and try to determine what went wrong and why. Attention to detail in the manufacturing process is often overlooked in today’s rush to automate but the most influential factor in transformer longevity is the level of craftsmanship. “I’ve been involved in dissecting numerous transformer failures,” said Jeff Jones, a transformer “crime scene investigator” and founder of Electrical Certification Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio), specializing in t...